I had to leave this review a couple of days before writing it as it made me angry. I’ve calmed down now though. This book is about the life of a secondary school English teacher. Not the inspirational teacher that inspired you to become poet laureate. This is about a jaded and apathetic teacher who drifts through life desperately hoping he doesn’t get found out. The kind of teacher that spends more time in the pub than on lesson planning and marking, or to put it bluntly the media’s view of what a teacher is. Just about everything this teacher does is a total screw-up and the things that do go well are short-lived and more by accident than design.
Why did this book anger me? When I was at junior school I loved writing stories and making things up. Unfortunately when I went to secondary school any love for writing and for reading certain types of books was sucked out of me. I don’t blame it entirely on the teachers. The curriculum seems to leave little room for teenagers to actually enjoy language and literature. This comes across very well in this book. Before reading this book I could only imagine how frustrating that must be for somebody that has trained for years to make a difference in the lives of young people. Now though I feel it acutely.
This is not a happy story, you will not get a warm glow from reading it. What you will get from this book is an engaging look in to the life of a failing teacher. It is well worth a read and for less than the price of a skinny latte why not go and buy it now.