Thursday, 20 October 2011

Guest Review: Teacher, Teacher!

Once again, I have Sarah over to review one of her Transworld books! 
Teacher, Teacher
- Jack Sheffield
Publisher: UK - Corgi
It's 1977 and Jack Sheffield is appointed headmaster of a small village primary school in North Yorkshire. So begins Jack's eventful journey through the school year and his attempts to overcome the many problems that face him as a young and inexperienced headmaster.

The many colourful chapters include Ruby the 20 stone caretaker with an acute spelling problem, a secretary who worships Margaret Thatcher, a villager who grows giant carrots, a barmaid/parent who requests sex lessons, and a five-year-old boy whose language is colourful in the extreme. And then there's also beautiful, bright Beth Henderson, who is irresistibly attractive to the young headmaster...
Hello all, so, my third Transworld review, and I'm off on another totally different genre tangent - this time real-life memoir.  Teacher, Teacher describes Jack Sheffield's first year as a head teacher in a small school in Yorkshire in the '70s and is a very 'nice' tale.
There's nothing wrong with Teacher, Teacher - the kids are nice, the love story is nice, Jack Sheffield is nice, the...  well, you get the idea!  It just doesn't rock any boats.  The funny stories ellicit a smile, the sad ones a slightly misty eye, but it lacks any real emotional punch.  The main effect it had on me was a hankering for a bit more '70s school-life in modern-day schools - when kids could be kids and bake, climb, paint, swim, without Health & Safety and the PC brigade sticking their oar in.  Also, when teachers weren't bogged down by rainforest-loads worth of paperwork and could actually invest real time in getting to know and understand their charges.  Despite being a head teacher, Jack still had his own class to teach - something the modern-day head never gets to do!  (Ahem, education-sector mini-rant over....)
I have read better memoirs - James Herriott being my personal favourite - but Teacher, Teacher is a perfectly good way to while away a few hours without taxing the grey matter.  Be warned though, any teachers reading it might end up slightly green with envy by the end!  6 out of 10.


  1. Eh, pass. And I would surely be green with envy after the horror I was put trough getting my credentials

  2. I should SO tell my teacher peeps in my family about this book. I wanna see what they look like green.

    You know it isn't easy... ;)