We’re reprinting a short digital run of A Paramedic’s Diary – there’s no economic sense in it, really, but I hate to see it slide out of print.
Frank Chalk is still dividing readers nicely up into people who think he ‘hates kids’ and people with kids in rough schools (there are some) who hate the way they are being ‘taught’. Here are two contrasting Amazon reviews from the last week or two, the first by ‘JEM’:
I have never been so incensed by any book that I have read as I was by this one. This man is a disgrace to the profession… I work in a school in a very deprived area and, in contrast to Mr. Chalk’s opinion, the children I teach are exciting, interested and enthusiastic…when they have a decent teacher. These children crave positive and consistent role models, from what I have read, Mr. Chalk is neither. His teaching strategies seem to revolve around humiliation, degradation and insults – who is the adult? Everyone deserves the most to be expected from them and the very best teaching on offer. I, thankfully, don’t know any teachers like this man, however I am concerned that some people (with no current experience or interaction with schools) will take this to be a common reflection of what goes on – it most certainly is not! I endured this book and would definitely not recommend it. (I gave this book one star, but only because Amazon made me and wouldn’t let me put none).
That thud is the sound of the point bypassing JEM.
I read this book out of interest to see if my daughter’s experience of teaching in an inner London school was general. Actually it would appear she put a good spin on it! This book should be compulsory reading for education ministers and so-called experts… If anything will persuade grandparents to try to provide private eduction for their grandchildren, this book is it.
It’s about time we published a new teacher, and I may have news on that soon. Likewise, another copper. (By the way, Gadget’s latest mug is amusing.)
I’ve just ordered Gravity’s Engines, which looks like a very interesting read, but will probably end up being another in the long list of books which I buy because they look very interesting but end up being just a bit too dense and complicated for my tiny mind, and are thus abandoned about halfway through. This amuses my rather smug wife no end: she gets through a proper classic novel or something about synaesthesia roughly twice a week.
Robert McCrum, in The Guardian, says ‘the fog is lifting’, and that eBooks will (possibly) save hardbacks, but kill paperbacks. I think he’s right; he’s said it before, and we said it before that. (Someone probably said it before us, mind you.)
Finally, Betty Lavette: