Thursday, 9 June 2016

Summer Skool

Summer Skool is an interesting book about being a teacher. Because it is written by a real teacher, Edmund Irons.

Edmund Irons spent 20 years working as a PR consultant, an industrial editor and a copywriter. He also wrote a number of books, news and feature articles.

Eventually he decided that he had had quite enough of the demanding clients and their often impossibly tight deadlines, so he decided that he would retrain as a teacher, instead.

After all, wouldn't that be a much quieter, calmer lifestyle? A nice, steady income, all those long holidays and never home later than 5pm!

And then, reality hit home and Edmund found himself in a highly stressful job, that was very time consuming and one in which newly qualified teachers could often finds themselves putting in 12 hour days.  And assailed by problem pupils and problem educational policies, too!

During his first year as a newly qualified teacher Edmund found work as a supply teacher, working throughout a total of in excess of a dozen different schools.

He realised that many pupils at the different schools he worked in all used the same tactics during lessons to disrupt the learning process.

"But how and where could they be learning these tactics?" he thought, idly.

Eventually such musings caused him to wonder if someone, somewhere, was offering pupils lessons in the art of disrupting the learning process?

These thoughts eventually coalesced into the book Summer Skool which is about a group of boys who take special classes to learn tactics to disrupt lessons and bring chaos to the classrooms.

And they then test out their newly obtained skills on the put upon Mr Godfrey.

Although the book is humorous, Edmund does point out that it has a serious side to it, as he hopes that if read by teachers -both old and new hands at the education game- it might help them develop a better understanding of what is happening in their classrooms.

We watch as pupils learn the "no pen" trick, the use of relevant conversation to delay a teacher, what break time is really for, the masterful employment of misdirection, the use of blinds to interfere with the lesson and so on.

It's published by Matador Education, so if you are a teacher, or you know a teacher, or if you have children or you were a child at one stage in your life, this book -at £8.99 in paperback- is worth every penny!

It's available from the that's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find to the right hand side of this book review.

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