Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me
Winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2020.
‘The best book on teachers and children and writing that I’ve ever read. No-one has said better so much of what so badly needs saying’ – Philip Pullman
Kate Clanchy wants to change the world and thinks school is an excellent place to do it. She invites you to meet some of the kids she has taught in her thirty-year career.
Join her as she explains everything about sex to a classroom of thirteen-year-olds. As she works in the school ‘Inclusion Unit’, trying to improve the fortunes of kids excluded from regular lessons because of their terrifying power to end learning in an instant. Or as she nurtures her multicultural poetry group, full of migrants and refugees, watches them find their voice and produce work of heartbreaking brilliance.
While Clanchy doesn’t deny stinging humiliations or hide painful accidents, she celebrates this most creative, passionate and practically useful of jobs. Teaching today is all too often demeaned, diminished and drastically under-resourced. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me will show you why it shouldn’t be.
Uncompromising, penetratingly clear-sighted and fiercely humane. Few, if any, more essential memoirs will be published this year * The Lady * An engaging, continuously interesting book, and an encouraging one. It is full of good stories and I don't think anyone could read it without having his or her understanding deepened and sympathies engaged -- Allan Massie * Scotsman * Kate Clanchy, a prizewinning poet, draws on thirty years of teaching in state schools to produce a "revelatory picture of school life, and a fascinating look at the role education plays". Clanchy doesn't dodge the hard knocks, but what comes through from her personal stories is the transformative power of good teaching. -- Tom Gatti * Economia * An enthralling and often profoundly moving insight into life in British schools today. * Bookseller * Her insights therefore avoid the vague generalisations we might find in a government report and come with the practical wisdom of a teacher on the ground . . . We need people like Clanchy * Guardian * Funny, cynical, inspiring . . . [Clanchy has] a wicked way of describing failure in the education system -- Andrew Billen * The Times * An engrossing read - a fascinating memoir of a career dedicated to educating a generation of young people. Highly recommended, and downright essential for fellow teachers * Culturefly * Honest and heartwarming -- Stylist, 2019's best non-fiction books Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is an honest and heartwarming look at a career path that is often demeaned, diminished and under-resourced, and will show you why it shouldn't be -- Sarah Shaffi * Stylist * These sometimes painful, often funny reports provide a valuable insight into the young lives flailing, striving and blossoming in the nation's classrooms -- Stephen Kelman, author of Pigeon English Beautifully written and full of heart. Kate Clanchy has written a love letter to teachers everywhere, to remind us all that as children we begin with tolerance and love -- Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness Inspiring, moving and funny . . . A book that will appeal not just to other teachers and parents, but to anyone who cares about education. Her classroom anecdotes are inspiring, mortifying, energising and moving. I'd give her an A* -- Alex O'Connell * The Times * One of the most inspiring books about teaching you'll ever read . . . superbly well written . . . brilliantly funny . . . read this book -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * The best book on teachers and children and writing that I've ever read. No-one has said better so much of what so badly needs saying. I want to see this book become a bestseller, I want to see it in every staffroom, I want to see it read by every student teacher. This is a wonderful achievement * Philip Pullman *
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