Tim Heath's decision to go to teachers' college may have been pragmatic - they paid an allowance - but once there he was bitten by the education bug and clocked up more than forty years at the chalk face. Big schools, small schools, urban and rural schools, a stint in Samoa, and more with the Correspondence School, Tim has been there and done that.
Encapsulated by the subtitle, 'the joys, ambitions, ideals, stuff-ups and heartaches of a teaching life', this open and honest memoir brings together the professional and private lives of a thoughtful and passionate New Zealand educator. [Larger font]
Everyone enjoyed this book. An easy read and for those of us familiar with the old central Auckland schools and the Samoan community, it was a series of delightful "recognitions".
Since several of our group have a teaching background this book generated a lot of interest and discussion, although it is not a book we would recommend to anyone unless they had a special interest in school systems and teaching methods. We agreed it was well-written with an easy flow and a good range of vocabulary. There was also agreement that Jim's successes needed a personality in order to be used successfully in N.Z. classrooms.
The majority of the group were ex-teachers. While a couple of people found the book self-indulgent, most found many aspects of his story interesting and his teaching style innovative.
We found him a very self opinionated young man.
Generally the book was enjoyed. The majority thought, as the book developed, that it became what should be recommended reading for prospective teachers.
The Group all enjoyed this book, it was an easy read. The school teachers in the group contributed well to the discussion.
This book was enjoyed by all and is highly recommended. For those of us ex-teachers it was an interesting read reflecting on many good teaching practices. For the non teachers, it was a chance to share their experiences as students in classrooms.
The book prompted a good discussion.
The ex-teachers in the group enjoyed discussing Tim's approaches and views, as well as comparing them to their own. The rest enjoying recalling school days and experiences. Overall, an interesting, captivating read which everyone enjoyed for different reasons.
This was a great book. People found it interesting, easy to read and honest.
An entertaining, easy to read book which provoked a good discussion.
Great read for our group - lots of members with teaching experience!
Our members rated this book as a satisfying account of Tim's life as a teacher - we have a teacher or two among the group members.
Members enjoyed this book greatly. All agreed it is well-written and easy to read. We have a number of people who have been teachers, and Tim Heath's frustration with the current emphasis on documentation and reporting against performance indicators, was shared by all... We thought it was a very honest book, humorous and true to the experience of many of us. While the author was highly opiniated and sometimes a little full of himself, his confidence was perhaps what enabled him to make an impact in education - but did not make him easy to live with, it seemed!