Monday, July 15, 2013

Teacher, Teacher!

Back in the distant days of January this year Librarian posted a review of the book Village Teacher the fourth in a series of six books by Jack Sheffield.  It sounded good enough to risk buying and on Amazon I took advantage of a special offer and bought the whole six for the price of one.  Over the last few days I read the first in the series: Teacher, Teacher!

Over the last few years I have read a few books by former teachers calling on their experiences in that profession: The Other Side of the Dale by Gervase Phinn and Freda Bream's  Chalk, Dust and Chewing Gum being two of them.  I didn't post on them unfortunately.   Freda Bream was a New Zealander who also wrote about her experiences as a postie in Whistles for the Postie and a host of who dunnits as well as another book of her teaching experiences I'm Sorry, Amanda.   Gervase Phinn has written more books following his experiences in education.

The one thing about being a teacher is that there is a wealth of material to be called upon if one is inclined to use it.  All three authors have very easy, comfortable and amusing writing styles.  

In Teacher, Teacher! Jack Sheffield has introduced a 'love interest' without interfering with the 'stories' of life during his first year as the head teacher of a village school in Yorkshire during 1977-78.  The book had me laughing out loud on several occasions and made me feel very sad on others.  It's a light read and a very enjoyable read.  It's also, in my view, well written.  One would have to work hard not to enjoy it.  
In speaking of the school groundsman - a former farmer - he says: "It (soil) was his creation following many hours of honest toil by a man who had grown old in the bosom of nature and measured time in the changing of the seasons." 
It having been agreed that a fortune teller known to the school Caretaker, Ruby, would be asked to tell fortunes at the school fete: " 'Will you let her know please, Ruby?' asked Anne. 'Perhaps she knows already' said Sally mischievously".  
Librarian's review is here.


  1. Graham, I am glad you enjoyed this book, since you bought the series after my recommendation, and it would have been a bit embarrassing for me if they'd have left you disappointed.
    I have seen Gervase Phinn's books in the three bookshops I've visited in Ripon, but haven't bought any of those (yet). I wonder if my mother-in-law knows them, she'd probably enjoy them and then send me her copies in her next Christmas or birthday parcel.

  2. I'm very glad that I bought them Meike: excellent light reading.