Sunday, October 29, 2006

Book Review

There was a review of three teaching books in the Times yesterday (Sat Oct 28th), one of which was mine. The reviewer described it as 'vituperative'! Far from dictionaries or the internet, I spent the whole day in blissful ignorance of whether this was good or bad.

You can now read it here

I have no idea what 'narrative drive' means either, but apparently I have less than one of the other authors. Mrs. Chalk believes it is due to lack of fibre in my diet so I have bought one of those new fangled breakfast cereals and will keep you informed of the results.

23 comments:

Rod said...

I saw that review! It was by Francis Gilbert who wrote the cringeworthy I'm a Teacher Get Me Out Of Here. He described himself as being 'Headteacher material' which sums him up.

He did say your book was addictive though!

James H said...

People use words like that to impress us with their knowledge. If they were any good at explaining things, they would be able to come up with better known words which have the same meaning, such as 'spiteful!'

Have you got a link to the review? I can't find it on the net

Anonymous said...

silly me, I had only ever heard of "vituperative"

Anonymous said...

James H, going to www.timesonline.co.uk, typing "Frank Chalk" into the search engine elicited

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,923-2423749.html

as the second link

domino said...

It doesn't help that he can't spell (unless it's you, Mr Chalk!)

vitupertative

I like it - and intend to use it today.

london teacher said...

the comedian bob mills used to do a great act where he spent ages sucking up to the women in the audience with stuff about equal rights, sexism etc. just as he had them eating out of the palm of his hand, mills would grin and say, 'but what do i know? i'm just a fat lad desperate for a shag.'

gilbert's review was a masterpiece of the 'look at me, i CARE' school.

he misses the whole point
when it comes to the bit about punishing the whole group. what's the alternative? get the miscreant to own up? yeah, right. come back when you've done more than taught for a term as a gimmick, mate.

moreover, what the miscreants are doing is punishing the whole group, for the whole lesson, the whole term and their whole lives, by ruining the educations of those who actually want to learn.

but there's no bylines and column inches in that, are there francis?

Anonymous said...

So this Gilbert Francis bloke . . . he's some kind of luvvie or aspirant government beaurocrat, is he?

Anonymous said...

domino, best to spell words you're boasting about using correctly.

It's

vituperative

not

vitupertative

Lameduck said...

His web page is http://www.francisgilbert.co.uk/

and he doesn't half look smug.

However I suspect he is a bit jeasous; check out his own book 'Yob Nation' on Amazon and you will see that it is at about number 50 000 whereas yours is at 330.

He's an English teacher too!

Anonymous said...

I've read his first book 'I'm a teacher' He's very right on and pc but not half as funny as yours.

Tom Welsh said...

I couldn't see much resemblance between Francis Gilbert's review and your writing. When he said that some of your ideas were "educationally unacceptable", I understood that he was himself a victim of politically correct brainwashing. You can expect a lot of that kind of thing from the establishment, I'm afraid. Just as that nutter in Parliament said that David Copperfield's book was as fictional as Dickens. (Amusing, as one of Dickens' great virtues was his tremendous realism and ability to depict life as it really was lived!) Keep up the good work - being attacked by people like those is a fine compliment.

Anonymous said...

'Any publicity is good publicity' rings true here, his comments actually make your book sound worth reading (it is by the way), I usually find when a critic makes an attack like that they have their own agenda (his is jealousy which is obvious), he also has a secret admiration for your book but does his best to hide it.

Anonymous said...

If Francis is a teacher, how can he condone his own pitiful poetry?

http://www.francisgilbert.co.uk/poetry.php

lilyofthefield said...

I bought It's Your Time to read on holiday and had to change to another book on the plane because I was embarrassing my husband by laughing out loud every five minutes. Francis Gilbert clearly has a rectal blockage that requires the urgent services of Dyno-Rod.

flutter said...

I liked your book Frank! and your blog makes me laugh, I am so tempted to try and sneak one of your letters throught the system, they are so apt for our parents...

Blunt said...

[quote]Anonymous said...

If Francis is a teacher, how can he condone his own pitiful poetry?

http://www.francisgilbert.co.uk/poetry.php

13:54 [/quote]

What rubbishy poems he writes...never mind, if you can't do, teach ;)

Anonymous said...

And how far removed from the real world of 21st C schooling is Mr Gilbert and if he is in some way integral to an education system somewhere, what glory-sweetened, saint-filled academy would that be? and are there any jobs going there?

domino said...

Anonymous said...

"domino, best to spell words you're boasting about using correctly."

I guess that's what I get for copying and pasting from google ;)

Ged B said...

Francis Gilbert works at Coopers Company Coburn School, Upminster. He is the Head of English!

I don't reckon this is the sort of place where Wayne and Dwayne can be found.

yati said...

I'm halfway through your book at the moment!! I'm a Malaysian girl living in London with her English partner and worried about the education system in the UK if I have kids here!

I'll read the review once I've finished reading the book and write my own thoughts about it on my blog ;-)

By the way, I'm enjoying your book! But I'm not convinced that I want my (future) kids to be subjected by the British Education System!

Anonymous said...

Just read that review by Gilbert. Where in your book do you suggest that 'perpetrators should not be isolated'? You seemed to be forever throwing them out.

I don't remember you suggesting that copying from the board was a panacea either (as I don't reckon that you would know what it meant!) We all do it even though it's officially condemned, as it quietens an awful class down brilliantly.

Maybe he should get out of his Academy and into the real Underworld.

Genghis said...

Oh, gosh, after reading that review I realize that I'm a fossilised confrontational brute who's woefully out of touch with what really counts in education.
I am, also, deeply ashamed that I have bought Frank's book and lent or reccommended it to all my friends and aquaintances with the phrase "Read this, thank God someone's got the balls to tell the truth!".
I just don't know what to do to make amends; maybe I'll go out and hug a Hoodie and issue a grovelling apology to all the misunderstood learners I've offended and oppressed over the years with my Victorian/fascist insistence that they sit still, pay attention, read and write.
I'm so ashamed.......(sob!)

Fedupbeing lecturedbyidiots said...

whole class punishments! Do 'em all the time. What else am I supposed to do if the kid who threw the pencil won't own up?

Just give up and let them all go? That'll teach them an important life lesson. Don't own up and you'll face no punishment.

What planet do these experts live on