Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wizard of Oz

A whole pile of reviews from the Aussie Press arrived today with one or two gems for your amusement. My favourite was from Christopher Bantick, an education commentator writing in the Melbourne Daily:

"This book is one of the most dismal, morale deadening, defeatist and utterly miserable accounts of teaching that you're ever likely to encounter"

I think that's a great turn of phrase and will shamelessly use it myself. He goes on to add:

"This book reflects the life of a loser who should never have entered the classroom"

Well I can't argue with that.

Fortunately he has some good advice for those just starting out in teaching:

'Take risks and live out your calling' which sounds great to me. Our Teacher Recruitment people will be knocking on his door before long. Poor old Ceri will be out of a job.

Anyway, I've emailed Christopher to see if he would be interested in writing a forward for my next book, but haven't heard back yet.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he's ever been in a classroom, or is he a member of the "kaftan wearing lecturing classes?"(shamelessly lifted from Police Inspector Blog)

Jamie said...

I wonder what exactly an Aussie journalist knows about the British education systems, and what goes on inside it? Probable answer is: Not very much!

Rick said...

I wouldn't worry about his comments. After all, his great great grandfather probably got his passage down under 'gratis' after a sheep stealing incident...

Anonymous said...

Quick! Destroy all evidence of that review before Ed Balls reads it, and decides that you are to blame for the low morale in the teaching profession.

Cynical

oldandrew said...

You seem to have forgotten that anyone who says behaviour is a problem in our schools is a bad teacher who hates kids.

It's even worse if you provide evidence for it, then you can be struck off.

Anonymous said...

Fuck him, Frank. It's when you get attacks like that from the press and academics that you know you've hit the nail on the head. It's the elephant in the room senario; everyone knows it's there, but dare not say anything about it.

Orwell wrote: "Telling the truth is a revolutionary act" You've told the truth and people don't like to hear the truth. Good on ya.

Dave said...

Please don't think of the Aussies as the descendants of convicts.

Many are descended from warders.

Mr Bantick sounds like one.

Anonymous said...

Google him, there's some interesting references. I don't think he's ever had to do any teaching though, like so many do-gooders who wouldn't last five minutes in a crap comp but yet feel free to comment and advise.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off the point, but following up on the 'truth' aspect...recently attended a nationally organised training event for headteachers, and hidden among the gems was an item that gradually lit the fuse of resentment; headteacher replacement, or 'succession planning' as it now so coyly termed. By the afternoon of the last day the headteachers revolted and began to just 'tell it as it is' and this was met with some very stony looks from the presenters, and a lot of uncomfortable vibes around the room - and that's the point - even WE felt uncomfortable telling the truth. Makes you out to be a complete tosser with a loser label attached to your forehead. How sad for us all.

Steve at the Pub said...

Convicts were made of far sterner stuff than this Christopher Bantick is.

To survive a couple of years in a Thames prison hulk, then a three to six month journey chained below decks (average survival less than 2/3) one had to be made of steel.

This Darwinian natural selection process is what made average Aussies so much tougher than average British.

It is an insult to the descendants of convicts to even suggest that Christopher Bantick has what it takes to be one of us.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Aussie who, having read a review (not the CB one), bought the book intending to give it to my first year teacher daughter. I loved the book, but on reflection, decided not to give it to her until she has been teaching for a bit longer and is better equipped to see the funny side of things. It really is depressing reading when one considers that the majority of kids (in OZ at least) are great and will learn if given the opportunity to do so, but whose potential is compromised by the bad behaviour of a few yobs with appalling parents who just don't give a stuff.
Our school system seems to be in somewhat better shape than the British one, but is probably heading down the same road if nothing is done about stupid decisions and rulings from ivory tower academics and bleeding heart child behaviour 'experts' who have absolutely no idea of what is happening in the real world.
Every academic and expert involved with decisions about discipline should be forced to spend a couple of weeks in a real classroom in a public school in a lower socio-economic area, so that they can see for themselves just what teachers have to put up with every day.

Doug said...

I wonder what the old boy would say about this book.....

Piss on him.

http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/

Boy on a bike said...

Melbourne Daily? Never heard of it (but then again, I live in sydney).

I told three ex-teaching friends of mine to get your book. All loved it. 2 out of 3 had taught in schools a bit like yours, and given up after a few years of beating their forehead against a wall.

The IT Girl said...

Heya, off topic from the other comments I guess but just thought I'd stop by and say that I can't WAIT to get your book!

I just found you via the Monday Books site. I'm no teacher (I work in IT) but I love the blog and will be keeping up with you from now on!

Elle

Anonymous said...

If only Christopher had spent time in a classroom then he would have a different opinion!

Anonymous said...

Bah humbug to all of the press! I am an Aussie and no matter how shocking your tales in your book are, I love it to death! But i guess most of the time and this is sad and true, if you tell the truth about people/soiciaty/mankind often you are scorned. What a bunch of vain people we are! :D

Anonymous said...

I'm an ex-teaching Aussie and I LOVED your book. The bastard's probably a private school boy - wouldn't have a clue what public schools are like nowadays. I know many teachers, like myself, who've left precisely because of the issues you've described. I'd love for him to spend a day with the kids I used to teach!

Speedicut said...

A bit late to this (only just stumbled across your blog). A few years back I dealt briefly with Chris. He did seem to take himself rather seriously.

I will keep an eye out for the book.

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