Tim Williams is an English teacher at Andrew Marvell Business and Enterprise College, Hull.What I'm reading
Getting the Buggers to Behave By Sue Cowley
I find any book on classroom management intriguing. This book is readable as Cowley writes with a charming tone, approaching the reader like a friend rather than as an adviser. But scenarios seem a little contrived and, at times, the explanations of correction are convoluted. The bedrock to effective teaching is good classroom discipline. Rephrasing "discipline" as "behaviour management" suggests that bad behaviour does not exist. The book, therefore, misses the point.
The book I loved as a child
I was a committed Christian until I was 14, attending Sunday mass with my nan. I always read, studied and, more importantly, believed the Old Testament's teachings. However, I discredited the book as fiction when I approached my later teens due to contemporaries' atheist beliefs. The narrative may be didactic and preachy, but the Bible is crammed with fascinating stories with plenty to occupy a child's mind.
Read this before you die
The Grapes of Wrath By John Steinbeck
I relished the discovery of this novel. Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on the Joad family's pilgrimage from Oklahoma to California. The book champions the humanity of the working class and has an accessible prose style as the Joads seek jobs, land, dignity and a future. Particularly important is the journey of the novel's protagonist, Tom Joad. The novel was dismissed as Communist propaganda but Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962.
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