In brief

24th January 2003 at 00:00
Getting the Buggers to Behave 2 By Sue Cowley Continuum pound;9.99

When I was a (not very good) head of house in an urban comprehensive, I was determined to wait for silence in order to say grace at the beginning of lunch. It was a long and difficult battle - some youths weren't even cowed by the prospect of cold chips.

The fact that Sue Cowley recognises this problem (do you wait for ever?) and offers some techniques for dealing with it, tells me that she knows the score, and that those teachers who enthused about the first edition of Getting the Buggers to Behave were right to do so. This is a book full of sound advice, founded in good practice and proper attitudes to young people. It's also, very importantly, lively and positive, reflecting the author's background as an inventive drama teacher.

This second edition has some extra material, including two new chapters - the tips on how to speed up the wait for silence comes from one of them.

The other, acknowledging the original book's secondary bias, is on primary issues, and will be of particular help to those primary teachers (including heads) who find themselves reverting all too often to the old formulae of "Shhhh!", "I'm waiting!", and "Nobody leaves until every paintbrush is back in the jar!"

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