My life in books - Tim Williams

22nd April 2011 at 01:00

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

The Bible

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.

If you would like to share your life in books with other teachers, email

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today