Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons

A Compendium of Careful Advice for Teachers

By: Nina Jackson


£16.99

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Size: 182 x 222mm

Pages : 240

ISBN : 9781781351345

Format: Paperback

Published: May 2015


Education is like a sherbet lemon: we need the structures and systems ' the hard exterior ' but we can easily lose sight of the magic that is at the heart of this; the teaching and learning ' the fizz in the centre. Nina Jackson's mission in Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons is to put the fizz back into classrooms by solving some of the toughest dilemmas facing teachers. You know the child in the class who never asks that burning question because they worry it might make them look silly, even if everyone else is thinking the same thing? Sometimes teachers can be like that child. And they don't know where to turn to get the answers. That is where Nina comes in. The teachers' questions in Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons have been anonymised, but Nina's answers will resonate with teachers everywhere, offering support and practical advice.

Topics covered include:

  • learner engagement and motivation
  • group work
  • spoon feeding
  • feedback
  • dyslexia
  • ADD and ADHD
  • self harm
  • pushy parents
  • bereavement
  • music in the classroom
  • the transition from primary to secondary school
  • action research
  • school councils
  • and INSET days.

Suitable for all teachers ' from NQTs to experienced teacher ' across all subject-specialisms and phases; from primary to higher education.


Picture for author Nina Jackson

Nina Jackson

Nina Jackson is an international education consultant who has a breathtaking grasp of what makes classrooms, children and their teachers tick. She's a leading practitioner in all areas of teaching and learning with particular expertise in special educational needs, digital technology and mental and emotional health. She has transformed learning and teaching in some of the most challenging schools in the UK as well as working extensively with schools on the international circuit.

An accredited Apple Teacher, winner of the IPDA International Prize for Education and described by the TES as an inspirational, evangelical preacher of education', Nina is a tour-de-force when it comes to enlivening teaching and learning for all.

Nina is one of the happiest, most effervescent personalities in education today and puts her own learning, and the learning of others, at the heart of everything she believes in.

Ninjas and Sherbet Lemons ' Nina Jackson in the Time Out Room ' PP179


Reviews

  1. “When your mojo is playing hide and seek, you have to surround yourself with fizzy and frothy people and fizzy and jazzy resources. Bubbly things help bring the effervescence back to the surface and help you find the sparkle again.”

    One resource that definitely does that for me is Nina Jackson's Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbert Lemons, a humorous and highly accessible book full of the fizzy stuff and “dedicated to the teachers I've met who feel like they've lost their zing, their fizzle, their buzz -¦ The teachers who want the sherbet back in their sherbet lemons.”

    This book is a collection of intelligent counsel and practical ideas to help all teachers discover and re-discover their fizz “without blame, guilt or a hidden agenda.”

    There is certainly plenty to go at with 33 short chapters devoted to tricky and delicate themes and questions posed by teachers. These stretch from mutism, engagement, dyslexia, inclusiveness, ambition, group work, behaviour and pushy parents to special learning spaces, action research, stutters and stammers, inset day blues, music, motivation, professional relationships, ADD, ADHD, dyspraxia-¦and more. This book has life force written into every page.

    Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons is an incredibly insightful and inspiring book and is every chapter offers something new to kick-start your thinking and uplift it too. One of my favourite chapters, I've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, appears about a third of the way through and perhaps should have come right at the start.

    It's a great reminder of what teaching and learning means and why we ever chose this crazy profession in the first place. It encourages you to press pause and think about your career choice and what you would miss if you weren't teaching. Nina Jackson encourages us to reflect on who we are and what amazing value teaching adds to our lives. She says,

    “When was the last time you stopped, thought about you and told yourself that you are doing a damn fine job in putting the teaching and learning of the children first. At the end of the day, you are your own resource, so if you focus on the reasons why you came into teaching then I'm confident it will help you get your lovin' feeling back.”

    If I have made this book sound like it will change your life then I apologise because it won't: it will fire up your Ninja thinking though, fill you with hope and inject you with plenty of energy so you can start kicking and punching again. It will undoubtedly go some considerable way to helping you find your passion for the best job in the world.



    No book is a magic wand but Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons will remind you page after page about the magic of teaching, the vigour it can give you and the vitality you can give back. -˜Sherbet lemon' isn't just the password into Professor Dumbledore's Headmaster's office, it should also be the password into every staffroom: if you haven't got your zing then you're not coming in.

    Click here to see the article on the Teacher Toolkit website.
  2. Teaching is a profession to be proud of. Every day, as practitioners, we are faced with a wide range of situations which require us to find quick solutions or to think long and hard at finding the best way to support our learners to progress and achieve their full potential. Every day we ask ourselves questions and wonder whether we have done the right thing or are strong enough to carry on! Learning never stops for teachers.

    So Nina Jackson offers us a book full of those tricky questions teachers have asked her over the years. Some practical and factual questions, but also some delicate and moving ones. Questions about learners with learning differences, like mutism, dyslexia or dysgraphia; learners with mental health issues, self-harming or grieving; learners who progress from primary to secondary school. Questions about educational theories like assessment for learning, target setting, feedback or learning styles. Questions about how to use ILT and move into the digital era of teaching. Questions about our teaching career, self-reflection, CPD, becoming a manager or dealing with pushy parents.

    With her accessible and humorous style, Nina offers a safe platform from which we can observe a range of tried strategies and possible paths, reflect on (e)resources available and review our own preferences and motivation so we can move forward feeling more confident and reenergised, ready to sort an issue and tackle the next challenge. As we try to cram in every last drop of the curriculum, tick every box created for us in schools and complete endless reports, Nina reminds us of our core purpose with learners : “feed the mind to feed the brain”. She encourages us to break the mould if necessary, to push the boundaries and to try innovative, fun and engaging activities with learners (i.e. DIRTy time, Learning buffet, Jot 3, Music, UPS or Wall of Wonder).

    The strength of this book comes from the fact that Nina mixes recognised and new pedagogical theories with hands on practical activities and visual posters for displaying in the classrooms or in the office. Technology features throughout the book with useful pointers to sites, creative apps or ILT tips to encourage engagement, learning or reflection. Music is also discussed with passion to prove how it can feature in classrooms and act as motivator and learning aid for learners.

    Teachers always want to be the best they can be for their students and Nina reignites our passion for teaching so we can continue to change people's lives through education. If we can also share best practice with colleagues to reassure ourselves that we are not alone in tackling these multi-faceted issues, we will benefit endlessly both on a professional and personal level. Nina Jackson, the Ninja, reminds us of the many reasons why we decided to become teachers and engages us in a thought- provoking dialogue.

    This is a book we will keep handy for years to come as its structure allows us to dip in and out of it easily. As our classes change and we meet new students, all with very individual learning needs, we might find ourselves asking for Nina's honest advice again and again. Safe in her embrace (cwtch) and ready for the bumpy but exciting ride of our teaching career!
  3. A book to suck the life out of and go back for more.

    Not only is this book full of fizzing ideas, but it is full of strong, crunchy, thought provoking advice to young and old teachers alike. I read this book over the summer and it took me the whole summer to read it as I had to re-read each chapter twice to make sure I had sucked the life out of every glorious page, both with the wise words and the lovely graphics.

    It is the kind of book that when you think -˜I just need to ask someone this question' you can turn to the page and there in glorious black and white is a well thought out solution and some sage questions for you to think about to help solve your problem. All brought together with the magic touch that comes with the experience and true passion that Nina has to share with her reader.

    Nina has such a passion for sharing her knowledge with the reader that I can hear her voice in my head as I read and especially her wonderful laugh. I especially loved the chapter on the -˜Selective Mute' as I encountered my first ever situation with this in my tutor group and have put her strategies into practice and cannot tell you how far we have come in a mere five weeks.

    I cannot recommend this book enough if you are looking for clear, usable advice, with solutions that you can implement straight away and ones that will challenge you to think about as well. Keep a copy on your desk labelled as I am sure it will get used and come back sticky, like all good sweets should be.



    Go on, suck away.
  4. Everyone should read this book from trainee teachers to those of us who are a little more long in the tooth. It is filled with top tips and practical advice from Nina who draws upon her many years of experience in schools. Wonderfully written, easy to read and very accessible - a must buy!
  5. As any teacher will tell you, day to day teaching has many sour and sweet moments. From the elation when the learning -˜clicks' with the students, to seeing the misery, stress and isolation when a learner struggles with stubborn roadblocks to moving forward. Whether you are tweaking your lesson to make marginal improvement, or addressing an impasse in the learning of a student, seeking advice and asking the right questions is key.

    Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons has been written with the aim of providing sound advice to teachers at their fingertips and to put the fizz back into their teaching. The book is written as a series of questions from real teachers and then attempts to answer them. The thirty-three question themes include student behavioural and confidence issues, managing staff and parent interactions, implementing action research, meeting special needs of pupils, and much more.

    Nina has used the questions as a starting point for covering a slew of related learning areas. The answers are succinctly written in bullet points for quick reference and interlaced with longer explanations and useful, well designed resources, and often differentiated into early years, primary and secondary sections where different approaches are needed. The book's conversational and jargon-free style makes it an effortless read.

    Jackson expertly goes beyond the obvious and offers innovative ideas to bring that extra something to your lessons. The book encompasses both the -˜big picture' of education and well as offering advice for small tweaks to improve the minutiae details of your teaching and your students' learning.



    If you're looking for a book that will add -˜sweet moments' to your teaching everyday, and one which helps you to explore new ideas for your classroom, then I highly recommend this book. While experienced teachers will find plenty to use and refer to in this compendium of advice to refresh their teaching, it is with relativity new teachers, in their first few years of teaching where this book will prove invaluable and is essential reading for ITT students and NQTs.
  6. Another book packed full of questions, strategies and advice to -˜put your fizz back into teaching'.

    The book is set out as chapters of questions posted by teachers (NQTs, primary, secondary, further, leadership). Nina then answers the questions with her thoughts followed by things to think about, strategies to try and resources to use. I really like the suggested activities, I think this will be a good reference book to use throughout the year as it is set out in a good -˜go to' format if you are stuck through the year - find the problem and look at the suggested strategies.

    My favourite chapter is number 10 - Special Learning Spaces. This is because Nina suggests that it is ok for children to choose where they learn best and that some children simply learn best under a table or in a hidden area! This is something I really believe in and support my children to comment on. Last year if a child felt they worked best sitting on the carpet they could do so! I also had a quiet area with a sheet around and some comfy cushions - this was like an -˜invitation' only area where myself or my teaching assistant could invite a child to sit or the children could ask to move there. In this area they were blocked out from the rest of the class and had the option of wearing sound cancelling headphones - some children really thrived in this area, others weren't interested and that was fine with me! The benefit of my current classroom is that it opens straight onto the playground - I would love to have an outside area with access all year round (a bit like a reception classroom) but that will stay on my wish list forever I think! Instead, on a warm day I invited two children to pull their table outside the classroom door onto the playground and complete their maths work outside - the classroom door remained open but the fresh air and a bit more space seemed to do the trick! They loved it! I will definitely be working on getting to know my new class so that I can create the best learning environment possible.

    I would recommend purchasing this book for a school book shelf as a reference book for all staff.



    Read the original review here.  
  7. There are two sorts of people in this world. Those who appreciate a candy-based metaphor (to whom, may we also point you in the direction of Twitter for teachers via Skittles!) and those for whom such things are beneath their intellect. Such metaphors aren't scientifically proven, you see, and, to be honest, it all sounds a bit childish.

    Because you're a sparky teacher, we know you'll be in the first group. Ain't nowt wrong with a sweet simile.

    At the outset, we should declare an interest in Nina Jackson's latest book -” Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons. We were given the honour of illustrating it. Nina had developed useful resources for the end of each chapter and our job was to sherbet-lemon-ify them. It was a pleasure to be asked and we hope we've retained Nina's fizz. Can an illustrator review -” without bias -” a book they've illustrated? We'll do our best.

    Here goes-¦

    If you were asked to describe teaching and learning in your classroom in terms of candy, what sweet would you choose?

    No.1 The Mint Humbug

    Traditional. Rather regimented. Black and white. You know where you are with a classroom like this.

    No.2 The Gobstopper

    Keeps -˜em quiet for a while, but it sucks.

    No.3 The Pear Drop

    Looks like any other lesson, until the sinking feeling of what's about to happen arrives. No subtlety -” the equivalent of being bashed over the head with a brick. Leaves you with a nasty taste in the mouth.

    No.4 The Toffee

    Learning to chew over and get to grips with. Sticks with you. Three days later you find it's still there.

    No.5 The Popping Candy

    All-singing, all-dancing teaching and learning. Is it even a lesson? Full of additives, hyperactive and gone in 60 seconds. Learners left wondering “What was *THAT* all about?”

    And then there's-¦

    No.6 The Sherbet Lemon

    In her new book, Nina Jackson takes the sherbet lemon as a metaphor to describe outstanding teaching and learning. Teaching and learning with fizz at its centre. With a bit of bite about it. Zingy. Inspirational. Motivational. Dare we say it, sparky?

    As well as being the author's favourite sweet, the lemon sherbet lends itself to a metaphor that runs throughout the book. As she says of the shell: “We need the solid exterior -” the rigour, the rules, the system and the structures -” to make everything work.” and then, of the centre: “it is here, at the core of teaching and learning, where the most magical things take place, where the real fizz happens. This is the part that really makes everything worthwhile.”

    Apparently, Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons (or OTLaSL as it shall henceforth be known) was originally going to be a book called -˜Dear Nina'. The intention was for the author to give sage advice in answer to teachers' questions. The book developed in a slightly different way, but Nina Jackson has retained the original Q&A and “wise advice” feel. If you've ever picked the brains (or wanted to) of someone who has been teaching longer than you and valued the advice you've been given, this is the book for you.

    Nina Jackson is one of those people who you wish you'd learned from in school as a student and who you wish you'd learned alongside in school as a teacher. If you've met her, you won't have failed to notice her genuine care for children and been swept along by her enthusiasm. After writing that sentence, it was interesting to note that a quote on the back of the book uses the words “swept along” too. Some teachers are infectious. Nina is one.

    OTLaSL contains 33 chapters, each one taking a question as its starting point. The author then goes on to give practical advice, things to think about and resources to use to help. Topics covered include:
    how to engage and motivate students
    the art of useful feedback
    what to do when faced with a student who just doesn't talk or a quiet, introverted class
    developing digital leaders
    tips for a smooth transition into secondary school
    how to re-find the love of teaching in the fact of endless directives and paperwork
    supporting children who face bereavement
    deciding if you are leadership material and thinking ambitiously

    We all have questions we face as teachers. Who or what we have as a “go to” for the answers isn't always simple. It's not easy for someone who has been teaching for five or six years to admit that they're not sure what to do about the child who is self-harming. It's difficult to admit they don't know quite how to deal with the feeling that they've lost their spark and teaching has become a chore. Where do you turn? Your family? Your boss? Other teachers on Twitter? How about turning to one of the most-respected teachers around? Someone whose experience teaching students in difficult settings, those with special needs, and whose experience training teachers all over the world, stands her in great stead as (for want of a better description) an agony aunt you can trust.

    If “value-added” is more than the improvement in test scores as your students move through school-¦
    if you are just as bothered (or more so) about the emotional, mental and social well-being of your students as whether they've achieved a C or above-¦
    if all you want is to give all your students access to learning, help them be all they can be and develop the life-skills for what lies beyond their school days-¦
    if the words magic, awe and wonder aren't wishy-washy nonsense but concrete things you aspire to achieving-¦
    and if you are not above questioning yourself or asking questions that show your lack of knowledge-¦
    this book is probably for you.

    And if none of those sentences are true of you-¦
    this book is most definitely for you. Don't deal in pear drops. May it return your fizz.



    See the original review here.
  8. Why sherbet lemons? Well it's pretty simple, really - what makes a sherbet lemon so special is the fizz in the middle. You can't see it from the outside, and it can often take quite a lot of dedication to get to it ... but it's there, and that combination of a solid exterior and zingy centre is what creates an exceptional eating experience. Nina Jackson knows that great teaching needs both structure and sparkle, and this '·,s the basis of every snippet of sound advice she shares in this vibrant, warm and wise work. In each chapter she addresses real queries and dilemmas from actual teachers, offering not only strategies to solve them, but an acute, non-patronising understanding of how the situation may have developed in the first place.
  9. I had the great good fortune of attending, in the 1970s, a primary school blessed with a group of highly innovative teachers for whom the child was very much the centre. The mantra of George Hartley, the head who had recruited them, was that each child had his or her own unique talents and that it was the role of the school to fan these into a flame. The range of talents within the pupil body might be very diverse, but each was to be celebrated as a God-given gift that should be developed, not only for the good of the children themselves, but ultimately for society as a whole. The head's vision for his students was ambitious and saw beyond the day when they would leave the school to move on to the local secondary schools. Allied to this was his desire to encourage learners to pursue intellectual lines of enquiry as far as they could take them, using the resources of the school and local library and enthused by the passions of the teachers. The message we, as children, received loud and clear was that learning was meant to be exciting and fun, an exploration of the wonderful world around us and of the ideas of those who had shaped it. There was a good dose of seventies optimism about all this, but the feeling was palpable that the old, more rigid educational philosophies of the past had been thrown off and more creative approaches to learning embraced.

    Hartley would, I feel, have recognised a kindred spirit in Nina Jackson. Her latest book, Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons, advances an equally pupil-centred and humane view of education, one that, while grounded in academic research and sound pedagogy, is thoroughly imbued with the author's infectious, almost missionary enthusiasm for the process of teaching and learning. The reference in the title to sherbet lemons is not accidental. As Jackson makes clear in her introduction, -˜fizz' is what the book is all about and refers to the excitement generated in the best lessons, when the learning process suddenly comes alive for the students. Pursuing her metaphor, she talks about breaking through the hard but necessary exterior of the sherbet lemon to access the fizz within, a theme that shapes her whole thesis with its balanced but stimulating emphasis on the need for teachers to recover the motivation that brought them into teaching in the first place. 

    The book is remarkable for the range of topics it covers. Jackson deals with issues as diverse as pushy parents, dysgraphia, the digital revolution, learning styles and self-harm, as well as the area for which she is perhaps best known, the therapeutic value of music in education. In all, she is keen to engage readers in lively discussion, encouraging us to try the very practical hints she gives and to get back to her with feedback. Her energy and enthusiasm, with the sense she gives of being on the side of teachers overwhelmed by bureaucracy and form-filling, mean that one is swept along by her positive vision of how wonderful the teaching vocation can still be. The book is best read a chapter a day in the first instance, each being a self-contained whole that can be absorbed and reflected on before moving onto the next. After this, it can be treated as a resource to be dipped into as time allows, its value being not only to enthuse the jaded professional but also as a call to action. The question and answer format that begins each section quickly draws the reader in, the imaginary teacher asking the question always being treated with respect and sensitivity and the dilemmas posed being a compendium of contemporary teaching hot topics. 

    There are so many valuable ideas and references here that no-one who feels inclined to follow up Jackson's insights will be short of material. What makes the book especially appealing is that she wears her learning lightly and anyone who has ever been put off by educational jargon when approaching a book of this kind will soon be reassured. Jackson is aware that tired teachers sometimes approach INSET in a mood of terror mingled with boredom, and she is clearly determined to avoid the pitfalls that lurk at every corner for the author straying into this territory. There is a very real sense that she cares about the difficulties teachers face in the classroom and that, not only does she want to help, she also wishes to inspire. I recommend Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons unreservedly to anyone who feels that their teaching lacks the -˜fizz' their students deserve. If you feel you spend all your time sucking the sherbet lemon, only to find that nothing lurks within. Jackson amply fulfils her aim of putting the inspiration back.
  10. Nina Jackson sets out to put the fizz back into classrooms by offering solutions to the toughest teaching dilemmas.
  11. Having heard Nina Jackson speak at a recent head's conference in Cornwall I was keen to read “Of Teaching, Learning and Sherbet Lemons”. I was not disappointed. Read it, if only to remind you why we all do what we do-¦

    The book takes as its starting point real questions from teachers to which Nina Jackson brings a fresh and pragmatic wisdom combining useful information, practical tools and resources and deceptively simple advice shot through with a -˜mission' to put the fizz back into classrooms often these days dulled by the straightjacket of much education policy and the terrifying workload teachers face.

    As someone with a particular interest in a whole school approach to wellbeing for the whole school community I was pleased to find that questions related to the wellbeing of pupils and staff are present throughout the book underlying that emotional and physical wellbeing are the key ingredients for any school that wants to put the fizz front and centre.

    I loved the eclectic and wide-ranging nature of the questions and the way they are presented, tempting the reader to dip in and be surprised.
    I can see us using the ideas in our training and support for schools and the best review I can give is the number of copies we've bought to give to our teachers-¦ and we'll make sure we'll be taking sherbet lemons with us wherever we take the book-¦
  12. Nina's book is so refreshing- and just like the sherbet lemons it's full of fizz! But don't be fooled by the relaxed style and easy readability! This book is packed with some serious advice and guidance which will be of use to anyone working in a school. Whether you're an experienced head teacher or just starting out as a classroom assistant I can guarantee you'll find plenty in here to make you think, to challenge you, to help you, and yes, even to amuse you on those difficult days. The user-friendly layout means it's a useful guidebook for when you're seeking help or inspiration in a specific area, but it's also a book you can read through from start to finish and I'm sure you won't put it down without being left with some great ideas.
  13. This book is packed full of such practical advice and stunning resources, covering so many different issues that learners, teachers and parents are facing every day. It should be provided as a reference book for every teacher on teacher training courses (and those already in the profession) as it provides not only a toolkit for dealing with those challenges that we all face but also helps us to realise that we are not alone. At its heart is the importance of learning for all - teachers included. I hope that the posters and the wonderful artwork will be available for us all to display because they are so powerful and meaningful. Just fantastic. 

    Comments on some of the chapters:

    Effective introduction, where the imagery of the sherbet lemon works well “Nina comes over well as a benevolent agony aunt, as “an impartial, caring, experienced educator.” I am sure many teachers can relate well to the turned off teacher who has lost their fizz, becoming “all hard exterior and no exciting middle.” 

    In Chapter 2 the words. “Learning how to motivate and engage your learners is one of the most powerful skills you need to embed in your daily teaching and learning routines,” powerfully makes a simple but central and pivotal point; this issue is right at the heart of every day teaching and learning! This is a useful and stimulating chapter and the use of music as a means of pupil engagement is interesting. I love the idea of engagement being seen in “the sparkle in their eyes”

    In Chapter 3 Nina clearly defines the term inclusion as: “Inclusion is the term we give to the belief and practice that all pupils can be taught in mainstream education with their chronologically age-appropriate peers. The idea is that with the necessary support and services for pupils with learning difficulties or disabilities in place, then a general education can be provided in all classrooms.” There are some helpful ideas with having to cope with the reality of inclusion - the SLIM is wonderful - it should be printed out and put in every staffroom.

    I like the way in Chapter 5, where Dyslexia is seen as not being a disability, even to the point of it perhaps being a gift, if the person is aware of that they have also strengths and talents. It is encouraging to hear that Dyslexia - “is only a disability when a young person is unable to develop skills and strategies to get past the problems it throws up or lets it get in the way of other learning tasks and activities.”
    A seminal and useful Chapter for teachers to reflect on a most important issue. The quality of 11 year old Olivia's letter speaks well for the work of teachers at Moon Hall College. Is the reply from Mr Gove referred to included or have I missed it?

    Chapter 8 deals with the issue of pushy parents with some good advice and a refreshing approach to holistic education. We are there to encourage all learners to be the best they can be and develop the whole child. Later on in the book, this idea comes through more strongly with the beautiful phrase “the invisible stamp” which, I think, sums up what should be every teacher's approach to every learner in their class.

    The teacher's school mentioned in Chapter 18 appears to have a lot to do about improving the quality of INSET provided, and makes the crucial point, “continuing professional development - or professional learning - is crucial for us as practitioners, as long as it serves to make us even better at what we do.” Nina, rightfully summarises that “the right INSET at the right time and for the right reasons can be extremely powerful.” Her advice to “Take your inspiration from the format of the ever-popular Teach Meets,” is very useful. A very helpful chapter.
    Chapter 20 deals helpfully with the issue of bereavement. The advice given in Chapter 21 helps to confront a difficult professional issue in the working relationship of a teacher with her line manager. The suggestion to “Ask formally for her to 
    come into your lessons, either to chat with the pupils about their learning or to do a lesson observation,” is sound and should bring about some resolution of the questionable relationship either one way or the other.

    Chapter 22 seems to bring the imagery of the sherbet lemon back into focus. The title “Where's the spark gone?” could well be Where's the fizz gone? The chapter does encourage the teacher to reflect upon why the fizz appears to have gone out of class lessons. Is it the fault of those in the class or perhaps more importantly does it have something to do with the teacher?

    In Chapter 23 the reader is usefully told that “dysgraphia is a neurological disorder linked with-¦-¦.challenges, such as poor handwriting-¦-¦-¦-¦. -˜Dys' means -˜difficulty' and -˜graphia' relates to -˜writing.” This is a useful interpretation of the original Greek and might have appeared earlier in the book, for example when Dyslexia was being so well discussed. Perhaps these chapters on Dyspraxia (Chapter 30,) and the multiple disorders discussed in Chapter 31 later, should be more closely linked in the book, with those on Dyslexia and Dysgraphia. 



    Chapter 26 is currently of particular importance for teachers generally, as Nina remarks, self-harming-¦-¦-¦. “For some, it's a way of coping with distress, trauma and difficult emotions, such as self-esteem issues, the pressure of school and examinations and problems at home.” Whilst all of these issues are important day to day in schools, in terms of child protection the highlighting of problems at home or in the neighbourhood is an issue well raised. The “Whisperers and the Listeners' approach developed by the author seems to be worthy of some attention by schools. The poster appended to this chapter, “You are not Alone,” is both poignant, and very useful.

    Chapter 28 properly asserts that “All good transition ensures there is a healthy emotional and academic link between the feeder primary schools and local secondary schools.” This is so true but sadly is not always so.




  14. -˜Ninja' Jackson is a well-known and much-loved educator, learner, teacher, and sharer of ideas. Inspiration pours forth from her like a fountain, a chocolate fountain perhaps, and catching the drops and putting them down on paper for us all to share is her aim in this book. The process is a dialogue, not a lecture: she wants to hear from us, to improve, to tweak, to learn and learn again. Her book is divided into a series of real-life questions, answered with helpful hints, think-points and resources to share. The sherbet lemon analogy refers to the gains to be had from working your way through to the soft centre of an idea or a practice. It's hard, but utterly worthwhile. Nina discusses tough learning support issues such as ADD/ADHD, inclusion, dyslexia. Lest this seem a little dry, Nina turns each question into a mouth-watering midget gem by asking apposite questions and suggesting leads and approaches. Difficult colleague? Ways forward are suggested. Issues with a colleague's boring lessons? Try this.

    Nina's whole approach is collaborative, civilised and compassionate. Not for her the certainties of -˜one size fits all'. She has suggestions not solutions, openings not dead-ends. This book is a celebration of the diversity of twenty-first century education written by woman who is not wedded to the certainty that someone else is wrong and that she is right. As a reader you can pick and mix from Nina's sweet jar and relish the variety of flavours and styles. Nor are they all old-fashioned humbugs-in-a-jar. Nina is up on her apps and down with the digital leaders. What holds it all together is a guiding philosophy of education which has been built on and practised for several generations, as the frequent references to her family members testify. Crucially, these offerings are to be savoured and relished. Nina's Sherbet Lemons are classics: instantly recognisable, totally distinctive and utterly memorable.


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