At last, a voice that puts people back into education. I for one am tired of the -˜system' and its inherent fear with its managers, inspectors, know-it-alls and education ministers being the domineering naysayers of our schools. Lisa is on the money when she says that what we do requires us all to see the humanity in one another. Education will be richer as a result. The book's subtitle, -˜Self-reflective, solution-focused teaching and learning', is a worthy reminder that the teaching profession is a human endeavour, often forgotten in the milieu of modern education.
Teacher in the Cupboard challenges us to reflect on what the problems in our contexts are -“ and on the excuses we make for not resolving them -“ and encourages us to think creatively to find workable and humane solutions. It is filled with calm and level-headed examples of problem-solving, from tackling difficult classes and reluctant learners to managing our frantic workloads. Lisa is unshakeably positive in her outlook, even when reflecting on teaching's difficult moments -“ insisting that a solution can always be found within ourselves if we just stop, look and listen. She also offers ideas around why and how difficulties arise, and how we can find pre-emptive solutions that enable us to be more productive and our students better behaved and better learners.
At the heart of Lisa's approach are the relationships teachers build between themselves and their students. The neat, succinct examples of what this might look, sound and feel like offer excellent opportunities to reflect on your own practice as well as that of those you work alongside.
Teacher in the Cupboard is instantly useable for expert and beginner teachers alike. Lisa's honesty and positivity make it an enjoyable, humbling and useful read, and one that I will return to again and again in reflecting upon and refining my practice.