I sometimes read education books and wonder what kind of school their authors must work in, as many of the strategies seem so alien to my experiences in disadvantaged schools. From the moment I picked up Samuel Elliott's brilliant book, I felt completely at home.
Like Samuel, I too was a complete swine as a teenager, and his experiences of growing up in the same area as the students he teaches means that when it comes to behaviour, he has seen it all and probably tried it himself! His retelling of his youthful exploits and teaching experiences are laugh-out-loud hilarious; anyone who has worked with teenagers will recognise some of the situations he writes about and feel themselves cringing at his mistakes in dealing with it early on in his career.
The subtitle of this book calls it irreverent, but to label it wholly as this does it a disservice. It is crammed full of brilliant behaviour management strategies that are rooted in research, psychology and Samuel's own experience, giving teachers a unique insight into why kids might misbehave and what they can do about it.
This book won't help you turn kids into robots, but its useful realism will genuinely help improve your behaviour management skills. What is more, it is written by someone who is still in the classroom, walking the walk. I will be recommending ASBO Teacher to everyone.