The Hapless Teacher's Handbook, Paperback

The Hapless Teacher's Handbook Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


When Phil Ball left university with a workmanlike English degree to his name and no discernible ambitions, he wasn't entirely sure what to do next.

So like many before him he thought he'd giving teaching a go.

Why not? This is the comic story of one man's painfully slow metamorphosis into a teacher at an everyday comprehensive and his encounters with other remarkable teachers and pupils along the way.

The good, the bad, the violent, the victimised and the clinically insane: from his first teaching practice nemesis, Alan Plant, who knows his dark secret, to the pupil who believes he is a reincarnation of the poet Andrew Marvell.

It is a tale of the highs and lows of attempting to teach: from the joy of really making a difference to young minds to being physically set upon by a teenage horde. And that's just what happens in the classroom. Beyond it is the real world of teachers behind staff-room doors: desperate lives, unseemly professional competition, a diet of cigarettes, alcohol and cold coffee, casual sex and general social dysfunction.

Not a great example, but the truth.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780091908973



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I enjoyed this book and not just because I'm a teacher. It is an interesting insight into what a person has to go through to become a teacher and how difficult the first few years can be. Like most jobs with such a strange and varied relationship with the 'customers' it brings unique challenges and he does cover them all. I saw myself in the staffroom description as well as many of my pupils from different schools. Very well written, it can be used from a practical perspective for anyone embarking on this career or as a simple delve into the profession. Funny, frightening and a fruitful read.

Review by

I didnt really know what to expect with this book, but i actually enjoyed reading about a teachers first few years of their teaching career. This book was easy to read and left you wanting to know more.