It’s 1977 and Jack Sheffield is appointed headmaster of a small village primary school in North Yorkshire. So begins Jack’s eventful journey through the school year and his attempts to overcome the many problems that face him as a young and inexperienced headmaster.
The many colourful chapters include Ruby the 20 stone caretaker with an acute spelling problem, a secretary who worships Margaret Thatcher, a villager who grows giant carrots, a barmaid/parent who requests sex lessons, and a five-year-old boy whose language is colourful in the extreme. And then there’s also beautiful, bright Beth Henderson, who is irresistibly attractive to the young headmaster…
Warm, funny and nostalgic, Teacher, Teacher is a delightful read that is guaranteed to make you feel better, whatever kind of day you’ve had.
This was my third book for the Transworld Book Group challenge, I was really intrigued by the synopsis and as I want to read a little more non-fiction this semi-autobiographical book seemed like a good step to take.
The book covers a school year, each chapter starts with an entry from the school log book and then proceeds to tell the story behind the entry. Whilst many of these stories are funny and thoroughly entertaining, dotted throughout the book are a few more touching and emotional stories. I found that I enjoyed the amusing stories but it was a couple of the touching stories that I carried on thinking about long after I put the book down.
Jack is a great narrator, and way into this small village, but it is the other characters who really steal the book away. There are both adults and children that delight, it would seem mean to pick out any favourites.
My only slight niggle was that Jack occasionally made comments that felt very modern in both their thinking and the language used. I think though that it is because I previously worked with schools that this grabbed my attention, most readers wouldn’t notice this.
I really enjoyed this book, I know that there are a further four books in the series and I’m sure that with time I’ll be reading them all.
Teacher, Teacher is published in paperback by Corgi in the UK priced £7.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.