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Teacher - One woman's struggle to keep the heart in teaching
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Teacher - One woman's struggle to keep the heart in teaching

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,040 ratings  ·  167 reviews
A powerful and moving memoir about how the current system is letting down children and parents, and breaking dedicated teachers. Devastating, heart-breaking, enraging.

Watching children learn is a beautiful and extraordinary experience. Their bodies transform, reflecting inner changes. Teeth fall out. Knees scab. Freckles multiply. Throughout the year they grow in endless w
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 27th 2018 by Allen and Unwin
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4.34  · 
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 ·  1,040 ratings  ·  167 reviews

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Helene Jeppesen
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Granted, I’m a teacher myself, but the reason why I give this book 5 stars is not because I can nod my head at everything Gabbie says. It’s because I think it gives a unique insight into what it really means to be a teacher, so that if you have any interest in knowing what this profession entails, this is the book for you.
Granted, this non-fictional account written from a former primary school teacher’s perspective is very much on the negative side, and while reading you feel like teaching must
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
Ricocheting from heart-warming to heart-breaking, Gabbie Stroud’s memoir speaks to the soul of every teacher.

Resigning from the profession in 2015, in ‘Teacher’ Gabbie weaves together the anecdotes of her life that sadly brought her to the point of leaving her career of 17 years. Memories from childhood, her studies through university, teaching experiences in the UK, Canada and New South Wales, together with delightful observations of the ‘teacher’ moments in her daughters’ lives are strung toge
If you are a teacher you will, at some point, recognise yourself in this book. I did and, while I am not a teacher, I work closely with students every day. If you are not a teacher, you will want to walk up to every teacher you know and THANK them for what they do every day. For how they care, for the time they sacrifice, for the absolute gut-wrenching crap they have to endure most of the time to make sure your children, OUR children, get the best education possible.
This is a harrowing read. No
Danielle Stacey
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if you are a teacher or just want to know about teachers, read this!!
Steve lovell
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s simple. For thirty-five plus years I loved teaching. I loved teaching kids.

And then ’…, under the guise of equity and excellence standardised NAPLAN testing and the My School website infiltrated classrooms around Australia. Infiltrated the profession I loved. Infiltrated the classroom my baby would one day attend.’ So wrote Gabby Stroud. In my case, though, it’s my beloved granddaughters. I live in hope it will soon be consigned to the dustbin, along with the many other previously misguided
Sharlene Evans
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So ... I see many teachers reading this book and probably shedding some tears as they connect to all the not so shocking truths about the realm of education that exists today. It has not given me hope, only demonstrated that I am employed in a field of people being sucked dry living on hopes and dreams of maybe one day having some freedom and time to do the teaching they aspired to do when they first set foot on the path to teacherdom. I feel hopeless because I have a book that really needs to b ...more
Sarah Cookopoulos
Some chapters made me want to hand in my resignation immediately and others inspired me to keep going, reminding me of what’s really important about teaching.
Clare Rhoden
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a brave book which exposes not only the devastating effect of mindless, onerous bureaucracy on the magic relationship of teacher-pupil in the process of learning, but also the author's personal struggles with her beloved profession.
My heart ached for Gabbie as she navigated the 'Utopian' world of education department demands while trying to maintain the vision of teaching that she cherished.
I say 'brave' because there will be a few readers, teachers and non-teachers, who will bring their
Tatum Damman
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Public Service Announcement.
Read. This. Book.

I received this book on Friday afternoon. I’m now finished. That’s with an 11 week old (I read when he sleeps).

I didn’t want to put this down. A memoir that was heartbreaking, relatable, inspiring and as I said to my husband last night, makes me want to get back into the classroom.

In so many stories I could see myself. It’s confronting and liberating to see it in black and white read back to you.
I laughed, I agreed, I disagreed, I took my own walk do
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Look, as a teacher I have no doubt that my review will be at least a little biased but I loved this book. It broke my heart to read about Stroud’s students, many of whom reminded me of little cherubs I have taught in the past. This book gave me a lot to think about and made me wonder about the future of education, but most importantly, it reminded me of the important work we do with, and for, young people every day.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In just 1.5 years I’ve experienced a majority of the points raised in this primary teacher’s memoirs. In my (probably biased) opinion, everyone should read this to get a glimpse into the daily ins and outs of this profession and why educators are walking away. There is only so much we can do for ourselves and our work peers at a ground level. At the end of the day we do it for the kids, but if there’s nothing of ourselves left to give then we aren’t capable of fulfilling this role to our best po ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read, and a good insight into the teaching profession. I was reluctant to read as I didn't want to be disheartened about the career I am entering into, which I think is also the reason it took me a bit longer to read it. Overall, I enjoyed the author's personal recounts about her childhood, family and her students, they were compelling.
I would encourage people who aren't as familiar with the teaching profession to give it a read to understand the many hats teachers have to wear every day
Reading this book wasn’t good for my health. I felt my stress levels rising - in sympathy for Gabby and because it made me think of all the busy, pointless tasks I have to do. A scarily accurate account of the state of our schooling and teachers. Exhausted and stressed teachers. Stressed and anxious students. Bring back the fun in learning. Toss “standardised” testing.
Kimche Kierce
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this. Whether you are a teacher, related to a teacher or have kids in a classroom with a teacher. This book was so relatable and honestly made me question if I want to return to the classroom after maternity leave. Teaching is such a rewarding and fun job that is drowning in policies, admin and constant changes. The focus has shifted from giving students their greatest opportunity to learn to running a business . My favourite quote from the book is 'Education should be run b ...more
Diana Parker
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every education minister and parent with school-aged children should read this book. It is funny, sad and thought-provoking. A wonderful insight into the present state of education in Australia and the stress and frustration faced by our teachers. I'm torn between sending a copy to every education minister and confronting them and beating them over the head with it!! I wish every minister could spend a week in a classroom and face what our teachers and students do. I wish politicians had to face ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ll admit - I bought this book as a gift for a teacher friend of mine, but then couldn’t resist reading it before giving it away (I’m the worst, I know)...
I think this book is incredibly important. For teachers and non-teachers alike. Hell, maybe a politician could read it and even learn a thing or two. Quite honestly, I can’t wait to gift it because I am so so ready for the conversations it’s going to inspire.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think emotional labour doesn’t really describe the hard work required to do this job. I totally understand Stroud. Many won’t. Maybe some can handle the job and some can’t? I can’t. Read this book and marvel at the work that (mostly) women do.
Scott Parker
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
ALL educators need to read Teacher. This is by far the best book about education that I have ever read. I couldn't put it down.
Samantha Marie
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I only spent a year teaching in a primary classroom, a blip really, compared to Stroud, but the experiences and reflections she shared in this book struck a familiar chord. From that initial enthusiasm and buoyancy to disillusionment, despair and daily struggle. This book won't be as revelatory to teachers (who, I'm sure, have had many similar experiences and concerns), but it might be to other readers. And everyone needs to read this book. It is that important.

"In Australia today, there's an
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to get a glimpse at what teaching is like, read this book.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aus, non-fict, 2018, education
Having taught for many years, giving it my all until eventually burning out I empathised completely with Gabbie Stroud.
Teaching is a way of life not just a job. To do it well means working nights, weekends and much of the term holidays. Unfortunately it is also very hard on your family.
It's not the actual teaching (in most cases) that causes the stress but the endless meetings. I was on a dozen or so committees when I left teaching. There are also the submissions and reports etc to write and the
Andrew Roberts
A bravely honest reflection on the nature of contemporary teaching in Australia (particulary NSW) that gives the reader a clear insight into the teaching life. Many parts resonate with my experience, although my high school teaching life has many points of difference to teaching primary school students. I firmly hope that this book is a catalyst for change in the nature and governance of Australian school education, which is in much need of direction, flexibility and appropriate, reliable public ...more
Amra Pajalic
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a heartbreaking read. Gabbie Stroud dreamed of being a teacher as a child and when she finally achieved her dream as an adult, she found a system that destroyed her love of teaching and her ability to provide the best for her students. Reading this was being a time warp. A whole chapter is dedicated to staff meetings and I felt such a sense of deja vu as it was a replica of what happens during my school's staff meetings. Reading this I was reflecting on my own teaching and I could see h ...more
Matthew Hickey
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This book is equal parts fascinating memoir and terrifying exegesis on the current approach to education in Australia.

It confirms almost all the suspicions I, as a parent, hold about why my children’s teachers so often have “that look” and insist upon spouting pedagogical gobbledegook during meetings I attend, instead of talking to me, like normal humans, about how my children are going at school (as I’m sure we’d both prefer).

I can’t help but think education is the canary in the coal mine of
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know whether it is because I am a teacher myself, but I found this book riveting. Each of her successes and struggles reminded me of my own, after all, we’ve all had a “Warren” in our class. She hasn’t merely filled this book with funny anecdotes and general musings, but with raw emotion. She shows us why the education system needs to change. How can teachers help children fall in love with learning, if they lose their love of teaching?
Rania T
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book clearly reflects the state of education in Australia at the moment. Gabbie Stroud has done a fantastic job of writing it like it is. Her view that those in power (political parties) should stay away from education and let teachers just do their jobs, is apt and am hoping that in the future, that an educational revolution in this country does take place. Data and standardised testing be damned!
Laura Egan
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s a must-read. I’m in my 16th year of teaching in NSW and can relate to most of the author’s trials. She’s been a little self-indulgent in her wallowing, I think, however I assume that it would have been part of a cathartic process for her.

What does it say about the rest of us who survive this?
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting and a very disturbing memoir written by Australian primary school teacher Gabbie Stroud.
Gabbie writes about her teaching experience in public and after in private schools in a smaller town in NSW.
A well written book, very open and sincere, disturbing and shocking.
Recommend this book to Australian people who have children.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a heartbreaking recount of one dedicated teacher's fight to keep working for and inspiring children amidst paperwork, policy and curriculum change. Our primary teachers have an impossible job and need our support, 100%. Hopefully some people can give those politicians a shake as well.....
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