Clanchy, K. (2019) Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me. London: Picador

TitleClanchy, K. (2019) Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me. London: Picador
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsRoche, M
Refereed DesignationDoes Not Apply
JournalEducational Journal of Living Theories
Start Page118
Date Published06/2020
Type of Articlebook review

Sometimes you come across a book that is so good you want to share it with as many people as possible. Essentially, that is why I am writing this review. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is a wonderfully warm, engagingly authentic account of Kate Clanchy’s practice as a teacher, as she introduces her students to English literature and poetry.

I urge anyone interested in education to read it. The honesty and humility implicit in the title shows us that, at heart, it is a book about a teacher learning how to enhance her practice from her reflections on her pedagogical relationships with her students. To do this, however, one needs to possess the qualities that Dewey (1933) said were the characteristics of a reflective practitioner, and that Clanchy demonstrates fully. Examples of wholeheartedness, open-mindedness and intellectual responsibility abound in this book. It is uplifting, funny, heart-breaking and, at times, searingly critical of the education system, particularly in relation to underprivileged teenagers.

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