Cover Image: Those Who Can, Teach

Those Who Can, Teach

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Member Reviews

Wow, what a wonderful, truly inspirational book. I was thrilled to get the chance to read Andria's story after reading more about her in a Sunday newspaper supplement a few weeks ago. Andria's book delves into her entry into teaching and her experiences teaching at a  multicultural school in Brent, London. Two things stood out for me in this book. The first is Andria's love of teaching art; making her classroom a colourful and inspiring place to be in, sending pupils home with folders full of art supplies and unlocking incredible creativity in pupils. Secondly the stories of the pupils Andria has chosen to share. These have really opened my eyes as to what is happening in schools across the country and how teachers can help make such a difference. I am in awe of Andria and also my own friends who are teachers. I'm also impressed by the fact that Andria stands her ground on what she believes in educationally. She is upfront about disagreeing with the Education Minister's call for 'Silent corridors' and explains why she thinks it's a bad idea.

I wish the arts had been taken seriously when I was at school .I admire and welcome Andria's drive to continue to shout from the rooftops about the importance of the arts in schools. I loved this book and as a mother with two primary age children, it's given me lots of ponder and think about. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for ARC.
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First of all, thank you @netgallery, the author and the publishers of this book for the e-ARC of this book. Those who know me, know I am a part time cover teacher, when I am not in lectures, and am considering a full-time career as a teacher. So when I saw this on NetGallery, I thought this would be a good read.
Andria has always wanted to be a teacher, until she walks into her first placement and sees distributive and unmotivated kids, broken windows and more.
You’d think this would be the end of her dream – but no, she somehow gets the same kids involved and handing homework in on time.
Including arguments with government about the loss of creative subjects like textiles and art, we see an interesting insight on how kindness can go a long way.
From teaching a graphic design lesson to an uncooperative group of teenagers and then going on to inspire them, to getting a kid’s mum to drag him into a holiday session.
I absolutely loved this account of teaching.
This review has been posted on my Goodreads, Netgallery and will be posted on my Instagram @katiehazelbooks in a few days.
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Wow! Oh. My. God!!!
I cannot express how much I love this book!!!

I am currently in my 8th year of secondary school teaching, and have worked in three schools (including my PGCE year) all incredibly different. All have different pros & cons.
This book resinated so much with me. I loved the anecdotes and stories of particular students. I find there are always students that stand out and stay with you long after they leave the school and move on - I have many students like this, so it was super interesting to read about Zafirakou's student experiences. 
I am also a teacher of creative arts - drama. A lot of Andria Zafirakou's opinions about how the government have left the arts in the lurch in schools I completely agree with!

I couldn't get enough of this book, and will be recommending this to all my teaching colleagues. I read an electronic copy of this book but will be buying a hard copy to keep on my shelf for times when I am seeking inspiration. This book will remind you why you got into teaching in the first place, and will encourage others to think back to those special teachers from their school days.
I adored this book!!!
It will stay with me for a long long time!
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This book should be compulsory reading for anyone wishing to apply for teacher training, be it as a degree course with QTS or a PGCE.  Although it refers to secondary education the dialogue, inspirational and real life stories make it compulsive reading. Having worked in other sectors and teaching, yes I left for reasons detailed in the book. My admiration for those still teaching at all levels is immense. Honest and shows that teachers do not just stand at the front and impart knowledge but are crucial for the development of the pupils in their care emotionally and as a whole person. League tables and exam results are not the only indicator of how a school is doing. Safe guarding, pastoral care and communication are key and this book totally nails it. Listen to the narrative, talk to teachers and hopefully one day we will stop trying to make everyone fit in to one box instead of celebrating their differences and unique abilities and stories
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I was curious to read this especially with all the changes and challenges that the curriculum in England has faced over various political administrations. I was not disappointed by the book. It should, in my opinion, be essential reading for anyone coming into the profession and compulsory for those taking training. 
Having also worked in Inner City Schools this gives a great insight into what teaching in these areas is like and the rewards that come with it. It is nice that the profession is recognised as not just about teaching but being a social worked, therapist and "guardian" to many.
This book truly inspires and those that know the profession should read it and every new government Education Secretary should be forced to read it and maybe things would improve for so many children in this Country.
I can not recommend this book enough not just for teachers but everyone that wants to gain an insight into life in Inner City Britain
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What a book!
We begin by recognising our Author's initial time after winning her award, and then we are led through a treasure trail of experiences and students she has both helped, or they have helped her in equal measure. 
It's a book about focusing on the child as a whole (holistic approach) rather than just focusing on their failures in school. By helping out just a little it's amazing the impact a teacher can have on a pupil. 
This book grants a heartbreaking awareness of just how close to home poverty is, and how we should all be mindful of everyone's situation and feelings, whether they choose to share them or not.

Thank you!
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Andria Zafirakou was the recipient of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize and her book, 'Those Who Can, Teach', chronicles her journey from growing up in the London Greek-Cypriot community to life as an Art & Textiles teacher in Brent to winning teaching's answer to the Nobel Prize. Zafirakou's love of her job shines through every single sentence and her passion for supporting youngsters to reach their potential makes this an enjoyable and inspirational read.

The book starts in the days following Zafirakou's big win. The reader is then taken through a highlights reel of her life and career to date, each episode poignantly written to bring her school and students to life on the page. The vignettes of different pupils, and how Zafirakou impacted on their lives, are heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure. Regardless of any students flourishing in their A-levels or pursuing a career as an artist, we are reminded of key research around deprivation and poverty experienced by young people in this country and starkly shown the impact of this on individual student's lives. It is a sobering reminder that despite inspirational teachers like Zafirakou existing, the odds are stacked against the profession who strive to go above and beyond to keep students safe and well.

Zafirakou has fulfilled a number of roles in her career and clearly has found the most satisfaction from being responsible for the pastoral needs of her students. It is the short section when she was the teaching and learning lead which made me feel slightly uncomfortable - we are told of teachers who Zafirakou realised could not cut it in the profession or at her school and how her difficult conversations with them helped them to move on. Whilst this is a reality in an incredibly tough job, I would have liked to hear about those trainee teachers who struggled but have become inspirational in their own right - where is the optimism for the quality of our incoming teachers to the profession? 

Overall, of course I admire Zafirakou and the huge impact she has had on her community and beyond (with her charity Artists in Residence). She cares deeply about her students, classroom and community and is an excellent example to shine a light on the importance of teachers in the lives of students. My main reflection on this book was a reminder of why I am a teacher and have motivated me to continue to work hard for my students. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher who provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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