These stories from the classroom will have you laughing or weeping – sometimes both in the same minute!
Whether student, teacher or parent you will wonder: How do they survive?
Waterloo Road or Grange Hill meet Gervase Phinn – well maybe! Readers of this book will have to admit that the stories about its characters will stay in your memory for a long time. With over twenty years teaching experience behind him, G J Griffiths has brought to the reader some of the stories about the children he taught, in this amusing and often inspirational book. Without exception everyone will recognise the characters and their captivating tales.
All through the book we are made aware of the joys and disappointments experienced by the pupils and their teachers: Mr Jeffrey and his colleagues. With the ever-present controversy about changes in the education system this is a timely illustration of what is to be found in the classrooms of the contemporary High School.
The book tends to concentrate in the latter part on an unpleasant boy Kyle, who is a bully, and his effect on two other boys, Adam and Nigel Shantra. Unknown to Mr Jeffrey he also affects the way his teaching job changes at the exact time that Robert really feels he has become a “good teacher”. The three paths of Nigel, Kyle and Robert Jeffrey converge several years later in the last chapter.
Look out for an unexpected twist in this amusing collection of school stories that “should be made required reading for every student teacher!”
Targeted Age Group:: 13 to adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
G J Griffiths is a UK baby-boomer who worked for quite a while in the Photographic industry. Then he became a Science teacher for about twenty years. He likes reading (lots!) walking in the countryside and birdwatching – and being a Grandad! Having retired he thought he would like to write a novel. When GJ started writing Fallen Hero he was already well into the collection of stories later to become his second book: So What! Stories or Whatever! But the general direction of the plot and many of the characters were not properly formed at that time. Originally after he had retired from teaching GJ Griffiths just wanted to write – write about many of the kids he had taught and tell his readers about some of their hilarious tales. But after a while he realised that so many of the stories would be tinged with sadness or tragedy – poignant moments, and that it was not going to be just another "book of funny stories". If he was going to include some of the difficulties that the kids' teachers also faced, many times a day sometimes, then he had to also write about why they wanted to come into education, and more importantly, why they were determined to stay in it! So Robert Jeffrey was "born" and his story is gradually unfolded and woven between the collection of students' stories.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
All of the teachers and students in this collection of stories are based upon real colleagues and pupils. Enter Kyle Crabbe, the bully, and some of the tales begin to have a sinister theme to them! With that stage set it meant that G J could lead the reader up a path that would allow a twist to it! Some of the books that Robert Jeffrey had read and that had inspired him to want to teach coincided, strangely enough, with some of the list that G J Griffiths had also valued. It was a list that included: R Delderfield's "To Serve Them All My Days", Thomas Hughes' "Tom Brown's Schooldays", D H Lawrence's "The Rainbow", E R Braithwaite's "To Sir with Love". Plus Charles Dickens' "Hard Times" and "Nicholas Nickleby".
‘I’m Amelia – Amelia the Alien! Everybody calls me that… Amelia the Alien!’
Mr Jeffrey took this introduction in his teacherly stride. After a few months teaching he’d quickly come to accept that schoolchildren liked to say things that might put a teacher off the subject or, even better, out of their comfort zone. Things like: Sir, your ties are mingin’… or Sir, Miss D smells funny! (Particularly when Miss D did always smell of mothballs!)… or Sir, why are pubes so curly!… Amelia’s self-introduction was different and quite precocious, considering he had never taught her. And it did stick in his mind for a while.
When Amelia first came to the school she was thought to be unusual. She was exceptionally tall for her age of eleven and stood about three or four inches less than the six-footer Mr Jeffrey. Exceptionally slim she had no sign of surplus fat at all. Unfortunately for Amelia she was called “beanpole” by many of her peers, mainly boys, and mainly those that were under four feet eight standing on their tiptoes.
Links to Purchase Print Books
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Links to Purchase Audiobook
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Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy So What! Stories or Whatever! On Amazon
All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.