It’s a strange title, isn’t it? Well, I’m a teacher and if you or your friends have any outstanding memories from your schooldays, the context would usually be around your teachers, the tricks and antics that you were up to; how you did or didn’t get caught and the subsequent consequences if you did.
My book is a collection of funny or slightly uncomfortable moments that have taken place over my 37 years of teaching in England. It also highlights the levels of relationships that I developed with my pupils and students. It has been described as a whirlwind tour of classrooms, school trips and shenanigans with plenty of awkward, embarrassing and laugh out loud moments.
My son inspired me to write the book a few years ago as I used to return from work and literally say “Guess what happened to me again today?” As he was of school age himself, he would often respond by saying that the students at his school would never ask their teachers such questions and I should start writing them down as people would never believe that these types of things do happen.
Overtime, the stories began to take shape and I’d hand chapters to any unsuspecting visitors keenly focussing on their changing facial expressions to see if I’d captured the correct flavours of the stories. Satisfied with their reactions, I knew then that my book was worthy of a wider audience.
My husband and son are very much a part of my book as in my early years of teaching, my husband used to accompany me on many school trips and my son attended my place of work.
The book title is taken from an actual episode that occurred during my early teaching days and aptly describes how unpredictable those days were. It is suitable for a wide audience, ranging from non-fiction, memoirs, biographies, teacher and student mentoring, young adults and humour. You will find that I’m happy to share some of my more exposing embarrassing moments whilst often stating the efforts that my students go through to try to shock me. Anyone who works in a large institution will have their own stories and maybe surprised or comforted with the types of questions that my students expect me to answer. A glossary has been included as the students local dialect has often been included. The glossary itself is a little tongue in cheek. For example, Chuntering: to talk or grumble, maybe in increasing tones. Just ask my hubby Dave, he’s the expert.
This is my first book and at the outset, I honestly thought it would be my last but since the early days of the book promotion, many readers began to provide anecdotes of their own schooldays or recalled stories from relatives who were also teachers, thus jolting my memory banks and unlocking many stories that I had long forgotten. I’m therefore now in the throes of writing my 2nd book and having learned from my first book, I’m trying a more methodical approach to my writing and have joined authors groups for inspiration and advice and I’m meeting with teachers and former students from my early career to help to bring the stories to life
I embraced the chance to tell my story when Ritehly from The Author’s Lounge announced the opportunity to tell our stories. Self-promotion was a non-event in the early days of my book release and filled me with fear and anxiety. I remember thinking that at least the onset of Covid has meant that I hadn’t got to do any public appearances, strange for a teacher wouldn’t you think? Talking to students were no problem but masses of adults at one time was something totally different. I quickly learned to embrace the other opportunities that were available and found myself offering my voice to anyone who would listen to me particularly where there is a wider audience. Having been interviewed for a number of podcasts and radio stations, this has quickly become part of my lifestyle and I now relish the opportunity to talk about myself and my teaching days.
I’m still working on improving all aspects of myself and have written a small number of reflective blogs available on https://maxineblake.com/ where you will also find access to my book. I’m also available through Amazon worldwide.
My book can also be ordered through major stores worldwide.
Thanks to Author’s Lounge for making this possible and thanks for reading my article.