Becoming a Primary School Teacher

Author(s) Wyse, Dominic
Publisher RoutledgeFalmer
Published 2002
Pages 119
ISBN 041525471X
Reviewed by Claire Conway
Senior Lecturer in Education Studies, Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln
Review published 1 December 2004

The author is clear that it was his intention to write a book that gives a broad overview of the primary school teacher's role and with that in mind, this short, accessible book is an ideal introduction for anyone about to embark upon a teacher training programme. Designed to be read in one sitting, the style is succinct and down-to-earth, yet is also capable of provoking further thought and reflection.

Chapter headings such as 'Working with people', 'Organising the classroom', 'Planning the curriculum', 'Managing behaviour', 'Assessing and record keeping', 'Thinking about education', and 'Becoming a teacher' provide a good framework for producing a valuable introductory text for the student teacher. It is refreshing to see Chapter 1 focusing on interpersonal skills (working with children and adults), the key part of a teacher's day-to-day role, rather than launching into discussion about classroom and curriculum issues. Key questions and clear sub- headings are used to structure chapter content and these could also be used to stimulate pre-course discussion during a trainee's induction programme, or introductory sessions during the course itself. The balance between practical 'chalkface' classroom issues and educational theory is appropriate, with the chapter on 'Thinking about education' being a particularly good reminder of our educational heritage and educational philosophy.

This book will be a useful addition to pre-course reading lists for teacher training programmes. It should stimulate in readers an attitude of reflection, as well as providing a clear outline of the issues, challenges and rewards inherent in the teaching profession today.