Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me
Winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2020.
‘The best book on teachers and children and writing that I’ve ever read. No-one has said better so much of what so badly needs saying’ – Philip Pullman
Kate Clanchy wants to change the world and thinks school is an excellent place to do it. She invites you to meet some of the kids she has taught in her thirty-year career.
Join her as she explains everything about sex to a classroom of thirteen-year-olds. As she works in the school ‘Inclusion Unit’, trying to improve the fortunes of kids excluded from regular lessons because of their terrifying power to end learning in an instant. Or as she nurtures her multicultural poetry group, full of migrants and refugees, watches them find their voice and produce work of heartbreaking brilliance.
While Clanchy doesn’t deny stinging humiliations or hide painful accidents, she celebrates this most creative, passionate and practically useful of jobs. Teaching today is all too often demeaned, diminished and drastically under-resourced. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me will show you why it shouldn’t be.
About the Author
Kate Clanchy is a writer, teacher and journalist. Her short story ‘The Not-Dead and the Saved’ won the 2009 BBC National Short Story Award. Her BBC 3 radio programme about her work with students was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes prize.
In 2018 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature, and an anthology of her students’ work, England: Poems from a School, was published to great acclaim. In 2019 she published Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, a book about her experience of teaching in state schools for several decades.
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