A Journey to and Beyond the Blackboard

A Journey to and Beyond the Blackboard

Kim Johnson



Format: 13.5 x 21.5 cm
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-3-99107-543-1
Release Date: 21.05.2021
An autobiographical novel detailing Mr Johnson’s life from his childhood in Germany and Cyprus to working and experiencing the highs and lows of working in education with young people with complex educational needs.
Introduction


As a child I had many dreams about what I would like to do on reaching adulthood. Just like many children then and now there were times spent watching and listening to grandparents, parents, uncles and family friends. Their adventures in life and working roles being the fuel to my imagination. The very inspiration that would set my own mind thinking of what possibilities life might present.

Although I started school as a five-year-old in the then West Germany, my first real recollection of school was a few years later in Middlesex. It was not a particularly happy time. The adults I met then seemed at odds with the philosophical notion that education was about learning and the enjoyment of discovery. It was a poor starting point for me when retrieving the very memories of childhood … which are supposed to be joyful.

With my father’s job in the RAF causing us to move regularly, it was such an opportunity that caused things to change. In moving 2,500 miles a single teaching figure literally altered everything and had a huge impact on me. This person being my wonderful Primary Class Teacher, the young Miss Kirkpatrick. One of the few people I will actually name. She was an inspiration and lit in me a spark of enjoyment, interest and enthusiasm that was undoubtedly the foundation of my personal and professional future.

Thereafter moving to boarding school and being there for six years meant some of that enthusiasm was sometimes lost. Certainly, a great deal of what many would consider to be formative years were spent away at school. Yet there were also gains and fun to be had. As I grew up, I began to question and at times to rebel. That journey through three schools and university is tracked in Part One where I undoubtedly learned a great deal about myself and what I wanted from life.

The prospect of ever working in education seemed a million miles from being likely. Unknown to me Teachers, Lecturers and other Educational Professionals lay in wait for me … and in time they were to help me focus and determine the very route of my life. Their wise words, professional insight and enduring encouragement kept me going and believing in the power of education to shape lives. It may seem an unlikely addition to a story of becoming a Headteacher and then Principal, but it explains how adults and teachers can unlock our potential and set us off on our life journey. As you read of my interactions you will see how those relationships can impact on a child and young adult to help shape who we are and how we are. I believe this is something often lost when we speak of the importance of education and its meaning in the widest sense. Take from this part of my journey how at times I was close to coming off the rails and how those in education helped to guide me. The position such teachers had sometimes assisted with my journey as a child and young adult and helped take me beyond a sense of being lost in those tricky times of a teenager. It could have broken me … but there were good adults around and they saw something in me. In the end … they certainly helped take me to a place where I felt being a teacher was the right career pathway.

Part Two unpicks the experiences had as a teacher in five quite different settings. All the children I met and taught, along with my many teaching colleagues, opened my eyes to the varying challenges of those in mainstream and specialist provisions. As I ventured into teaching, my stories show how I navigated that journey. They also reveal how I gained an insight into the potential I had and the opportunities that presented to develop life-changing skills. The switch from being the one being influenced to that of being the one who influences was immense for me. In that time, I actually ‘grew up’ with those I taught as I developed my craft in a teaching role.

Parts Three and Four reveal many mixed experiences as a school leader of four vastly different schools in Special and International settings. The hard toil involved in breaking mediocrity in school performance in order to motivate all to want to embrace excitement, challenge, discovery and excellence in their practice. No easy feat and one that had its own personal toll, eventually working through such hurdles and achieving success and outstanding practices. These stories reveal the reality of a relentless pursuit of excellence which many will be able to relate to in their own time in education, both present and historic. They may also enlighten those aspiring to venture forth.

Forty-four years after leaving school as a pupil I retired as the Principal of a Special Academy for children and young adults with complex needs and as the former National President of a School Leader’s Association. The highs and lows of that journey were many and often intertwined. So many people and places each with their own tale of happiness, sadness, harsh lessons learned, and opportunities taken to try and make a difference.

As you read, I trust that you will consider that all of us can be a leader … but not everyone is quite ready. The key point I look to make being the importance of learning at every stage of my journey towards becoming a school leader. This often meant asking the question of myself ‘What did I learn? Did I make sure I stopped from time to time to listen and think?’

If my story and the actions I took throughout inspire others to … dream more … learn more … do more … and become more … then it may help them to be a future leader. The attitude of one’s mind being crucial in this … as portrayed in this simple tale:

‘When out at sea … the pessimist complains about the wind … the optimist expects it to change … the leader adjusts the sails.’

Often feeling as if I was one of Education’s ‘Respectable Revolutionaries’ I tried to make my mark. Throughout, my motivation being to overcome the negative half full world of many and replace their thoughts of adversity and difficulty with a sense of challenge and opportunity. It was no easy task. I was paid by my employers in brass … and rewarded by all the children and young adults I taught … with memories made of gold. All this warranted a story being told … and once retired I collected my stories together … to share with you.

If you are after some sort of academic expose on leadership or an A-Z manual on being successful as a school leader then this is not my intention. I am trying to take you away with me for fifty-five years of travel through a variety of educational settings to give you an insight into the many roles held in this most unlikely of expeditions.

I was once told that as a school leader ‘everyone sees what you appear to be … few experience what you really are’.

Do read on … make your mind up about my journey and take from it what you wish to help you with yours.



Part One
Learning My Future Craft




In 2015 a Minister addressed an Education Summit in London and when speaking about the purpose of education he said:

“Education is the engine of our economy, it is the foundation of our culture, and it’s an essential preparation for adult life.”

He went on to say,
“We all have a responsibility to educate the next generation of informed citizens, introducing them to the best that has been thought and said, and instilling in them a love of knowledge and culture for their own sake. But education is also about the practical business of ensuring that young people receive the preparation they need to secure a good job and a fulfilling career, and have the resilience and moral character to overcome challenges and succeed.”

My earliest memories of the journey you are about to travel with me should have mirrored his words. Surely that would have been the very basis of why I was turning up at school each morning from 1960. Yet you will see that from 1963 such great words could not have been further from the reality I experienced.

Thank goodness for one young Primary Teacher in 1965 who typified the words of Albert Einstein:

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

She loved teaching and as a result I began to love learning. This was a significant discovery for me. At that time I had a positive grasp of what my educational experience could be … and how the school I was in should be. My life was touched by this teacher.

Secondary school had its moments where such experiences grew, faded and grew again. It was here that the characters I related to were the difference.

As Andy Rooney is reputed to have said:
“Great teachers are usually a little crazy.”

I met such inspiring characters and they cast a spell on me. Are such individuals not the very ones we remember?

In his speech in 2015, the Minister also referenced the disdainful words of Mark Twain:
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

As a teenager, with all that means psychologically, socially and physically we have our heads turned by the distractions and our minds energised by the challenging of boundaries. You may connect to my time away from home at boarding school or indeed spot a similar child or pupil in your life experience to date. I learned so much outside of the classroom and more importantly got the chance to test its efficacy.

Mark Twain would relate to the view that it provided me with an insight into the meaning of the saying:
‘The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.’

This all lead to going to University in 1974 … with a desire to learn the craft of being a teacher … not just any teacher … for as you will find out I wanted to be one who could make a real difference … to some incredibly special children.

As you read through the five chapters in Part One you may sometimes question my arrival at such a conclusion in my ‘Learning’. I trust you will also reflect on the impact that the adults had on me and how I arrived at the point where wanting to become a teacher was a reality. Can you remember such a moment and is it something you are still true to now?

It is important to stop and think as an adult and particularly as a teacher to question in your life journey what your personal trail has left behind. Probably best captured in the discussion between two old friends about their driving. One says to the other “I’ve had a safe life driving a car and never been involved in an accident.” His friend replies “I take it you looked in your rear-view mirror from time to time just to be sure?”

As such, to stop from time to time and think what it is like to be a child or teenager in their home, classroom and school is time well spent. Too often we focus on ‘what’ they have done rather than ‘why’ they did it. For sure, if in the case of where there has been a wrong it should be addressed. But in order to understand, so it isn’t done again, the ‘why’ is important. And actually, the ‘why’ should always be important in all cases. As adults, teachers and school leaders we must take on the responsibility of playing a key role in assisting with this fundamental in education for life. The question is there to be asked … ‘Can you think of times when it worked … and those when it could have?’
5 Stars
A must read for LA & DFE officials working in SEND - 21.07.2022
Anon

I first met the author when working at Local Authority level and then later when at a DFE event. Always found him knowledgeable and forthright wanting to ensure his pupils got the best provision and his staff were safe. His turn of phrase could ruffle feathers yet it was professional in tone requiring funding and duty of care to be paramount to ensure his school achieved great things. I always admired him and after reading his book do more so now. Can’t help but feel it should be a ‘must read’ for those in office at LA & DFE level to see how they (we) are not an obstruction to such as Kim in their strive to provide top quality SEND education.

5 Stars
Honesty and integrity shines through - 16.07.2022
Julia Hood

I so enjoyed reading this book. Years ago I couldn’t cope with the pressures of headship and chucked in the towel. Had this book been around I’d have stuck to the task and probably won through. I take my hat off to the author. He deserves the recognition for his achievements and the honesty he shares in his excellent book.

5 Stars
Eye opening account of a headteacher - 21.06.2022
Greg Holden (Aspiring HT)

Well that’s confirmed it in my mind …. The pathway to headship and the challenge of then performing the role can be a trial and a joy. Well done to the author for his honesty and revelations. A great read.

5 Stars
So much to learn from this book - 17.06.2022
Steven Jones (Teacher)

Recommended by a teacher colleague …. And thoroughly enjoyed. My word … so much packed into 39yrs in education and a wealth of tips and real insights into Special Education. Had always thought the role and life of a school leader was a tough one and can now say having read this book it certainly is challenging. Just have to read it again to capture all the detail as there’s so much to take in and learn from.

4 Stars
A pleasing read into what makes teachers tick  - 17.06.2022
A Galtres (Parent)

As a parent it’s always interesting to see what makes teachers tick in the performance of their role. This book gives such an insight and makes for a pleasing read.

5 Stars
The passionate determination to succeed is revealed.  - 13.06.2022
Phil G (Former HT)

Met him once at a Conference and found him to be a credible and confident exponent of equality of opportunity for the disadvantaged and damaged souls in Special Schools especially those with emotional, behavioural and mental health challenges. His book reveals a passionate determination to make a difference and encourage all in his charge to enjoy learning and aim high. Saddened to note it once broke him… impressed he came back from that and made such an impact with what seems joy in his heart. Excellent read !

5 Stars
A must read for those looking to headship in the future.  - 11.06.2022
FS (Primary Teacher)

As I continue with my own aspirations of promotion to the leadership team I thought this book would be an interesting read. I was not disappointed at all. Far from it as I now know that the implicit dedication to the role and personal sacrifices likely to be made are going to be significant. Reading the author’s journey it’s clear that a never give up attitude is required and having a good team around you is key to success. Well done to Kim Johnson for his own hard work and for writing his book. It is a must read for those such as me looking to secure a headship in the future.

5 Stars
Inspirational Story and Insight into Education - 10.06.2022
Florence Rupp

Saw this book on the Novum stand at Frankfurt Book Fair. Finally got to buy and read it. What a journey to be enthralled by and enjoy as Kim Johnson progressed from student to teacher then Principal. Some lovely pen portraits of certain pupils. A realistic insight into the daily life of teaching in the English Special Education system. Would like to meet the author one day and shake his hand. Inspirational educators are worth their weight in gold.

5 Stars
Admirable Life in Teaching - 10.06.2022
Mrs LW (Parent & School Governor)

I so enjoyed reading this book. What an admirable career by the author in teaching some of the most challenging individuals. The journey helps you unpick his drive and motivation as well as his resilience in the face of adversity from the most unlikely quarters. Have passed my copy to our Headteacher.

5 Stars
Has this made me change my career ?  - 08.06.2022
Simon Shaw

An intriguing read and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The ‘journey’ the author has made from pupil to Academy Principal is an interesting one indeed. Caused me to reflect on my own pathway and to where I am today in a soulless job in the city where a sense of making a difference to the lives of others is pretty non-existent. Have always wondered about teaching and now bitten by the thought of working in Special Education. A pivotal movement for me - thanks Kim Johnson !

5 Stars
Great read of a man I admire - 24.05.2022
Anonymous Teacher.

Worked with him for ten years and enjoyed his style of leadership. He set alight the children and dared them to dream that anything was possible. He made staff realise they could be stars in his school and when they shone brightly he referred to them as ‘his magicians’. His smile was ever present and his determination to bring happiness and pride into our school made it a wonderful place for me to enjoy working. He was more than my boss …. he was my mentor …. and dear friend too. Such a great read and now my memory keepsake of a man I admire.

5 Stars
A model for me as a new Headteacher.  - 24.05.2022
GH (Newly Appointed Headteacher)

Well it’s fair to say that I was captivated by Kim Johnson’s ‘journey’ and astounded by the twists and turns as he challenged all around him to raise their game in the numerous education settings. Thank goodness he prevailed and went on to be so successful. Now I can model my next steps as a new head on what and how he did it.

5 Stars
An excellent read and an admirable career.  - 24.05.2022
Uwe Kamz (Teacher in Germany)

Interesting to read the highs and lows of a teacher/headteacher in England and his journey from student to those positions. It is hard not to think how crazy it is that so much effort had to go into creating an ‘outstanding’ education in schools with national & local government and the attitude of some teachers (and their unions) at times so adversarial. Despite this the author’s resilience and what you English would call ‘dogged determination’ kept him going to achieve such inspirational things. An excellent read and an admirable career. Gut gemacht, Herr Johnson.

5 Stars
Let’s look after School Leaders such as Mr Kim Johnson - 09.05.2022
Dr D B (Ed Psych)

I really enjoyed reading Kim’s book and feel inspired by his resolute and professional endeavour in a tough educational sector. The concern that it had such an impact on him at one stage in his ‘journey’ shows how there is a need for greater care and supervision for such school leaders for we cannot let them go under if children are to prosper in quality educational settings such as he succeeding in running to brilliant effect.

5 Stars
Fascinating and Inspirational  - 09.05.2022
Parent of a 13yr old with complex SEND

As a parent of a child with SEND I found this book to be a wonderful insight into what makes a special school leader tick. Kim Johnson clearly gave a huge part of his life to ensuring there truly was (as he puts it) ‘no ceiling to their learning’. Undoubtedly he touched the lives of so many children and young adults with care, compassion, fun , laughter and determination to be proud of who they were and could go on to be. His understanding and relationship with SEND is a breath of fresh air to the likes of me and my child. Kim Johnson’s story is fascinating and inspirational and I’ve read it twice now !

5 Stars
A ‘Great Read’ to help remember the joy of the job. - 08.05.2022
S Thorpe (SENCO)

I love my job albeit that some days it’s tough as a SENCO in a school. To read this book is to be encouraged to remember why I do it and how enjoyable & fulfilling it really is. A great story and a great read.

5 Stars
Thanks Mr J ! - 04.05.2022
Stephen (Ex Pupil of the late 1990s)

The author was my Headteacher when I was in an EBD School due to my troubled teenage years. Always firm but fair …. direct but caring ….. his ability to encourage change and make me believe I could sustain it eventually worked. I look back now and realise how much I owe him. My past is a chapter of my own life which I don’t readily share and thanks to him I have successfully moved on from. Your book is a great read sir and sits on my bookshelf as a fond reminder of you. Thanks Mr J !

5 Stars
Can’t be true …. Can it ? Wonderful Book.  - 29.04.2022
John Trueman

Well I enjoyed this book and remain amazed after the ups and downs, the trials with certain staff and parents, the battles with some Ofsted inspectors & LEA staff and politicians that the author remained so positive about his 39 years in education. A true professional and inspiring character with a single minded focus on providing the very best for the most challenging and disenfranchised children in our education system. A captivating read worthy of a bigger audience than just those in teaching.

5 Stars
Did more than made me think … made me change my career pathway !  - 29.04.2022
Thomas F (still a 6th Former)

The Head of 6th Form told me of this book and said my mum (a SENCO in a secondary school) would like it as a birthday present. So I bought it, then just had to read it myself. Well the result was my mum got it as a second hand book, I enjoyed the read myself and have now applied for teacher training after all the things I’d previously said ! Quite a story, quite a journey and undoubtedly quite a character. I look forward to working with the likes of Kim Johnson as a school leader once qualified and hope to enjoy similar highs in the profession. My mum is reading the book now and her smile is as much about what it has done for me as it is in celebrating the joy of reading about working in SEND.

5 Stars
Inspiring Book …What a great insight into teaching ! - 29.04.2022
Romy C.

As a relatively new teacher this book caught my eye and I thought it a worthy read. Oh how I was so pleased to have done so as it captured my attention and I enjoyed it throughout. So interesting to see the author’s journey from being a pupil at Primary School all the way to four headships in quite different, difficult and testing schools. I’d recommend this to anyone in teaching or entertaining the thought of embarking on such a career. It most certainly won’t put you off ….. quite the opposite it will encourage you to be adventurous and positive in your own journey. That’s how it has impacted on me and I’m grateful to Kim. Romy C. (Teacher & Acting SENCO)

5 Stars
An Authentic Account of a Dedicated School Leader - 04.04.2022
John Rolfe

Kim Johnson’s book is a really great read and so very authentic. It really comes alive with such a rich blend of the personal and the professional impactful events and large shifts in his life. His humanity and dedication shines through on every page. Such lovely memories conveyed by him and illustrating how his journey shaped him to become a great leader with many schools where his fantastic work transformed numerous lives. John Rolfe MBE (British Council, London)

5 Stars
Awesome Account of an Amazing Headteacher - 17.03.2022
Rob D.

When you consider the choice the author made to work with some of the most challenging 7-16 year old boys in our school system … and the fact he was hit, punched, spat at and even stabbed … yet stuck with them to try and get them to aspire to calm, respectful and honest ways … You just have to admire him. This book tells the story of a man, teacher and school leader who loved his job and to put it quite simply : I am in awe of him. It's the detail of interactions with EBD pupils and conversational exchanges with them and teaching colleagues (parents and many others) which give his book its unique impact. What a story …. tremendous to follow Kim’s journey from boyhood to nationally known school leader.. Rob D (Social Worker & ex-Teacher)

5 Stars
An absorbing mixture of the personal and the professional - 17.03.2022
Nora Byrne

This is a book which will definitely interest those within the education field but will equally entertain a general audience. Childhood memories and personal stories combine with insights into the world of education. I especially enjoyed the many accounts of interactions with a variety of students. It is clear that, to Kim, his involvement in teaching and education was more than a career, it was a lifelong vocation. He has made his mark across a range of educational settings and has improved the life chances of many students along the way. It's a good read ! Nora Byrne (Lead PSHCE Teacher - Special Academy)

5 Stars
A fascinating insight into the admirable drive of a successful school leader. - 16.03.2022
Gilbert McGinn

I found this book totally fascinating and admire the drive and dedication Kim Johnson showed in order to make things happen in his numerous schools. Progress in an educational organisation is dependent on having a clear message that all members can identify with so they can support their Headteacher and also feel supported themselves. It is absolutely clear that Kim achieved that. Kim’s specific examples (what a memory!) give real strength to his story and showed how hands on he was and how he was very dedicated to his staff team and students. Both so vital and key to his lengthy success as a school leader. Gilbert McGinn (Retired Secondary Senior Teacher & Independent School Inspector)

5 Stars
Interesting Read  - 10.02.2022
Mike B (Retired COO)

Coming from a different industry I found it encouraging to read that the public sector has similar challenges to the private one, requiring brave leadership to avoid giving recognition to mediocrity and driving excellent people to continuously improve.

5 Stars
Great Memory ! - 10.02.2022
John T. (Retired Engineer)

Fascinating story of the author’s life ….. great memory recall !

5 Stars
An amazing book by a forward thinking and caring school leader.  - 10.02.2022
Di Jenkins (Former AHT in SEND Specialist Provision)

Just after the author arrived to be Headteacher at my school setting I bumped into an old friend who happened to be teaching in the school he was leaving. He said, “Kim Johnson Mmmm. So sad he is leaving us but he will take your school to places you never thought you could go!" In due course these words soon became the reality for me, others on our staff team and our students. The book is full of amazing recollections from his successful career as a forward thinking school leader who genuinely cared for all in his care. He certainly changed my thought processes which impacted on my career progression and in turn my outlook on life, for which I will be eternally grateful.

5 Stars
A Moving account of a Champion of Aspiration  - 18.10.2021
Andrew Billen

From troubled teenager to the inspirational leader of schools, Kim Johnson movingly relates his 40-year war against mediocrity in education. A champion of aspiration for all, not least those bearing the stigma of “special educational needs”, he argues that sometimes you need to break the rules to reform them. We readers back him through every battle, institutional and personal. Andrew Billen, writer at The Times

5 Stars
Pursuit of Excellence is well portrayed. - 03.10.2021
KCJ

The book shows the authors pursuit of excellence in the academic world of teaching which he has achieved and portrayed with great understanding and leadership. An enjoyable and intriguing read.

5 Stars
Fascinating Insight to a life dedicated to Education. - 28.09.2021
Chris Dunnett

I found this book very readable. I really liked the historical aspect of how childhood experiences feed into the development of the author’s career at the top of education for Special Needs and disabilities. I was struck by the management of behavioral change in driving progress in an educational environment. Not too dissimilar to dragging commerce into the future!! All in all a great read! Chris Dunnett (Ex Business CEO, UK Entrepreneur & Investment Angel)

5 Stars
Insightful Book on the success needed to face the challenges of Headship - 28.09.2021
Peter Johnson

This excellent book provides a real insight into the realities of headship and of the determination needed to make a success of what is a demanding and challenging role. So interesting to see how the author doesn’t give up in the face of the absence of effective leadership from national and local government. I look forward to talking to him about it sometime in the future. Peter Johnson (Educational Consultant & Leadership Mentor)

5 Stars
Such a worthy and impactful career - 28.09.2021
Kate White

This book is so honest and thoughtful in its description of the author’s experiences in the education world …. building on his own personal childhood experiences. Children were clearly at the heart of his learning journey so those he worked with and for clearly had a better chance at life. Well done to Kim - such a worthy career in teaching. K White MAT CEO

5 Stars
Wonderful read of a fascinating life - 09.09.2021
Vicky Hardwick

Finally found time to finish this - what a great read and has certainly made me think about applying for an associate position in behaviour, SENCO or a combination of both. A wonderful read of a fascinating life.

5 Stars
Honest and life affirming  - 21.08.2021
Robert Campbell

I’ve known Kim for about a decade and he’s been a great colleague and friend in that time. Reading his book has opened up so much more of this remarkable man. It details in open honesty the trials and tribulations of being a Head and the joys that keep us in the job for decades (in some cases!). Unlike other books on leadership, this is one where the story and people/characters come first and the ‘lessons’ are side dishes, as it should be. The only slight critique I might supply is that I wanted to know the names of schools, people and places - but Kim, kind as ever, has kept those out where others might have ‘named’ and occasionally (because of the actions) ‘shamed’. A wonderful account of a humble life of great public service.

5 Stars
A Life Dedicated to Education & SEN  - 10.08.2021
Caron Nott

I have just finished this book. A really interesting read, a life dedicated to education and SEN. Really inspirational to read and to make us all think about our journeys ! Caron Nott Executive Headteacher of ICMAT (The Rowans Alternative Provision Academy)

5 Stars
"Informative and enjoyable read" - 08.08.2021
David Shanks

A well written account of one man's life experiences and of the battles fought to enhance the lives of those in his care. Written as an autobiography it forces one to reflect upon one's own working practices as well as being a beacon of inspiration for those just starting out on the journey that is education. Full of humour, pathos and imagination, it is a book that will appeal to not just the education practitioner, but to anyone seeking a genuinely informative and enjoyable read.

4 Stars
An antidote for mediocrity in educational leadership - 20.07.2021
Harry Burrows (TEFL teacher, trainer and consultant)

Johnson has written an alluring biography. His experiences in schools - from his earliest childhood memories to his latter role in top-end educational management - vividly illustrate the heights that can be reached in schools by dedicated, inspirational and - most importantly - visionary leadership; his experiences in dealing with institutional mediocrity equally illustrate the depths to which school attainment can plunge when dedication, inspiration and vision is wanting. This book should be compulsory reading for jaded educationalists at all levels. However, it is also warm and un-technical in language and as such will appeal both to the educational professional and the general reader. A most enjoyable read.

5 Stars
A fascinating account of a life spent in education from schooldays to senior leadership  - 08.07.2021
Paul Fox Education, Training and Development Consultant

Kim has written a fascinating biography in which the strands of both his personal and professional life are skilfully inter-woven to produce a rich tapestry illustrating the highs , lows and everything in between of a life spent working in education. Entertaining, instructive and, at times, amazing; this is a book to be both enjoyed and shared.

5 Stars
Inspirational reading for the aspiring teacher, LEA member and OFSTED inspector. - 18.06.2021
David Uffindall JP Ex Drugs Education Consultant

Kim draws on years of varied, multidisciplinary experiences to document successful strategies for achieving success as a teacher and especially a leader in getting the best out of students. Kim emphasises the need to focus on understanding pupils and students first, and of establishing mutually respectful relationships prior to sharing subject content. This book should be compulsory reading for any aspiring teacher, headteacher, governor, LEA adviser or OFSTED inspector.

5 Stars
Inspirational reading for the aspiring teacher, LEA member and OFSTED inspector. - 18.06.2021
David Uffindall JP Ex Drugs Education Consultant

Kim draws on years of varied, multidisciplinary experiences to document successful strategies for achieving success as a teacher and especially a leader in getting the best out of students. Kim emphasises the need to focus on understanding pupils and students first, and of establishing mutually respectful relationships prior to sharing subject content. This book should be compulsory reading for any aspiring teacher, headteacher, governor, LEA adviser or OFSTED inspector.

5 Stars
This book drips with experience, understanding and integrity. - 21.05.2021
Paul Dix

Kim's experience is as deep as it is wide. There is so much for teachers and leaders here in all settings. Kim reveals the roots of his practice through his own story. This book drips with experience, understanding and integrity. Kim shows us how great leaders are made. His experience is striking, relevant and inspiring.

5 Stars
Fascinating journey of an inspirational leader of education - 21.05.2021
James Hilton (Author, Speaker & ex-school leader)

This book charts the fascinating journey of an inspirational leader of education, both at a local and national level. Full of wit and wisdom, it is a timely, and much needed reminder, of what draws us into teaching. A timeless story of someone who wanted (and succeeded!) in making a difference. An inspiring read.

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