"A bloody good read"

Melissa Benn, author of Life Lessons

Coming soon ...

What is it?

Like a Greek tragedy, the Teacher's Survival Handbook depicts the life-cycle of a teacher in 3 acts: Starting Out, Freaking Out, and Burning Out.

In each act, tongue-in-cheek 'How to' sections are interwoven with cartoons, quizzes, pie-charts, graphs and other infographics to inform and entertain.

"Learning to teach is a bit like learning to drive. But the car is on fire and everything around it is on fire and all the children are on fire and the fire brigade has been axed by the Tory government."

Act 1, Scene 1: Teacher Training

Why is it important?

The Teacher's Survival Handbook is both extremely playful and deadly serious.

Through satire, it illustrates the plight of teachers and the multi-faceted, complex reasons why British teachers are leaving in droves.

With a dose of dark humour, this book lifts the lid on a system that is failing teachers and students alike: a system at breaking point.

"You're variously summoned to a meeting with a student panel, your observed lesson, a Q&A session with your prospective department and, eventually, when you've been awake for about thirty hours and smiling politely for at least seven, the interview itself.

Somehow there are still endless acres of time in the staffroom, trying to force down the dry bread triangles the school has paid some cowboy catering company good money for, and alternately filling and emptying your bladder with anxious little trips to the water cooler and the staff loos.

By the end of the day you know your fellow candidates better than several members of your own family and, confusingly, find yourself genuinely rooting for them."

Act 1, Scene 2: Getting a Job

Who is it for?

The Teacher's Survival Handbook is for teachers, ex-teachers, parents and anyone wanting to find out more about the gritty reality of teaching without being driven to hurl themselves off the nearest bridge.

"Let’s start with the basics. All schools fall broadly into two categories: private or state (public).

But private schools are also called 'public schools', because in Britain we like to do things differently (see also: plug sockets, hot and cold taps, units of measurement, left-hand traffic, Marmite …).

And also because the term 'public school' was coined to distinguish it from private tuition delivered by a highly esteemed (male) tutor or a derided, underpaid (female) governess in one’s own home.

I won’t go into any further detail about private education; frankly one look at Boris Johnson will tell you all you need to know and a whole lot more you wish you didn’t."

Act 1, Scene 3: Types of School

Who is it by?

Hannah Chapman is a Brighton-based writer, artist and teacher who alternates writing, making art and teaching with throwing herself into the frozen ocean.

In writing and illustrating the Teacher's Survival Handbook, she is drawing on a decade's experience as a secondary school Art and English teacher in Devon, London and Sussex.

Hannah has also completed a 85,000 word teaching memoir, Coming to Terms, and is 40,000 words into her next full-length book. She loves writing projects that blend lived experience with wider social issues.

Future Survival Handbooks – based on Hannah's first-hand experience and cheeky style of writing and illustrating – will include Cold Water Swimming, Living in Italy, Learning Foreign Languages, and Getting Published.

Making the cartoons:

1. Draw in pencil

2. Paint in watercolour

3. Refine with fine-liner

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