What inspired you to write ‘What They Don’t Teach You in School’?
I have been a primary school teacher for…(gulp) nearly fifteen years. I became a teacher because I spent most of my time as a child wondering why we behave like we do.
Why did excuses appear in my head when I did something wrong? Did everybody doubt themselves before taking a test? Does everyone’s younger sister boss them around?
What I needed back then was to be taught how to be resilient. Lessons about expressing emotion, managing anger and failure, setting healthy boundaries and understanding why taking responsibility for our actions is often the first step to growth. And that’s what I have tried to do with this book - provide a platform for children (and adults) to discuss the big questions that nobody asks.
How do you do you think the book will help children?
The book prepares children for life’s challenges and with it, gives them an enthusiasm for life. It encourages us all to ask questions and provides the knowledge and skills to be happier, more resilient people. Oh, and I hope it makes them laugh from time to time.
How can this book be used?
The book is versatile. It can be used by teachers and parents.
We have created six lessons that run along side each chapter to help teachers deliver in a whole-class setting. Schools have also used this book in small groups, for homework and even as an end of year present.
We have also found that parents enjoy using the book to scaffold conversations with their children.
Who is your favourite character and why? What is the favourite part
of your book?
My favourite character is Rory. His defiance and rebellion make me smile. He is also a Liverpool fan! The best part of the book is story 6 when you realise that every member of the Costello family has made a mistake. It just shows you that nobody is perfect- not even Mum!