The joys, ambitions, ideals, stuff-ups and heartaches of a teaching life
Funny, poignant, charming and deeply sad at times, this is a fascinating insight into a teaching life.
Tim Heath stumbled into teachers' college in 1962 and became hooked by the joy and challenge of teaching. He taught for the next 47 years in a variety of roles and places, including remote rural New Zealand and a village on Samoa's second island, Savai'i. Some of his teaching was in secondary schools, but he mainly worked in primary schools, where he became fascinated with children's initial experience of school and how they learn to read. For a time, he became an educational gypsy, visiting Correspondence School children. In his ten years as principal at Auckland's inner-city Decile One Newton Central School, from 1988 to 1998, he endeavoured to put into practice many of the ideas outlined in this book.
Tim writes poetry and, occasionally, gets it published. He was, for many years, an MC at Poetry Live -- Auckland's long-running weekly poetry event. He has won several poetry slams, including Poetry Idol, Womad and Going West. He was part of 'The Best of the Best' event at the 2017 Auckland Writers Festival. The Poetry Gold Cup, from Burnie in north-west Tasmania, is a prized possession, as is the People's Choice Award from Bellingen Literary Festival in rural New South Wales. He was delighted to be voted People's Choice at the 2019 Going West Festival.
A collection of Tim's poetry was published in 2018, under the title Not As The Crow Flies. He writes about everyday life: relationships, shopping, parking, love and loss. He believes that poetry should not be difficult and that it's okay if a poem makes people laugh.
Time for writing is happily compromised by being a grandfather, reading, cooking, gardening, golfing, ocean sailing, watching cricket, tending an ageing Grey Lynn villa . . . and dreaming.