Title: Put A Wet Paper Towel On It:
The Weird and Wonderful World of Primary Schools
Authors: Lee Parkinson & Adam Parkinson
Illustrator: Tim Sadler
Publisher: Harpercollins UK
Genre: Non-Fiction, Humour, Parenting & Families
Release Date:19th August 2021
BLURB from Goodreads
A heart-warming and hilarious look at life in the classroom from the teachers who host the most popular UK education podcast, Two Mr Ps in a Pod(Cast).
Have you ever wondered what really happens during the day when your precious little angels are at school?
In this book, The Two Mr Ps will take you on a side-splittingly funny journey through the weird and wonderful world of primary schools. It will also explore the pressures of modern-day teaching, revealing exactly what it takes to wrangle a chaotic classroom (or seven) on a weekly basis. From the absolute characters found in the staffroom to school-trip mishaps and everything else inbetween, Put A Wet Paper Towel on It is a must-read for teachers and parents alike.
So sit up straight, four legs on your chair, fingers on lips and get ready to take a trip down memory lane. And remember – when in doubt, just put a wet paper towel on it.
I was on the look-out for another non-fiction book to read, and after reading some pretty hard-hitting serious stuff, I wanted something a little lighter and perhaps humorous to read.
The first thing that catches your eye with this book is the bright colour! I think the colour is great as it’s one of the main bright colours seen a lot in primary schools. I really like the doodle like illustrations on the cover, and the ones used throughout the book too! I think the fact the title is in a “speech balloon” makes it stand out even more. Just on the cover alone I would pick this one up in a bookstore to learn more about it, so I guess you can say the cover does its job very well.
The book is written by two brothers, Lee, & Adam Parkinson, one a teacher and the other a teaching assistant. I had thought the whole book would be about just their day-to-day school life as teachers, but they also reminisce about their own school days too. The different chapters cover everything from school plays, to the different types of teachers and how they react differently to the job and all it entails. Such as a Newly Qualified Teacher Vs a More Experienced Teacher.
NQT: These staff meetings are so valuable, informative and inspiring. I am learning so much!
ET: Here we go, here’s another hour of my life I’m never getting back.
The names of the different teachers are NQT,(newly qualified teacher) Longest-Serving Member of Staff (been there for years, started as dinner lady etc etc) Banter King, The Entertainer, Geordie PE Teacher, The Mother Hen, Eco Warrior, The Mood Hoover, The 'Miss Honey'
Apparently the “Banter King” loves Aprils Fools Day as he gets to send pupils for things like Tartan paint and left handed scissors, rulers, pens or glue sticks! However the brothers all-time favourite was when the Banter King sent one of his boys to Year 6 to ask for a ‘long stand’. The teacher was in on the joke and just said, ‘A long stand? Yes, of course! Just wait there for a moment.’ Ten minutes passed – and it could have definitely been longer – but the headteacher, who was doing their daily rounds, noticed the boy stood doing nothing and upon closer inspection realised that this was a Year 5 boy in a Year 6 classroom. After questioning, the boy proudly exclaimed that he had been asked to do a special job and he was waiting for a long stand! It was at this point that all April Fool’s Day jokes, including those amongst the children, were strictly prohibited. But the memories remain.
I really enjoyed reading about the different types of teachers, their positives, their quirks and everything in between. It was amusing to read the descriptions and then think of your own experiences with school teachers, as a pupil and then later as a parent. I definitely recognised the odd character here and there.
I actually laughed out loud at the section about the phrases teachers use and what they really thinking, and really meaning! I thought the section on the pupils telling the teachers lies, or I guess “tall tales” sounds nicer were really funny although you could see how things could have gone really quite badly for one young lad and his lies! I also found the different classifications of parents, especially on Sports Day.
I enjoyed all the sections where the authors reminisced back to their own school days when they were being “bad lads” at school. It was amusing that they could guess what some of their pupils were up to because of their own escapades at school. Although both author brothers insist the other one was the worst culprit!
I loved the “alternative” school plays! I bet the pupils loved taking part! It’s a shame other schools don’t adopt this type of play/concert. I don’t know which one I would have most loved to see! I can see how using something modern and more relatable to the pupils will have them enjoying themselves that much they won’t realise they are learning and using certain “school skills”.
I didn’t really think or realise how much a Teaching Assistant did and how valuable they are to a teacher. The way it is put over in the book really spells it out and in a funny way too. A passionate, hard-working TA is: 50% teacher 20% first aider 15% superhero 15% behaviour guru 100% underpaid!
My immediate thoughts upon finishing reading the book were that I had really enjoyed it. Definitely made me chuckle quite a lot!
Summing up I think this book is a humorous, at times laugh out loud account of a teachers and teaching assistant’s life, as well as them looking back at their own school days too.