3 Educational Autobiographies

Reading time: 2

Lynn How

Lynn is the Editor at Teacher Toolkit. With 20 years of primary teaching and SLT experience, she has been an Assistant Head, Lead Mentor for ITT and SENCO. She loves to write and also has her own SEMH and staff mental health blog: www.positiveyoungmind.com. Lynn...
Read more about Lynn How

Do you ever read educational books for pleasure?

Being rather time limited, it is great to find books that both enable you to receive some professional development and relax at the same time!

Here are 3 educational authors that I would recommend …

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1. Nick Smith

(Head Trauma, 2022). One perk of this role is that I am sent the occasional book to review, often before the publish date. This book came just at the right time this summer and doesn’t disappoint.

Nick describes his journey through education; sharing the highs and lows of our profession. Offering a no-nonsense and often humorous account of what happened in his schools. It is particularly interesting, as Nick started in the medical profession as a doctor. This enabled him to make some thought-provoking observations when comparing the stress levels of both professions.

Within the book, Nick shares his various leadership successes and faux pas, sharing on occasion that, like the rest of us, he is indeed human.

It is interesting to discover how he navigates new leadership territory. Any non-educators reading this book will gain valuable insight and raise their eyebrows regarding the reality of the profession. At the other end of the spectrum, all educators will give the author a ‘nod of solidarity’ in recognition to the common issues and themes in our own settings.


2. Gervase Phinn

I discovered Gervase Phinn many years ago.

He regales us with amusing and sometimes unbelievable anecdotes of his life as a county inspector (pre-Ofsted) in North Yorkshire. Gervase chronicles in this book, his appointment to the local school inspectorate and subsequent inspections full of colourful characters.

This includes teachers who these days, would have been put out to pasture in an instant and school children who never fail to disappoint with what they come out with! A Wayne in a Manger would be a great teacher Christmas gift. It’s full of brilliant nativity anecdotes that all primary staff can relate to!

Titles include A Wayne in a Manger and The Other Side of the Dale.


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3. Torey Hayden

This author is one of the reasons I became so fascinated with special educational needs education (SEND), especially selective mutism.

Hayden’s books are true accounts of her work in schools in America. Ghost Girl is not an easy read in theme, nor are subsequent books in the series, as some of the children Torey comes across are living in extremely difficult and traumatic circumstances.

Within the book, it is clear how determined and passionate the author is in supporting the children in her care. At a time when there was not as much safeguarding or special needs understanding in schools, Torey tirelessly tried tactic after tactic to eventually break through this child’s silence.

Once you’ve read one, you’ll be wanting to read them all!

Titles include Ghost Girl.

Make time to read!

It is a nightmare trying to carve out time to do the things we love, but if you are an avid reader who has not picked up a book for a while, then make this month th to start a new book.

What educational authors and relaxing reads would you recommend?



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