School Gaze takes readers on a round-the-world school trip spanning six decades. Each chapter is a snapshot of life from the ‘50s to the present day and beyond, viewed from both sides of the teacher’s desk.
Teaching has been my ticket to a decades-long variety show of mind-expanding experiences, people and books. It’s taken me round the world while shaping my life in myriad ways—from adventure-seeking schoolgirl to reluctant student trainee, from medievalist to would-be hippy and from a somewhat rebellious member of the English establishment to passionate environmentalist.
Combining memories and musings about education and life in general, the journey starts in in grey but definitely not dull post-war Sydney and travels through an ever-changing landscape of schools rich and poor, bland and quirky, inspiring and depressing.
Highlights include surviving a grimy inner-city teachers’ college and fearsome first boss, a New Age vs patriarchy battle on Florida’s space coast, a laid-back expat school in Bangkok, a shoulder-padded makeover in Hong Kong, a crash course in politics and publishing in Washington, a couple of English boarding schools, a start-up eco-school in the Balinese jungle and an exam factory in Singapore. The journey ends in a fantasy land of future possibilities.