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Nine Till Three and Summers Free: Life At A Teachers’ Training College: A Memoir

200 pages7 hours


Prequel to the well-received A Life At The Chalkface.


Mike Kent’s new book Nine Till Three and Summers Free describes the extraordinary three years Mike spent as a resident student at a London training college in the sixties. Facilities were basic, many eccentric students seemed less than suited to the rigours of teaching, lecturers struggled to keep abreast of the enormous changes happening in primary education, and only a handful of GCEs were needed to gain a place.


With humour and insight, the author describes the extraordinary events, situations and characters he encounters - the physics lecturer intent on taking his students to pieces, the field course run by an eccentric major, and the hilarious attempt at starting a college film society, the chaotic Freshers’ Hop and the viva examiner who had a passion for Guernsey. Amongst other students we also meet Dudley Hornpipe, a most unlikely candidate for teaching, David Barton, always willing to shave his hair off for a bet, and Simon Daines, who could probably have been a nuclear physicist, but chose teaching instead.

Additionally, the book details Mike’s first teaching practice at a school in a socially deprived area of London, his affection and nostalgia for the children clear as he describes the school that set him on the path to a highly successful career in primary education.

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