Goodreads blurb: Schools are an integral part of our societal structure instrumental in shaping young minds. But at times even such sacred places are ridden with scandals, lust, jealousy and unscrupulous behavior.
‘Secret Diary of a School Teacher’ is based on real experiences narrated by a school teacher, who has provided an account of the numerous stories she encountered in her job. These present the Dark Side of the Institution which normally remains hidden from public eye. Armed with shocking revelations, this book would alter the reader’s perception towards the sanctity associated with schools. Get ready to dive into a world of malicious pretenses, relationships and friendships that will make you sit up and take notice.
Inspired by true incidents, this book contains information that you may never have imagined could happen at a place like school. Ignorance here is certainly not bliss.
At the outset let me confess that the only teachers I know were the ones I had in high school, a good two decades ago and therefore my school-related memories are quite hazy at best. That being said, I cannot profess to even remotely know what happens in schools nowadays.
For whatever reason, this book didn’t quite work for me at various levels. I don’t know if it was anticipating too much from the book based on the back blurb or whether it was the ‘holier than thou’ attitude adopted by the author towards teachers and schools in general, but somehow the contents of the book didn’t quite work for me.
The way I see it, even teachers are human beings and are subject to the normal human foibles such as desire, greed, love, lust and the like and therefore the format in which this book was written, various chapters involving incidents from the author’s past experiences as a teacher simply wasn’t interesting enough for me. Maybe I am cynical or maybe I don’t share the author’s point of view that schools are ‘temples of learning’ and places where the ‘sanctity of education’ have to be maintained, and that probably is the reason why most of the incidents narrated by her were not ‘shocking’ enough for me that they had to be narrated in a book.
Most of the chapters, actually make that all of them, deal with romantic or physical dalliances between individuals. At times they were between two teachers, at times between a boy and his lady teacher, at times between a girl and her male teacher, at times between office staff and teachers, at times between students themselves, but all of them were only ‘love stories’, so to speak, and this turned me off to no end. While I understand that these are the stories that make for ease of narration and is the stuff that teacher staff room gossip is made of, imagining that they would make for interesting reading in the form of a book was probably taking it too far.
On more than one occasion when I was reading the book I was left wondering why it was that the author chose to highlight only these incidents from her twenty plus years of teaching and why she chose only these and nothing else. I am more than sure she would have come across inspirational stories of children overcoming odds to succeed in their studies, stories where children helped each other to become better at whatever they did, stories where teachers went out of their way to help students during their most vulnerable phases of life. But the fact that she chose only ‘love stories’ to highlight is something that baffled me.
All this being said, I do appreciate the fact that she took time out to narrate these incidents, as I am sure there are more than a few people out there who blindly trust the schools and school authorities where they send their children to. This book clearly serves as a warning to all these ‘trusting parents’ that come what may, it remains their responsibility to remain vigilant about all the activities of their children irrespective of the cadre and class of school they are sent to. When it comes to parenting teenagers, a parent can never stay ‘too safe’.
Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in return for a honest and unbiased review of the same.