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October 6, 2019


#AWW 2019 Gabbie Stroud “Teacher”

by NancyElin



  1. Gabrielle Stroud was a primary school teacher from 1999 to 2015.
  2. In 2014, Gabrielle Stroud was a very dedicated teacher.
  3. Months later, she resigned in frustration and despair.
  4. She realized that the Naplan-test education model
  5. …was stopping her from teaching individual children
  6. …according to their needs and talents.
  7. Gabrielle tells the full story:
  8. how she came to teaching…
  9. what makes a great teacher…
  10. what our kids need from their teachers…
  11. and what it was that finally broke her.



  1. This book is a good effort of a teacher moving
  2. from the classroom into a writing career.
  3. I’m sure we will be hearing more from Gabbie Stroud
  4. and I hope her writing skills will be even better.
  5. I have seen many reviews on Goodreads and I
  6. cannot agree:  this is not a 5 star book.
  7. It is enjoyable but not profound.
  8. In my opinion...less is more:
  9. less family backround
  10. — mother, sisters, boyfriend, chit-chat with daughters
  11. even more reflections about teaching
  12. — chapter 16 a teaching adventure at a Heritage School
  13. in Canada was wrapped up in less than a chapter!
  14. I’m sure there must be more to tell.
  15. Writing style: this all comes down to the reader’s
  16. own preferences.
  17. I felt that Stroud could improve her writing by
  18. less use of clichés...
  19. Ch 8:
  20. I felt older, fatigued but the cup was still half full….”
  21. Ch 26:
  22. “…the glass is half full…but the water didn’t taste right.”
  23. Ch 30:
  24. “We all fall down Gab, our true measure is how we rise up.”
  25. Ch 30
  26. ” I did’t leave teaching….teaching left me.”
  27. Dialogue: is conversational, simple.
  28. Pathos: There were very few experiences
  29. …that stirred up my emotions of pity, sympathy, and sorrow.
  30. Problems were mentioned..but in a light, fluffy tone.
  31. I was not swept away by Stroud’s story
  32. …as I was  with the personal essays of written
  33. Ashleigh Young in “Can You Tolerate This?
  34. This is the type of depth in the writing I hoped
  35. Stroud would tell me about….the teaching profession.


  1. What finally broke Stroud? ( my opinion)
  2. Teaching was changing too fast
  3. …and Stroud’s adaptation was too slow.
  4. Jack Welch…CEO of General Electric Company 1981-2001
  5. phrased it perfectly.
  6. ..and we all can learn from it:
  7. When the rate of change on the outside
  8. …exceeds the rate of change on the inside
  9. …then the end is near.”


Last Thoughts:

  1. There was one spark in chapter 5 that
  2. I thought would ignite the book:
  3. Core message…
  4. ” You showed me how to teach
  5. …now show me how to be a teacher.”
  6. Unfortunately this memoir/biography…fizzled out. 
  7. I hate flat soda.


8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thank you for your honest review. I am always fascinated by books about teaching, but this is one I will skip.

    • Oct 6 2019

      I’m glad you enjoyed the review.
      One of my favorite books about a teacher is by the Australian writer Thea Astley
      “Girl With a Monkey” (1958).
      The scope is not 20+ years as is in “Teacher”(….that is too much to process in just 290 pages!)
      …Astley’s book centers around 1 day in the life of a young schoolteacher
      This is the last day in the dusty Queensland town.
      You may like it!
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Reese Warner
    Oct 6 2019

    Great review! I hadn’t heard that Jack Welch quote, and your close was especially amusing.

    • Oct 6 2019

      They always remember the last line!
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Oct 14 2019

    As someone who left teaching after 18 yrs with burnout & disillusionment & complete & utter exhaustion, I haven’t been able to go anywhere near this book- even 11 yrs after a I left the classroom!
    But perhaps there’s a book in that somewhere for me 😃


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. #NonFicNov week 1: Year in Non-Fiction | NancyElin
  2. #NonficNov: Week 1 Year in Non-Fiction | NancyElin
  3. History Memoir and Biography Round Up: October 2019 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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