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Summary

Rachel was one of the high school's best teachers and got on well with everyone. The kids got good grades and everyone liked her. Recently she had become increasingly ambivalent toward the profession and felt she was going nowhere.

Her managers were grinding her down. The students began to irritate her with their juvenile behavior.

The needlessly excessive paperwork, marking, and time-consuming training sessions were starting to make Rachel wonder if she should just leave and pursue her dreams.

Then fresh-faced and eager journalist Joy Attwood spent the day with her to discover what being a high school teacher was really like. Unbeknownst to Joy, however, was that she had chosen one of the worst days of Rachel's professional life; she was hungover, impatient, and ready to explode.

Joy wanted to investigate the teaching profession and spend the day in their shoes to understand what their professional lives were really like. Rachel made sure it was a day neither of them would forget.

©2016 Andrew Mackay (P)2017 Andrew Mackay

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A fantastic debut, brilliantly performed

Taking the form of a non-fiction work, THE TEACHER is an imagined “day in the life” report by journalist Joy Attwood (brought to brilliant first-person life by comedian Sooz Kempner) of her experiences shadowing a secondary school teacher and seeing what it's like to step into the shoes of her subject to teach a class herself.

Approaching her work in the manner of a documentary filmmaker, Joy is as interested in providing an outsider’s commentary and telling us about how she feels about what she’s encountering as much as getting under the skin of her subject and the profession of school teacher.

Although this is his first foray into fiction of this kind, author Andrew Mackay has experience as a teacher and clearly drew upon real life situations encountered in the profession while also taking an opportunity to vent about realities of a mostly thankless job and the awful formalities that choke the passion for education out of even the most dedicated teaching staff. He shows tremendous skill in his ability craft a fast-paced, insightful (dare I say educational) story and has a particular flare for dialogue.

A light-hearted romp for the most part, it’s not for the faint of heart. Those familiar with the author from his podcasting (his latest show is called THE SMOKING LAMB) will be well aware of Mackay’s penchant for vulgarity and the grotesque and he cannot resist the urge to shock his readers. At times he even takes his reader on very uncomfortable detours. But it's all done with incredible wit and humanity.