Please can you help contribute to my book? Surviving and thriving at secondary school

I’m writing a book for young people aged 11-18 in UK schools. It’s about the frustrations and struggles – as well as about the triumphs and inspirations – of school life. If you’d like to help and support others who’ve experienced struggles or triumphs similar to your own, I would be hugely grateful for ten minutes of your time to fill in my survey by clicking on the link here.

If you can get 10 other people to fill it in (and write your name in response to the final ‘anything to add?’ question), I will send you a £10 Amazon voucher.

It’s my ambition that this survey will represent the biggest sample of young people in the UK of its type so far. I want other teachers, parents and education policy-makers to hear YOUR voices, because they’re the most important ones of all.

There’s a survey for parents here too, so please share this.

A bit about me:

I’ve been teaching for 21 years and have written a book to help teachers survive and thrive in their careers. At my book launch, I looked out at the faces of more than 20 of my student who’d come along to support me, wildly excited by the fact that I’d published an actual book. Yes, teenagers do get excited by books.

At that moment, I decided I wanted to write a book for them – for you – the most important people in my life apart from my closest family. I suspect that I love my job because deep down, I’m still a bit of a teenager myself. I laugh at inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times (sorry, Year 11), I am impulsive, intense and sometimes overly sensitive.

I also have a daughter just about to start secondary school, and this book will also provide support for her – and for us – with the daunting and exciting journey ahead.

I do honestly believe that teenagers are human beings in their purest and most raw form. Everything is so intense, so significant and the journey to identity and self-definition is sometimes terrifying, often frustrating and it’s so easy to feel alone. But you’re not. Alone, that is. You’re not alone if you just don’t GET Maths, if that teacher just makes you see red every time you walk into her classroom, if you’ve felt let-down or betrayed by friends. You’re not alone if you’re a young carer, if your parents are overly protective or indeed not protective enough. You’re not alone if you’ve had mental health problems or suffered from depression or eating disorders or self-harm or if you’re the sibling of someone with special needs who takes up SO much of your parents’ time and energy.

Likewise, you’re not alone if you hold a fierce ambition to be a surgeon, a writer or an inventor; if you know you’re best friend will remain just that for life; if you’ve had a teacher notice a spark in you that has inspired you to believe in yourself more than you thought was possible.

I have a small team of student writers working alongside me on this book. If this is something you would be interested in being involved in (you would be writing anonymously – your real name, the name of your school and any other identifying features would NOT be used) please send me 100-200 words on the subject of ‘My top tip for surviving and thriving at secondary school’ to

Logo Thrive@SeondarySchool

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