Troubador It Wasn't Me, All Right?

Released: 28/03/2019

ISBN: 9781785898983

Format: Paperback

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It Wasn't Me, All Right?


The true story of one teacher’s career at one of the most notorious schools in North Belfast. It Wasn’t Me, All Right?is Robert Rooney’s startlingly honest account of his teaching career, having taught adolescents deemed not only beyond education, but by many as beyond discipline. 

Although ostensibly for pupils who had ‘moderate learning difficulties’, Robert found himself teaching those who were ‘failing’ in mainstream education. The school in North Belfast achieved a certain notoriety during the sixties, seventies and early eighties not only as a place for children with learning difficulties, but also as a dumping ground for ‘difficult’ pupils. 

The resultant intake contained an eclectic range of intelligence, ability and behaviour. There were, however, a small number of teachers who were eccentric enough not only to embrace the challenge but to find it both enjoyable and rewarding. This is one of the few books of its kind that examines how ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland affected teachers and pupils during that period.

While delivering a serious message, this story is enveloped in humour as Robert relays his early bewilderment to the genuine enjoyment of his job with a sincere affection and respect for his pupils. This is not just another book about ‘The Troubles’; there is certainly pathos and tragedy, but the reader’s tears are as likely to be as much from laughter as grief. The reader is offered a unique insight into teaching in one of the most bitter and vicious times in recent history. 

It Wasn’t Me, All Right? will intrigue and amuse anyone who attended or taught in schools in Northern Ireland during that period. Aside from this it will also have a much wider appeal to anyone who sees humour as an integral part in the sharper end of education.

That's Books

Books Ireland

All teachers , whether involved in special education or “normal” education should read this is an honest , humorous and touching account of a special education teacher’s experiences in Belfast during the troubles in Northern Ireland. It is not, however , another book about the civil strife in Northern Ireland. It is about education in its truest form , set against the background of the troubles and details the efforts of this teacher to instill in his pupils an appreciation of life beyond their immediate environment , weaving in details of his own life and experiences .
For those not involved in education , it is a lesson in how to extract the most out of life , whether through work , or outside of work., written by a writer of tslent, character and promise .

by Kevin Brennan

This book made me laugh, and made me sad too. It's beautifully written, and is hard to put down once started.
Robert exudes care and compassion for his pupils. He obviously enjoyed teaching, and he certainly went above and beyond the call of duty, to enhance the pupils' learning both in and beyond the confines of the classroom.
The characters, and incidents in the book will make many a teacher smile , - and especially those of us who have taught children with special needs, and sometimes, challenging behaviour.
A warm and truthful book; poignant and funny. A terrific debut.

by Pat Bennett

A fascinating insight into what teaching in a special school in Belfast was like during the troubles. Filled with both humour and sadness I couldn't put this book down. Robert's kindness and aspirations for his boys shines through. An inspiring read for any teacher and a must for those involved in special education.

by Paula Fyfe

Loved this wonderful book - it made me laugh and cry. Robert writes with true affection about his past pupils and I only wish all teachers were like him - a great book for anyone to read not just teachers. The stories in the book show what an enriched school experience his pupils had. I would recommend this book to anyone a true joy.

by Rachel McAllister

My family have been involved in education all their lives so it was with great interest that I started reading Robert's book.
I found myself unable to set the book down, gaining great insight into very effective and shrewd methods for control of potentially disruptive pupils. Indeed Robert's style of teaching of those with learning difficulties was truly remarkable and in fact I would say that this book should be compulsive reading for those potential pedagogues in the process of learning their trade.
Based mostly during the infamous "troubles" in Northern Ireland it shows the tenacity of someone who loved his job.
A thoroughly great read with elements of humour and tragedy written by a man who was certainly a natural in teaching.

by Declan Starrs

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