Today we talk about Now I know my ABC’S, a book by Maisie Nesbitt published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Maisie Nesbitt to get to know her better and what prompted her to write about teaching in her book Now I know my ABC’S.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What prompted you to write a book on teaching?
Teaching is the profession I always envisaged myself doing, from the age of four when I ‘taught’ my stuffed teddy bears lessons in my bedroom! Having taught and worked in schools for over 6 years, and having seen how unrepresented the day-to-day life of teachers is in the world of poetry and adult fiction, I felt drawn towards the representation of this fantastic job. In addition, seeing how the Covid-19 pandemic affected schools and teachers worldwide made me feel this was now or never- poems on teaching could hopefully be understood by people outside the profession like never before.
- Who is the audience you wanted to reach when you wrote this book?
As my poems began as an outlet for stress and frustration, I do hope that fellow teachers can see my book as an inspiration, a reflection on their role, and a continued reminder of why it is we choose to come into our classrooms to shape young leaners’ lives on a daily basis. However, as I previously mentioned, I am also hoping to reach a wider audience to raise awareness on just how much work and care goes into a school day. I have lost count of the amounts of people who say to me, ‘You have such long holidays!’ or ‘It must be nice to finish your work at 4pm every day?’. Teaching, as is highlighted in my poems, never truly stops and is not merely an academic role, but so much more… hopefully, people from all walks of life and particularly, parents, can see the purpose behind my work and behind what it is we truly do.
- What particularly significant experiences in your life find expression in your poems?
In ‘Now I Know My ABCs’ I try to encompass all experiences- good and bad- of teacher’s lives: from Parents Evenings to taking children out on school trips; from meetings, marking and teaching to having to delve through Inspections; from dealing with pressures and unrealistic expectations stemming from (some) parents, supervisors and managers. Teaching is such a rollercoaster of experiences and emotions, hence why some of my poems are upbeat, and some are rather more tearful and intimate in their expression. What pushed me to write these poems was first and foremost a need to openly express frustration, burnout and a lack of understanding of our roles as educators. I did, however, happily find that humorous imagery could be conjured up from teaching, too! So in a way, this book was like a full cycle of therapy: an outlet for negative emotions and a rediscovery of positive aspects of teaching, and of what originally motivated me to study and train for this profession.
- How was your publishing experience?
Europe Books were like a dream come true: a publisher that appreciated my work in English but that understood and embodied my varied European roots. From the initial expression of interest in my poems, to numerous contacts on Zoom and online regarding editing, cover artwork, publishing and advertising, the Team were ready to understand and listen whenever I needed. It made me truly realise how smoothly and seamlessly the publishing process can go. It’s the writing that’s the hard part! Once you can overcome yourself as your own worst critic and sceptic of your own writing, so as to achieve a moment of pride and satisfaction, I have found that staff within the publishing industry were far more accommodating and understanding than I had been myself. My favourite moments of the experience, ultimately, were signing my contract in February 2021, finalising my proofs and edits…and of course, seeing my work featured on websites, Google searches and other world-renowned retailers!
- Are you working on a new writing project?
Perhaps I should say nothing and build up some suspense around it? Whilst I continue to teach full-time, now I have a taste for writing and a sense of purpose for it that goes beyond that of a hobby, I do have a few projects up my sleeve that I cannot wait to communicate to my publishers and team… I do not yet feel ‘ready’ for a full-sized novel as I do not think I can sustain a gripping storyline and relatable characters for that duration of pages. That being said, I have been attempting to write a series of short stories which unlike poems, have fewer nuances and imagery but allow me as an author to delve deep into people’s ideals, ambitions and inner thoughts. I have also found that the ‘fil rouge’ of dreams and possibilities is binding all my stories together for a collection with a common theme…but I shall say no more until I am allowed to!
Europe Books thanks the author Maisie Nesbitt once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book Now I know my ABC’S. We wish her the best of luck for this novel and for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish this book will be of inspiration to many teachers who truly believes in their teaching role but also, as human beings, are happy to share their knowledge and experience with everyone, from children to adults. Being a teacher is not an easy job! Children and adults can definitely understand the richness of teacher’s efforts and teachers have to be proud of what they do, especially after having worked long hours, dedicating time to self-learning and preparation; though, those hours are not actually visible, they are definitely there and they enrich the dedication of teachers!
So, my dear reader, teachers and not, I just have to wish you to enjoy your reading!!!