Playground Duty

In the baking heat of February 1973, wearing a purple body shirt and an expression of confidence that belied his nerves, Ned Manning faced a classroom of children in remote New South Wales.

It was the start of many years of teaching that would be by turns exhilarating, nerve-fraying, and inspiring. Packed with stories of students both recalcitrant and driven, lesson plans, staff rooms, and drama, this book roams from high schools in dusty country towns to the edgy Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in Sydney’s inner city and a crucible of creativity at the Eora Aboriginal Education Center.

Through the challenges he inevitably faces, Manning finds the common thread of possibility and hope that runs through his profession. A funny and disarmingly honest memoir of a full life of teaching, this account has the power to rekindle a spark of glee and optimism about teachers, kids, and even schools.

Listen to Ned discussing Playground Duty with ABC's Natasha Mitchell.


Playground Duty can be purchased in paperback and ebook format from:


NewSouth Books