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'Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean?' 
Published May 2020
Order from SPCK or Amazon

Thank you for your interest in my second book! 

Notable comments:

Professor David Crystal, well-known linguist:

'A delightfully funny take on a manic year in the life of a secondary English teacher' 

Paul Kerensa, comedian & BBC TV writer for 'Miranda' and 'Not Going Out':

'Highly entertaining'

Chris Curtis, writer of 'How to Teach English':

'Funny. Witty. An accurate reflection of teaching in an English department.'

About Me:

I'm a middle-aged, pedantic-about-apostrophes, English-teaching, book-obsessed, cardigan-wearing grandmother with a keen eye for the funny, absurd side of life. What I observe, I put down in writing. Over the last 20 years, I've been published on-line and off-line, most notably on education in TES and emagazine and in faith publications such as Woman Alive. 


I'm a member of the Society of Authors and the Association of Christian Writers. In 2016-2017 I was selected for the prestigious Writing West Midlands Room 204 mentorship programme for emerging writers. 

Social Links:
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About the Book

'Miss What Does Incomprehensible Mean' is a funny, life-affirming memoir, in diary form. Set in the manic world of a busy teacher, and based on real experiences, this account of one typical year shows it’s not just the pupils who misbehave.

English teacher ‘Miss’ starts the Autumn term beleaguered by self-doubts. She’s mid-menopause, insomniac, and Mirror and Bathroom Scales are blisteringly unsympathetic. Her pupils make her laugh, weep, fume and despair, often in the same lesson. Her unremitting workload blights family time and she feels guilty for missing church events to catch up on marking. After all, God-lady is watching.

Meanwhile, the new Head of Department seems unreachable, an Ofsted inspection looms, her sixth formers (against school policy) insist on sitting in rows, and there’s a school magazine to produce ...

When childhood secrets demand attention Miss doesn’t want to give them, life gets complicated. 

Title : Miss, What Does Incomprehensible Mean? 

Author: Fran Hill

Genre: Memoir, Education

ISBN-13: 978-0281081998

No. of Pages: 224

Formats: Paperback, Kindle

Publisher: SPCK

Released: 21st May 2020

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Reviews and Recommendations:


Lorraine Kirkwood

5 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who has ever had anything to do with school.

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 June 2020

Some parts of this book made me laugh out loud (I had to go indoors in case my neighbours thought I was going mad in the sunshine!) and some parts were very poignant. As a retired primary teacher, I could relate to many of the pressures of planning, report writing, marking, fitting in family etc and could visualise many of the pupils I taught becoming the secondary pupils in this book. As mentioned by another reviewer, I also rationed myself to a half term at a time in order to try to delay finishing the book. I will definitely dip back into it to find again my favourite moments. I have bought copies to give to my daughter who teaches secondary maths and for my teaching assistant who stuck with me in school and who is a very good friend in the ‘real world’.

Maressa Mortimer

5 out of 5 stars Brilliantly funny

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 May 2020

Absolutely loved it... the funny ways of describing teenagers, mixed with sad combination ever. Loved it, can't recommend it highly enough!


Good news: free period first thing on Mondays this year. Spent today's in a photocopier queue, waiting for two engineers to mend the machines. I could have come back later, but one engineer looked like Sean Bean.

Double Year 11 before lunch - not the ideal hors d'oeuvre. Danny stood up while I was talking and peered over my left shoulder. 'Pizza and apple crumble!' he announced, reading from the weekly lunch menu pinned up behind me. 

'Forgive me for blocking your view, Danny,' I said, 'while trying to educate you.'

He said sorry, but he was starving and not thinking straight. I know he plays rugby but, built like a shed with a head, even at fifteen?

I thought I'd ask the class how many had read a book for pleasure in the holidays. Four out of thirty! No wonder they still say 'brought' when they mean 'bought'. 

The Year 7s, studying poetry forms in Period 5, wrote haiku. One reads:

I have to go sleep

My eyes are very heavy

When will the bell go?

Delighted to have inspired them. 

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