“It is easy for people my age to look on the schools of the past with a sense of nostalgia, seeing a golden age that never really existed. I am not among them. I recognize that the schools of today have much more to offer.”

In Fifty Years in the Classroom and What I Learned There, John Barsby paints an honest picture of the schools he has known, and how they evolved over time, starting with his student days in the ‘50s and early ‘60s and moving on to his many years as a teacher, first in a northern mining town, then in an inner-city school, and finally in a well known independent school.

Filled with interesting anecdotes and historical details, this personal memoir is for the education lover and history buff, student and aspiring teacher of any subject. Mathematics teachers, in particular, will find much of interest. Barsby shares insights on many issues affecting teachers today: students cheating, curriculum development, streamed classes, mark inflation, and technology in the classroom, among others. Told with an engaging voice and sense of humour, Fifty Years in the Classroom is sure to delight and entertain readers.

John's book is available online from these book sellers:
Friesen Publisher
McNally Robinson
Barnes and Noble

It is also available in Winnipeg from McNally Robinson (Grant Park), and at all the Indigo stores.

If you would like a signed copy John has listed some on eBay. Search for "John Barsby signed". If you would like it inscribed contact John using the link below. The eBay copies are a little pricier than the bookstore copies since the price includes both shipping costs and eBay fees.

In recent years John has had three Creative Nonfiction pieces published in The Globe and Mail. If you are interested in reading them, here are the links:

I planned to keep up with the world as it changed, but still I fear I’m becoming an alien - The Globe and Mail

I’m not entirely sure whose ashes I scattered in a cornfield - The Globe and Mail

Memories of fear and fancy as a seven-year-old runaway in the Fifties - The Globe and Mail

Contact John Barsby directly at