Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul: Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirit of Educators

( 9 )


What school-age child hasn't dreamed of being a teacher at one time or another? How demanding could a career filled with art projects, field trips, apples for the teacher and sing-alongs be? Now you're all grown-up and have become a teacher -- and the first thing you've learned is that your childhood beliefs belonged to the era of the one-room schoolhouse. Today you're coping with low pay, standardized testing, school violence, large class sizes -- the challenges can seem insurmountable! But it is precisely ...
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What school-age child hasn't dreamed of being a teacher at one time or another? How demanding could a career filled with art projects, field trips, apples for the teacher and sing-alongs be? Now you're all grown-up and have become a teacher -- and the first thing you've learned is that your childhood beliefs belonged to the era of the one-room schoolhouse. Today you're coping with low pay, standardized testing, school violence, large class sizes -- the challenges can seem insurmountable! But it is precisely because of these factors that you are needed now more than ever and have more opportunities to have a lasting impact on the lives of those you teach. Written by a wide range of teachers, counselors, administrators, educational consultants and former students, the stories in Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul provide insight into the trials, tribulations and triumphs of those in the education field, and will remind you -- and anyone who works with children -- that you can make a difference to your students. These stories will show that you have the power to help your students believe in themselves and give them a glimpse of what they might become. You'll be inspired to go the extra mile to make learning fun and meaningful for every student. And you'll see how your fellow educators inspire their students to dream and broaden their horizons. Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul is required reading for every teacher, professor, childcare professional, school principal, counselor and teacher's aide. You will learn treasured lessons on the importance of encouragement, the power of love, the value of taking a risk in the classroom, and the need for mentors and allies. As an educator, you will recognize yourself and your students in these stories of hope and love. You will see your growing challenges as newfound opportunities to transform lives.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Almost since the inception of the series, Chicken Soup readers have been requesting a book to honor the heartwarming spirit of teachers. Coauthors Canfield and Hansen offer this steaming brew of homemade porridge for the soul. Everyone has an educator in his or her life who deserves this collection as a gift.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641539886
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/11/2002
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional growth of others. Jack Canfield has a master's degree in education and was a classroom teacher in Chicago, Iowa and Massachusetts. For over thirty years, he has conducted training seminars in hundreds of school districts and educational associations around the world. He has coauthored books on self-esteem in the classroom and several curriculum guides.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional growth of others. Mark Victor Hansen has also worked with teachers worldwide in his career as a motivational speaker.


While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

A Humble Gift

It is the last day of the school year and I stand empty-handed with no gift to give you. It isn't that I haven't tried to think of something thoughtful and kind—quite the contrary. For months, I have combed catalogs, browsed specialty shops and department stores, inquired in novelty shops, and even searched the Internet only to realize that no bauble or trinket or card could express the feelings of a mother's grateful heart for a teacher's loving dedication. How I wish a colorful bundle of fresh wildflowers could reflect the beauty of your way with children—the constant patience and nurturing, the gentle encouragement. A keepsake basket laden with soothing soaps and bath oils would eventually serve only as a common gift were its sturdy, woven walls not filled to overflowing with examples of the individual ways you have touched the lives of your students. Jewelry would be nice, but what can I afford that would not soon tarnish or grow quickly out of style? You deserve the gems of

royalty for your perseverance and creativity, your devotion and talent. During the past year, I have given you many gifts, mostly intangible ones.

My first gift arrived at the moment the first school bell rang last August, when I placed in you my trust, believing you would teach my child and reserve respect for me as a parent. I added to that my constant and fervent prayers that you would be objective and fair, with the ability to set limitations while offering my child a chance to learn self-control and to soar a bit in the process. I sincerely petitioned that your classroom would be a safe haven for my child to grow and learn, lending itself to the crazy, yet somehow perfect mixture of self-discipline and controlled instruction. I prayed for your health and your happiness, and for your ability to be supplied with the tools necessary to complete your task as teacher, educator and mentor. I offered you my time as often as I could, and my support for your endeavors. Occasionally, I even offered you a challenge when I spoke my mind, sometimes—standing firm, sometimes backing down with a renewed assurance or a “wait and see” attitude.

I wish with all my heart that I could put a delicate ribbon on a gaily wrapped package and give you a “something” to express my appreciation and affection. But I have nothing to give you that would surpass the most precious gift I have ever had to offer and which you already so graciously accepted months ago—the one you have held close to your heart, laughed with and probably cried with, applauded and scolded, lifted and encouraged, molded and shaped—my child.

And today, as my child returns to my side for the summer, the gift I humbly give to you is found deep within my heart . . .

I give you my thanks.

Amanda Krug

¬2002. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street,
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Introduction xix
Share with Us xxi
1. A Day in the Life
Once Upon a Time 2
A Random Harvest 7
Any Kid Can Be a Superstar! 10
Encouraging Kelly 16
Am I Close? 20
The Girl in the Fifth Row 22
The Teacher 28
Roses in December 34
Danny's Gift 37
A Great Way to Make a Living 39
You Never Picked Me Last 43
2. Answering the Call
Why Choose Teaching? 48
Teacher at Last 51
Full Circle 57
Anna 60
Born a Teacher 64
Begin at the Beginning 67
Once a Teacher, Always 71
3. Love in the Classroom
Let's Go, Daddy 75
A Friday Night in May 78
Love First, Teach Second 81
All Things Grow ... with Love 85
Sarah 88
A Bear and a Rock 91
I Will Always Love You 95
A Couple of Teachers 98
Coo-Coo-Ca-Choo 102
The Bad Word Box 106
Need a Hand? 109
4. Defining Moments
That's Just Roscoe 114
Great Answer 117
Mother and Child 119
Promises to Keep 122
Goals and Dreams--A Winning Team 126
5. Making a Difference
You Elevated My Spirit 133
We Never Know 138
The Reader 143
Sergei 147
A Tribute to Many Uncrowned Kings and Queens 150
The Sunday School Teacher 153
Every Student Can Learn 156
Awakening 161
Easter in Jackson 163
Changing the World--One Clip at a Time 166
6. The Classics
All the Good Things 170
Miss Hardy 174
To Beth's First-Grade Teacher 178
The Magic Pebbles 182
Mr. Washington 185
The Royal Knights of Harlem 189
How Could I Miss? I'm a Teacher 195
A Gift from Brandon 199
I Am a Teacher 202
7. Overcoming Obstacles
Standing by Mr. Donato 207
One of My Early Teaching Jobs 210
The Big Kid 215
Only a Shadow in His Past 219
Let a Miracle Happen 222
Special Needs 227
Moment in the Sun 230
The Substitute's Surprise 234
Miracle in the Gym 239
Benjamin 242
The Virtue of Excellence 247
8. Beyond the Classroom
In Case of Darkness 250
Perils of a Preschool Husband 255
Excellence Is Love in Action 259
The Poems 266
Positive Reinforcement 270
So Little Meant So Much 273
An Ordinary Woman 275
9. Learning by Teaching
Master Teacher 280
Brush Strokes 283
A Letter to My Preschoolers 285
You Can't Judge a William by Its Cover 287
Eric 292
10. Insights and Lessons
Chuck 296
The Greatest Lesson 298
Annie Lee's Gift 300
Old Miss Mac 304
The Problem Class 312
Permission to Fail 316
Lasting Lessons from a Fifth-Grade Teacher 319
I Touch the Future 323
11. Thanks
Meeting Josiah 328
Gifts of Love on Valentine's Day 333
A Note in My Mailbox 336
A Humble Gift 340
Hall of Fame 342
A Typical Day 346
Start Your Engine 349
A Very Special Delivery 352
What I Learned in Spite of Myself 355
Yours Are the Hands 360
More Chicken Soup? 363
Supporting Teachers Around the World 364
Who Is Jack Canfield? 365
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 366
Jack Canfield's Teacher Resources 367
Contributors 368
Permissions (continued) 381
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Makes A Great Gift For A Teacher

    I can't even begin to do the Chicken Soup For The Soul series justice by trying to write a simple review for any of the books in the series. I have read so many of these books that we'd be here all day for me just to give you the names of the ones that I have read. Furthermore, I have given countless others away as gifts to family and friends. All I can say is that each book is everything that I expected and more. I would definitely recommend any one of the books in this series for you and/or someone that you love.

    For anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain, I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score." I thought that "When God Stopped Keeping Score" was just about overcoming forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. The author actually pulls back the curtain to his own life, to offer an intimate look at the true power of forgiveness and reveals the emotional price that you must be willing to pay to live without it.

    All of this, while still offering up interesting and often tear worthy stories that showed you just how you should deal with friends, family and more importantly, yourself when things do go wrong. The author more importantly reveals the key to keeping these relationships strong even in the face of adversity. Read the story of Donna and I Can't! It is a must read,

    Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe that's because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it for yourself. It is on sale here on

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007


    I read this as a new teacher and it really inspired me. Any teacher, new or experienced should read this book. I even read some of the stories to my high school students as inspiration!! They enjoyed it and asked for more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2002

    Inspiring Stories for Career Educators

    The Chicken Soup books are always great reading, but this one is special. I am a bit biased, no doubt, because I have a story included in this one.But it is also special because as a educator with 36 years experience in the classroom, the stories still have the ability to give me goosebumps!

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    Posted October 9, 2010

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