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


Most people recall a teacher or two who had a significant impact on their future. In fact, outside the family unit, teachers have more influence on our lives than anyone else. Good teachers help students believe in themselves with a glimpse of what they might become. They go the extra mile to make learning fun and meaningful, and they inspire students to dream and broaden their horizons. Teachers have the power to change lives.

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

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Most people recall a teacher or two who had a significant impact on their future. In fact, outside the family unit, teachers have more influence on our lives than anyone else. Good teachers help students believe in themselves with a glimpse of what they might become. They go the extra mile to make learning fun and meaningful, and they inspire students to dream and broaden their horizons. Teachers have the power to change 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: 9781623611071
  • Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 195,625
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.


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 thecrazy, 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

Introduction xv

1 A Day in the Life

Once upon a Time Joan Gozzi Campbell 2

A Random Harvest James Elwood Conner 7

Any Kid can be a Superstar! Maureen G. Mulvaney 10

Encouraging Kelly Seema Renee Gersten 16

Am I Close? Alice Stolper Peppler 20

The Girl in the Fifth Row Leo Buscaglia 22

The Teacher Marion Bond West 28

Roses in December Herb Appenzeller 34

Danny's Gift Karen Wasmer 37

A Great Way to Make a Living Lee Saye 39

You Never Picked me Last Tee Carr 43

2 Answering the Call

Why Choose Teaching? Bonnie Block 48

Teacher at Last Eugene Edwards 51

Anna Isabel Bearman Bucher 58

Born a Teacher Robin Lee Shope 62

Begin at the Beginning Lola De Julio De Maci 65

Once a Teacher, Always Kay Conner Pliszka 69

3 Love in the Classroom

Let's go, Daddy Marty Appelbaum 73

A Friday Night in May Carolyn M. Mason 76

Love First, Teach Second Joan Clayton 79

All Things Grow ... with Love Joan Bramsch 83

Sarah Michele Wallace Campanelli 86

A Bear and a Rock Sharon Wilkins 89

I will Always Love you Suzanne M. Perry 93

A Couple of Teachers Marsha Arons 96

Coo-Coo-Ca-Choo Joseph Walker 100

The Bad Word Box Julie Wassom 104

Need a Hand? Suzanne Boyce 107

4 Defining Moments

That's Just Roscoe Sue L. Vaughn 112

Great Answer Bonnie Block 115

Mother and Child Patricia A. Habada 117

Promises to Keep Kris Hamm Ross 120

Goals and Dreams-A Winning Team Jodi O'Meara 124

5 Making a Difference

You Elevated my Spirit Adela Anne Bradlee 131

We Never Know Larry L. Leathers 136

The Reader Leon Lewandowski 141

Sergei Molly Bernard 145

A Tribute to Many Uncrowned Kings and Queens Daniel Eckstein 148

The Sunday School Teacher Robin Lee Shope 151

Every Student Can Learn Meladee McCarty 154

Awakening Beatrice O'Brien 159

Easter in Jackson Allison C. Miller 161

Changing the World-One Clip at a Time Steve Goodier 164

6 The Classics

All the Good Things Helen P. Mrosla 168

Miss Hardy H. Stephen Glenn 172

To Beth's First-Grade Teacher Richard F. Abrahamson 176

The Magic Pebbles John Wayne Schlatter 180

Mr. Washington Les Brown 183

How Could I Miss? I'm a Teacher Hanoch McCarty 187

A Gift from Brandon Myrna Flood 191

I Am a Teacher John Wayne Schlatter 194

7 Overcoming Obstacles

Standing Donato Dennis McCarthy 199

One of my Early Teaching Jobs Angela K. Nelson 202

The Big Kid Joyce Belle Edelbrock 207

Only a Shadow in his Past Melinda Stiles 211

Let a Miracle Happen Aletha Jane Lindstrom 214

Special Needs Frankie Germany 219

Moment in the Sun Joe Edwards 222

The Substitute's Surprise Linda L. Osmundson 226

Miracle in the Gym Kimberly Ripley 231

Benjamin Dori Courtney 234

8 Beyond the Classroom

In Case of Darkness W. W. Meade 240

Excellence is Love in Action Bettie B. Youngs 245

The Poems Jeff Savage 252

Positive Reinforcement Rich Kornoelje 256

So Little Meant so much Beth Teolis 259

An Ordinary Woman Marsha Arons 261

9 Learning by Teaching

Master Teacher Marikay Tillett 266

Brush Strokes Gail Davis Hopson 269

A Letter to my Preschoolers Jennifer L. DePaull 271

You can't Judge a William by its Cover Mary Chavoustie 273

Eric Willanne Ackerman 278

10 Insights and Lessons

Chuck Gerard T. Brooker 282

The Greatest Lesson Carol Toussie Weingarten 284

Annie Lee's Gift Glenda Smithers 286

Old Miss Mac Battie B. Youngs 290

The Problems Class Donald Arney 298

Permission to Fail Aletha Jane Lindstrom 302

Lasting Lessons from a Fifth-Grade Teacher Terry Miller Shannon 305

11 Thanks

Meeting Josiah Denaé Adams Bowen 310

Gifts of Love on Valentine's Day Jodi O'Meara 315

A Note in my Mailbox Ron Wenn Nancy J. Cavanaugh 318

A Humble Gift Amanda Krug 322

Hall of Fame Debra Peppers 324

A Typical Day Brian Totzke 328

Start your Engine Christina Cheakalos Kenneth Baker 331

What I Learned in Spite of Myself MaryJanice Davidson 334

Yours are the Hands Julie Sykes 339

Who is Jack Canfield? 341

Who is Mark Victor Hansen? 342

Contributors 343

Permissions 356

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