Sources for: A Gift of Wonder, A True Story Showing School as it Should Be




Ordering options:

Click here to order from Amazon.

Click here to order from the publisher

Scroll to the end to buy a signed copy from the  author.

More about A Gift of Wonder:

Perhaps, long ago, a teacher made a difference in your life. She took the time to support you as an individual and made learning come alive.

Your teacher could do this because she was trusted to use her judgment. Today, in the predominant educational environment, where high-stakes testing and anxiety reign, only twelve percent of teachers report that they are allowed a high level of professional freedom. This story shows why this is a loss for students today and offers a picture of schooling where teachers can, again, make a difference. 

Yet this book is not a polemical treatise. Kim Allsup is a teacher and a teller of stories, and so, to look only at the surface, this memoir tells the story of a teacher shepherding a group of children from grade one through six. However, it does much more than that. Sharing the developmental journey through the heart of childhood, it is funny, poignant, moving, relatable, and finally, life affirming, and hopeful —a  captivating book for parents, teachers and anyone who enjoys a good story. 

Focusing on the story of her class, she saves her one policy recommendation until the last chapter where, as a single note proposing the return of professional freedom to teachers, it rings loudly in the context of a story that shows why this matters. 

Intended as a creative statement about ways to improve public schooling, A Gift of Wonder is, ironically, set in an independent school. And why should it not be? Children everywhere deserve to be motivated by wonder rather than the pressure common in schools today. Why should public education not be modeled after highly successful schools where teachers are trusted?   

A Gift of Wonder is a book for readers, parents, grandparents, teachers and those interested in protecting childhood.

Readers enjoy the teaching moments, the humor, and the moving story of children and a teacher growing together over six years.

Parents gain insights about their own children as they read about the stages of childhood and remember what it means to be seven years old or nine or twelve. Reading A Gift of Wonder is an easy way to develop an understanding of the developmental stages of childhood.  Just as a professional farmer has much to teach the home gardeners about how to nurture plants, parents will find that a professional educator has an important perspective about nurturing children to share with parents. A Gift of Wonder asks and answers these questions:

–Should we always answer questions posed by children?

–Should we praise children frequently?

–Why is the experience of wonder vital to a healthy childhood?

–What can we learn from listening to children?

–Why does a nine year old need real work?

Teachers who read A Gift of Wonder find encouragement to let go of the lesson plan when a student looks off into the distance, raises her hand and begins to lead the class into an awe-inspiring question or observation.  The value of intrinsic motivation is a central theme throughout the book.

As Ken Robinson says, “Teaching is a creative profession, not a delivery system.”  The real classroom stories in A Gift of Wonder show teaching as the creative profession is is meant to be.

Those seeking a more meaningful school experience for children will find here a story worth sharing, a vision that shows why testing and rigid standards are not the way to improve schools.

Readers say:

Told in an easy to read style, this book is actually a page turner.

This turned out to be the best book I’ve read in a long time. It has the emotional impact of a book of fiction, and the educational value of a non-fiction book. 

Throughout the book, Allsup explains how each age – therefore grade – is so different. For example, we learn what to expect from a nine year old and what s/he is capable of understanding. This knowledge of the developing child is important not only for teachers, but parents at home after school and parents who home school.

What impressed me was Allsup’s constant observation of each child throughout the day and then bringing those memories into her meditation each evening as she reviews the child’s progress and prepares for the next day.

I think most teacher’s instincts are good and that they would do many of the things described in Allsup’s book. The point is that they are not allowed to.
The author, Kim Allsup, said, ” My hope is that this book ultimately influences, in some small way, the direction of public schooling. Some might ask how a book set in an independent school, in a Waldorf school, could be relevant to public school. But the truth is, in our era, teachers in independent schools, and perhaps especially Waldorf schools, are in the unique position of having exceptionally high levels of professional freedom. It is exceedingly rare to see this level of professional freedom in public schools and so it would be hard to find a public school as a setting for such a tale.  In story after story in A Gift of Wonder, it is the freedom of the teacher to choose the best course of action that makes a difference. All teachers have the potential to inspire, to find creative solutions, to listen to their students, but in public schools this freedom is increasingly threatened. And it is this freedom to teach that must be given back. A Gift of Wonder shows what it looks like when we trust teachers.  Take A Gift of Wonder to your  school’s principal, to your school board and request that the teachers in your school, in your district, be given the level of professional freedom shown in the book. While states and the federal government determine standards and testing, is is local districts that determine whether teachers will be allowed to use their own judgment to care for and to inspire their students.  A Gift of Wonder sets a goal for freedom in teaching for school districts everywhere. It is a story worth reading and worth sharing.”
from a reader:

I was surprised, somewhat, that the focus of the book was not on the details of Waldorf education, but a view of the big picture behind engendering a love of learning and blossoming of the early sense of wonder that is natural to all young children.

The book is available from the publisher

from Amazon

And signed from the author.

To order a signed copy from a US address, send $18 with your name and address  and any signing instructions to: Kim Allsup PO Box 3273, East Falmouth, MA 02536 or order by Pay Pal here:


Signed Book, A Gift of Wonder, A True Story Showing School as it Should Be

This inspirational teaching memoir is for parents and teachers and anyone interested in a good story.


  One thought on “Sources for: A Gift of Wonder, A True Story Showing School as it Should Be

  1. December 18, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Growing Children and commented:

    December 18 and 19: Last chance to order a signed copy to arrive before Christmas. This offer, good for these two days only, includes first class mailing rather than book rate mailing. May you have a wondrous, light-filled holiday season.


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