The Magical Place We Call School: Creating a Safe Space for Learning and Happiness in a Challenging World (Hardcover)

The Magical Place We Call School: Creating a Safe Space for Learning and Happiness in a Challenging World By Dr. Kathleen Corley, Glenn Plaskin (With) Cover Image
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There is no shortage of challenges in schools today—from bullying to gun violence and beyond—yet The Magical Place We Call School reminds us of the extraordinary things that still happen in classrooms all across America and that school truly can be a safe and happy place for learning.

At a time when public discourse rages on about what students should or should not be taught, when books are being banned, when school shootings fill the news, and when families are still reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic—here comes The Magical Place We Call School. With its fresh focus on the power and perils of education, it’s an intentional way of thinking that will intrigue readers everywhere.

In her literary debut, school principal Dr. Kathleen Corley, a forty-year veteran in elementary education, writes knowingly and with unique humor and insight about the value of education, how kids think and learn, what they need to succeed in and out of school, and how their home life affects their performance. Plus, she tackles some of the most daunting societal issues impacting children today, from bullying to gun violence and beyond.

Dr. Corley reminds us that something extraordinary still occurs in classrooms across America—not just miraculously, but by design and with tenacity.

In The Magical Place We Call School, Corley shares human interest stories that shed light on what is and isn’t working and provides a calm hand and a much-needed perspective from the front lines of learning. Her deep caring for the children, educators, and parents in her midst shines through, providing a true sense of what she calls “the magic of schools.” It’s a book not to be missed.

About the Author

Dr. Kathleen Corley is an award-winning educator, an authority on school culture, and the charismatic principal at Red Cedar Elementary School in Bluffton, S.C. Renowned for her unique communication and leadership skills, Corley has a bachelor’s in music education from the University of Illinois, a master’s in music administration from Chicago Musical College, Roosevelt University, and a doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Illinois. 

Chicago-born, Dr. Corley began her career in education as an elementary music teacher and transitioned to education administration to make a wider impact upon student achievement and school culture. She entered the administrative ranks as an assistant principal in Palatine, Illinois, then became an elementary school principal in Lynchburg, Virginia, Salem, Massachusetts, and Bluffton, South Carolina. She was the founding principal at three of those schools and has been an educator for over forty years (and still counting). Corley has been an assistant professor at Salem State University and continues to mentor principals. 

A lifelong Cubs fan, Corley lives in Bluffton, South Carolina, with her husband, Wayne, and dogs Wrigley and Fenway. The Magical Place We Call School represents her debut as an author.

For more information or to contact Dr. Corley, please visit

Celebrity Interviewer and columnist Glenn Plaskin is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five books, specializing in memoir, business, self-help, leadership, and inspiration. 

Praise For…

"An often encouraging, compassionate, and reasoned approach to running elementary schools."
Kirkus Reviews

"Some day a techie will invent a chip that can pre-install 40 years of classroom wisdom into every new teacher or principal. Until then, we've got Dr. Kathleen Corley's book."
— Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow, author of Free-Range Kids

“This is more than a book; it is manual or even a bible on the inner workings of elementary school education. The Magical Place We Call School should be required reading for school board members and a permanent fixture on the desk of every elementary school administrator, teacher, and parent.”
— Ed Hajim, non-executive chairman of HighVista Strategies LLC; Chairman of the Board of Brunswick School; Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of The University of Rochester;
Past President of Harvard Business School Alumni Association

“Well done, Dr. Corley, for writing such a wonderfully engaging, personal, positive, and sage book about what schools can—and most definitely should—be about.”
— Bruce Marlowe, Ph.D., chair, Department of Education, University of South Carolina Beaufort 
Product Details
ISBN: 9781637632246
ISBN-10: 163763224X
Publisher: Forefront Books
Publication Date: January 16th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English