Love Teaching, Keep Teaching

The essential guide to improving wellbeing at all levels in schools

By: Peter Radford

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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 234 x 156mm
Pages : 304
ISBN : 9781785835032
Format: Paperback
Published: November 2020

Written by Peter Radford, Love Teaching, Keep Teaching: The essential guide to improving wellbeing at all levels in schools is a practical guide to staying well in a high-pressure profession.

In the midst of a recruitment crisis and a massive exodus of teachers from our schools, now is the time for some joined-up thinking about teacher wellbeing and mental health.

Offering insightful advice and practical strategies, Peter invites you to think differently about the way education is ‘done’ and how you can keep doing the job you love without sacrificing your health and wellbeing.

Love Teaching, Keep Teaching paints a picture of a truly ‘healthy school’ as being one in which the value of each staff member and student is fundamental to everything we do. It also shares a fresh perspective on school leadership, encouraging leaders to rethink common practices and to explore the rewards and benefits of employing a people-focused approach.

Split into three parts, the book covers the following key aspects of improving wellbeing in schools:

  1. Teachers and leaders improving their own wellbeing.
  2. The role of teachers and leaders in improving wellbeing across schools.
  3. The challenge to change the culture of our schools and education system.

Peter challenges the current way of measuring student progress and appraising teachers, and sends a wake-up call to encourage professionals and policymakers to ‘do’ education differently in order to prevent the current exodus of teachers from the profession. Furthermore, Peter also draws upon his own experiences as a teacher struggling under the heavy workload that ultimately played a part in his subsequent breakdown – and draws key lessons from his reflections to help other educators avoid the same fate.

Suitable for teachers and school leaders in both primary and secondary settings.


Picture for author Peter Radford

Peter Radford

Peter Radford is a teacher, trainer, public speaker and coach with a wealth of experience in leadership, management and personal development. He began his career in youth work before entering teaching and working in middle and senior leadership. Peter has also played a lead role in helping two large secondary schools achieve Unicef's Rights Respecting Schools Award.

Click here to read Peter Radford’s blog.


  1. Love Teaching, Keep Teaching is an inspiring and relatable read for both new and experienced teachers. With an -˜eyes wide open' assessment of the many responsibilities that teachers juggle, Peter Radford empowers the reader to reflect on the important question, -˜Why do you teach?'  

    As I reflected on my own reasons for teaching, I was able to think more strategically about the choices I make and the pressure I put on myself. Peter shares thoughtful advice on how to balance various obligations according to individual values and how to make conscious choices about what you invest your emotional energy in. The encouragement and emphasis on the necessity of taking care of oneself is a welcome theme throughout. 

    I began reading the book about one year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced me to shift where and how I taught. As I explored new ways to teach students and collaborate with colleagues in a constantly changing landscape, I found that the stresses and challenges of being a teacher were magnified. To this end, Peter clearly defines the varied responsibilities involved in teaching and argues for balance over perfection. By detailing the many demands that are made on teachers' time and attention, Peter helped me to make an honest appraisal of how I balance my time. I also appreciated the advice on being a leader that went beyond the traditional roles, as he describes effective leadership skills that can be applied in a wide variety of professional relationships - such as managing students, teaming up with colleagues, and heading a department. 

    I recommend this book to teachers regardless of where they are on their professional journey, as it will help them take control and set a course that works best for them. 
  2. Written specifically for classroom teachers and school leaders/administrators in both primary and secondary school settings, “Love Teaching, Keep Teaching” is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is insightful and inspiring. While especially and unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections, it should be noted for personal and professional reading lists that “Love Teaching, Keep Teaching” is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).
  3. Teaching must be one of the few professions in the world where those resigning say that it isn't the job itself - classroom teaching - that is causing them to leave. In the first sentence of his introduction to Love Teaching, Keep Teaching, Peter Radford states that -˜Teaching is the best job in the world', despite his suffering from burnout and leaving the profession. This paradox underpins his book.

    Peter Radford's honest account of why and how he left the job he loved asks questions of the education system, of those who lead schools, and of us as individual teachers. It considers the responsibility we have to take care of ourselves and to prioritise using our energy and passion in the classroom, where it matters, and the reason we went into teaching in the first place. It contains a wealth of suggestions about how we can look after our mental health better and spend more time with those closest to us. In that sense, it is a self-help book.

    But Love Teaching, Keep Teaching offers much more, too. It challenges us to take an objective look at what education is for, at our schools' priorities, and at the amount of time we are expected to spend on administration and management tasks. Peter Radford charges school leaders with the responsibility of taking care of the wellbeing and mental health of their staff and suggests ways in which this can be achieved. The alternative, he argues with conviction, is to run the risk that teachers will exhaust themselves trying to meet the expectations of the exam system, of the school's leadership, of the countless tasks unrelated to teaching and of a high-stakes accountability system which values judgement over support.

    If you are thinking of resigning and you love teaching, Peter Radford's book might support you to keep teaching, at least while you look for another school that values you more. If you are happy in your school and cared for, Love Teaching, Keep Teaching will enable you to evaluate how you approach the job you love and give you guidance to make you love it even more. Either way, Peter Radford's book should be on the shelves of every staff library and in the hands of every teacher to read and then dip into throughout their teaching career.
  4. In Love Teaching, Keep Teaching, Peter Radford challenges teachers and leaders to begin with the end in mind and that is exactly what he does: -˜Teaching is the best job in the world!' This book really encourages the reader to reflect on their experiences and reaffirms why teachers and leaders go into education: to make a difference and to put pupil and staff wellbeing at the heart of everything they do.

    Whether you're looking to achieve a better work life balance using the Wheel of Life or utilising the Game Changing Index to lead dynamic teams in schools, this book really does have something for everyone. Love Teaching, Keep Teaching is an honest and thought provoking book that will inspire action.

    As a teacher and leader I couldn't put this book down. In such challenging times, it's just what I needed to re-energize my belief that a “different reality” is always possible for teaching, learning, leadership and wellbeing. I will now be asking myself daily: “Am I cave thinker or a brave thinker?”

    Read the full review here.
  5. In this insightful and engaging book, Peter Radford develops a broad-based agenda of strategies and systems to improve wellbeing at all levels in schools - drawing upon his personal experience of leaving teaching due to a breakdown. 

    In an extensive analysis linked to his own reflections on why he unravelled, alongside his desire to return to teach, the author has made valuable references to the work of researchers and thinkers such as Steve Peters, Carol Dweck and Jim Collins in his search for strategies for coping with stress, managing mental health, and changing one's mindset. Readers who are struggling - or are supporting colleagues, friends or family members who are struggling - to survive within their working environment would gain considerable benefit from reading the section on recalibrating. There are many challenging aspects of wellbeing for teachers, which the author unravels from his own experiences - and which may well promote the personal skills of confidence, tenacity and awareness alongside strategies for intrinsic motivation, positive reflection and renewal of zest. 

    Those readers taking on leadership roles will gain from the sections on the Game-Changing Index and the keys to effective leadership, based heavily on the work of Steve Peters. The book has many positives and is well structured. For example, the reflective questions at the end of each chapter enable the reader to pause to consider issues raised by the author in a compelling and insightful way. 

    In the current climate, with the range of challenges that staff are facing in schools and colleges to address additional issues such as strategies for effective online teaching, irregular attendance, access to online lessons, and general wellbeing, Love Teaching, Keep Teaching is essential reading for staff at all levels.
  6. Peter Radford tells it as it is. With disarming honesty, he leads us into Love Teaching, Keep Teaching by informing the reader that he has quit the profession and by explaining exactly why. He does not spare himself and you soon realise that his own experiences have moulded the structure of the book. It starts with self-reflection and self-care, moves into a critical analysis of school leadership and finishes by taking a global perspective on what the education system needs to address in order to stay relevant. 

    This is a bold proposition - and it works. The blend of personal experiences, positive and negative, is narrated with skill. The book is brought alive by drawing on sources way beyond conventional teacher education books, ranging from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance through to That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea.

    Love Teaching, Keep Teaching could not be more timely. The need for self-care is greater than ever as those in the classroom wrestle with adjusting to new ways of teaching that are counterintuitive and laden with uncertainty. This extends way beyond work into teachers' social and family lives, too - which also contributes to rising stress levels. All those working in schools right now are searching for professional and emotional lifelines, as they aren't being provided elsewhere. 

    The book has been written in an accessible style that will appeal to teachers and school leaders alike. It is invitational rather than didactic and lends itself to being read in an armchair because it is talking to you. Furthermore, the exercises - which serve as vital barometers to check our own wellbeing - can be undertaken privately and reflectively. Yet the learning takes us right back to what's happening in school and how positive cultures can be nurtured successfully.

    This is a refreshing change from the canon of teaching manuals anchored in current English government policy with its reductionist focus on a knowledge-rich curriculum and behaviour regimes that render students as passive vessels to be filled. Here is a book that will take you above the fray and empower those working in schools. 
  7. Love Teaching, Keep Teaching is both a moving personal story and an expert's user's manual on how to survive being a teacher. Peter tells his tale of the challenges faced by teachers every day, but never once falters from championing this great profession. He stresses the need for authenticity, being true to your values and having the courage to control your own destiny. This is a book about accepting your mistakes and yourself.

    Reading Love Teaching, Keep Teaching will give you the confidence to either teach well where you are or to leave and find another profession - either way your own self-care is vital, and this book will help you reflect and act with integrity.  
  8. Love Teaching, Keep Teaching is an important book.-¯All too often, teachers enter the profession and are swallowed up by unrealistic expectations - whether this is to do with our own mindset, that of leadership, or the education system itself.-¯This honest and heartfelt account seeks to challenge the relentless cult of -˜outstanding' and rallies against an identikit model of teaching that seems to be increasingly prevalent in some of the darker corners of education.-¯Celebrating the art of teaching and leadership, Peter Radford draws on research and his undoubted experience to give a clear insight into how to develop a school culture that values human flourishing. His book offers a timely reminder for us all of the need to refocus on the things that matter the most.
  9. This book beautifully refocuses your attention to what really matters in teaching and realigns our minds as to why we went into the profession.-¯Amid the day-to-day running of schools and keeping our sights on the forever moving goalposts, it is so easy to forget what is most important and what our own values are.-¯Peter's brave reflections on his own experiences have enabled him to understand what so many teachers and leaders are going through and to blend this experience with the works of renowned authors and academics into one easy-to-read book.-¯Love Teaching, Keep Teaching combines research, strategies and excellent reflective questions to challenge your own thinking and the status quo. I wish I had this book years ago as it would have helped me to better understand why I do the things I do! 
  10. I think-¯most of us in the teaching profession would be able to identify the myriad of problems present in the day-to-day realities of working in a school. What Peter Radford does in Love Teaching, Keep Teaching is provide excellent, well-researched and practical ways of dealing with them and in potentially transformative ways. He empowers the classroom teacher and reminds even the most-¯experienced school leader how-¯to make the most of-¯their-¯staff.

    Peter believes that good schools start with the foundations of teamwork and valuing every individual, staff member and pupil - and he emphasises that good exam results are an indirect outcome of putting people first and valuing who they really are. He examines the power of -˜starting with the end in mind' in our schools. If we want our pupils to go on to help the world to flourish then we'd better sit up and listen!

    With the demands of teaching in schools seemingly going up and-¯up, Peter Radford describes-¯the-¯difference that a genuine focus on staff wellbeing can have, and in terms that all teachers and line managers can understand. It is refreshing to read educational-¯views and proposals for positive-¯change from someone-¯who has genuinely-¯experienced life in the teaching profession first-hand. Peter carries us honestly-¯through his-¯own tough experiences of life in the school setting and-¯offers convincing, empathetic-¯and practical-¯suggestions on how to move schools into the future.-¯ 

    I strongly-¯recommend this book to any member of the teaching profession, whatever-¯their role or level of experience. Honest, grounded and truly inspiring, it offers something for every teacher! 
  11. In Love Teaching, Keep Teaching Peter Radford offers an insightful pathway towards a school experience that is productive for youngsters as well as for those who teach them. The book is at times intensely personal, and it is well referenced and informed by a strong basis in psychology coupled with learning and leadership theory. The reflections at the end of each section encourage a positive questioning attitude to the way schools are at present and how they could be better. 

    A must-read for anyone who wants to delve into what makes teaching and learning tick. 
  12. Love Teaching, Keep Teaching is the book I should have read 20 years ago! In many ways it is three books in one, covering the prevalent themes of the day: teacher wellbeing, school leadership and the future of the education system. It is philosophical and reflective but also eminently practical with plenty of prompts for further action and helpful diagrams to illustrate and summarise key ideas. The book stands upon an impressive evidence base, both educational and non-educational, and you will want a sharp pencil and a highlighter to hand in order to annotate and page-mark for future reference. However, the most powerful sections are the ones in which Peter refers to his own experiences with a fair degree of candour and courage.
  13. This is an absolute must-read for anyone in teaching, or considering a teaching career. Peter Radford is an inspiring leader who practises what he preaches, and in Love Teaching, Keep Teaching he neatly distils how to deliver inspiration in the classroom and beyond. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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