Going back to school proved to be rather exciting on Monday because Ron Clark was the guest speaker at convocation!! For those of you who are not sure who Ron Clark is, he is a man who didn't start out wanting to be a teacher, but through his own innovative ideas has proven to be highly successful in teaching economically disadvantaged middle school students in North Carolina, Harlem, New York City, and now Atlanta. Several years ago he was named Walt Disney's teacher of the year and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Maybe you are familiar with his first book and National Bestseller, The Essential 55. The book tells Ron's inspirational story of how he developed and implemented a set of 55 essential rules for success in his own classroom.
Ron's story was made into a movie titled The Ron Clark story.
Listening to Ron speak on Monday was inspirational. He made important points about really getting to know your students so that you can better understand why they may be having the struggles they are having, about affirming them, affirming them, affirming them (obviously this was one of his most important points!!), and being innovative in how you teach.
He talked about those teachers who are always asking others not to do something because it will make them look bad or because they will have to do it too. Don't be that teacher this year!! Be creative. Be innovative. Work hard and be inspired!! and no matter what..... AFFIRM, AFFIRM, AFFIRM!! Affirm your teammates, affirm your administrators (even when you do not feel like it), and affirm your students (even when their goals and ideas for themselves seem unrealistic). Affirm them!!
Ron has a new book out and all of the proceeds go to fund the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. I have started reading it this week and I have already laughed and cried and been inspired and I am only a couple of chapters in. I encourage all of you to go out purchase the book and get fired up about this new school year!!
You can learn more about the Ron Clark academy and their teacher staff development here.