Book Review: The End of Molasses Classes, by Ron Clark


The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck–101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers
by Ron Clark

Published by Simon & Schuster

Read Excerpt

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Practical, innovative, and powerful methods to enliven classrooms and ignite a passion for learning in each and every child. It is time to “GET ON THE DESK” and make every school in America the absolute best it can be.

I often say I am a schoolteacher with the heart of a parent. I’ve made it my mission to make a difference in the lives of all of our children. I have traveled throughout our country, visiting schools in all 50 states, seeking out remarkable teachers who inspire our children to greatness.

Sadly, I have also witnessed classrooms that seemed sapped of all energy, filled with students struggling to stay awake and teachers in desperate need of inspiration. These “Molasses Classes” broke my heart.

I had to do something! I decided to leave my classroom in East Harlem, New York, and devote my time to this audacious dream: to create a revolution in our country, starting from the ground up. The heart of this change would be a school, unlike any in the world. It would be full of passion, creativity, energy, and an unparalleled freedom to do whatever it took to lead every child to success. The parents and teachers of this school would forge a true partnership with the intent of providing the best learning environment possible.

I am proud to say that dream — the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, is now a reality. We welcome educators from all over the world to visit and learn from our methods and techniques so that they may take them back to their schools. I am still teaching, every day, and I feel honored to have hosted more than 10,000 educators in my classroom.

This book is filled with the magic, the successes, the heartbreaks, the mistakes, and the triumphs that are the Ron Clark Academy. These are the 101 most successful strategies we have used to help uplift our children and enliven our classrooms. My hope is that you will find ideas here that will help you ignite a passion for learning in your children — and together we can get the molasses out of all our children’s classes.

Be different. Be bold. Join in.

– Ron Clark

101 INNOVATIVE AND CLASSROOM-TESTED WAYS FOR IMPROVING AMERICA’S SCHOOLS AND LEADING OUR CHILDREN TO GREATNESS

For PARENTS who want more for their children:

  • TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO STUDY; don’t expect it to come naturally
  • REALIZE THE POWER OF GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION

For TEACHERS who need strategies for helping every student achieve success:

  • LOVE WHAT YOUR STUDENTS LOVE, whether it’s iCarly, Twilight, or Monday Night Football
  • KIDS NEED TO MOVE; bring education to life with kinesthetic learning
  • GET A DRUM FOR THE CLASSROOM and use music to excite, motivate, and inspire

For COMMUNITIES who hope to uplift every child and improve the education of our next generation:

  • PROVIDE EXAMPLES OF EXCELLENCE; we have to be our best individually, but never forget that educating our children is a shared responsibility
  • RECOGNIZE THAT THE HEART OF THE SCHOOL IS THE TEACHER; hire the best and never settle

pub date: 2011-07-26 | Hardcover | 9781451639728

 

 

Clark Ron Clark, author of The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck–101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers, is a New York Times bestselling author of The Essential 55, has been named “American Teacher of the Year” by Disney and was Oprah Winfrey’s pick as her “Phenomenal Man.” He founded The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, which more than 10,000 educators from around the world have visited to learn about the extraordinary ways that teachers and parents of RCA have helped children achieve great success.

 

For more information, view Ron Clark’s Web site.

 

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My Review:

At the end of the school year (June 2011), I had an interesting conversation with my daughter’s teacher.  He had explained how he had a difficult time connecting with the kids, and that the kids of today are very different from when we were young.  This was the reason why I was interested in reviewing The End of Molasses Classes, by Ron Clark.

After reading this practical book, I felt that it is a perfect gift for all educators.  Clark’s methods are a bit of everything: simple, innovative, practical, fun, realistic, and even magical!  The end result is what is desired: helping children achieve success.  Our educators need to discover new ways in which to connect with our children.  Herein lies the way to build values in our children, and a germinate a desire to learn, and to achieve.

“If you are a teacher who wants to increase expectations but is afraid of the backlash from giving failing grades on assignments that will cause your parents and administration to freak out, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself When you give an assignment, show your students beforehand what you expect. Show a detailed description of what would earn a failing grade, a passing grade, and an outstanding grade. Share that with your administration as well to make sure it meets their approval, and then make your parents understand the expectations. Letting everyone know what is expected beforehand will leave no opportunity for complaints after the grades have been given.
If you are going to give rewards, such as cookies, let the parents know the classroom behaviors that will earn the reward and the behaviors that will not. When students are struggling, let the parents know specifically the areas that need to be addressed. If the child still does not meet the criteria, you have been clear about your expectations and therefore negative conflicts can be avoided.”

Have good ‘ol fashion values gone out the window?  I certainly hope not; very often I find myself getting frustrated with the slow pace of our education system.  I just “don’t get it”!  How can kids in grade 7 NOT know their multiplication tables?  Apparently, that’s not a concern!  Not to mention, kids can’t be failed so they end up passing even if they shouldn’t be!  Seriously?  What’s wrong with that picture?!!!  However, that’s my take on the education system … Clark clarifies what teachers can do to make educating our children an easier task.  His techniques are well worth implementing, and I intend on sharing them with this year’s teachers.  I’m certain that my daughter’s teacher will appreciate Clark’s simple, and clear writing style … I’m also sure that many of Clark’s solutions will be put in place!  After all, we all want our children to succeed!

Wait!  Teachers aren’t the only ones that will be rewarded by reading The End of Molasses Classes!  Parents can also learn with Clark’s techniques.  I’ve found it difficult to connect with my daughter (at times), and I’m sure that the teenage years will only add to my frustration.  I intend on trying out many new ways of connecting with my daughter.  I may not be her teacher at school; but, I am a teacher to her!

I definitely recommend The End of Molasses Classes!  We can all have a hand in uplifting our children in their education struggles.

 

FSB Media Book Blogger Directory

 

FSB Media has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy in exchange for my review.  I was not financially compensated in any way.  I am not required to give a positive review.  My opinion is that of my own.

 

About My Bits and Bleeps

Canadian Mommy, Wife, Friend, and Blogger! I enjoy sharing information with family and friends! I'll be posting bits of information that I've come across and have found interesting or helpful.
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