Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Ron Clark Academy Experience



  Last Friday, I had the honor to visit the Ron Clark Academy with some of my favorite teacher friends and bloggers. We spent the day participating in inspiring workshops, observing excellent teaching methods in real classrooms, and met students that LOVED, LOVED, LOVED being at school!!! We were also blessed to see our rock star friend, Hope King. She and her husband teach at RCA and oh.my.word., they blew us away with their skills!! I mean look at her classroom....amazing!!!!!!

So....
It's taken about a week for me to process what I personally experienced at RCA. It was so powerful that finding the right words has been quite the challenge. Let me first start off by saying that I love teaching. It has always been my calling...my god given passion if you will. But to be completely honest with you, I've been struggling lately. I just constantly feel like I can't keep up. I know I'm not alone. Many of you reading this are probably feeling the same way. Sadly, I see teachers dropping like flies all around me because their passion for teaching is buried somewhere under standardized testing, data points, endless meetings, no time to plan lessons, unappreciative people, evaluation demands, and many late, sleepless nights just.trying.to.keep.up. This struggle is very real for so many of us. Do yourself a favor and start saving up now to visit RCA! It's a wonderful place to rediscover your love and passion for teaching! 


From Ron Clark and Kim Bearden's motivational talks that had me laughing and crying, to watching powerful lessons where EVERY student was engaged, I have never felt more inspired to think outside of the box and make learning fun in my classroom. Maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't have so many problems in the educational world if all professional development days were just as informative and empowering...#justsayin 


 After such an amazing experience, I couldn't wait to see my students on Monday! My energy level and excitement for being at school was out of control. I put a big smile on my face, took making learning fun to the next level, and incorporated more movement and music into our lessons. We chanted about prefixes, adjectives, place value, and giving compliments....they were short & sweet chants, but so much fun!! I *might* have also replaced our classical music in the mornings with Kidz Bop while my kiddos unpacked and completed their wake up work. I wish you could have seen their faces when I cranked it up for them the first time! I think they were shocked. HA! Just these little "out of the box" changes have made my students more engaged and excited to be at school! 


I can't thank everyone enough at the Ron Clark Academy for empowering me to be the best teacher I can be!! If you haven't experienced RCA, I hope you can go! You won't regret it!!  


If you want more information on RCA:

Also, I highly recommend these books...

2 comments:

amy jordan said...

You are so right! We have switched to a k-2 building which was a lot of adjusting! We did this without complaining! Now we just had meetings about the way we are teaching and how we construct our day. Our 1st grade team didn't really have much of a list but our poor 2nd grade teachers were basically given a two page memorandum of how they should run their day. It has been a very difficult week at our school and I am hoping that we can pick ourselves up and not let our administration wear us down. We are a great building and full of amazing teachers and students!!! I refuse to let them bully us!!!!!

Christer said...

That's AWESOME! I too feel stuck. I have been in a rut for quite sometime. Teaching is so difficult! And with all this testing and SLOs and FFT, the fun has been sucked right out of teaching. I hope to visit RCA so I can be rejuvenated as well. Thanks for sharing!