Monday, August 12, 2013

Molasses Shmolasses: Some Back to School Motivation!

Hello All,

So I’ve been on a Caribbean hiatus for a week and I need to get back into the blog-swing of things! On Instagram, I saw a couple of teachers post about Ron Clark’s new book, The End of Molasses Classes, and I knew I HAD to read it!  I read his 55 Essentials a few years ago and LOVED it, so I set out to Barnes & Noble the day before my flight and snagged my own copy!  I started reading it on the flight to St. Thomas, and am happy to say I was done by the flight home to Boston (I had to catch some rays here and there, ya know)! This book is PHENOMENAL to say the least! It had me laughing and crying, scratching my head and wondering, and most of all, it had me determined to go back to my classroom and make it an even more magical place for my small portion of the class of 2024 to thrive in!  
Ron Clark touches upon so many moments that have occurred during his journey, both high and low.  He tells it like it is and is so right in every aspect of his words and offers up solutions that have and have not worked for him.  I am in awe of this man, his staff, and his students.  He has found a way to transform his students to become the epitome of excellence!  All members of the Ron Clark Academy have raised the bar high for their students and will not except anything less!  I know his academy goes from 5th-8th grade, but I have pulled so many useful ideas and lessons that I cannot wait to implement in my 2nd grade classroom! 
After reading this book from cover to cover, and some chapters multiple times, I knew I needed to tell everyone and anyone about this book that would listen! While reading, I have a bad habit of folding the corners down of something that I want to go back to or when something struck me.  In this book, I really could have folded over each and every page, but I controlled the urge and only folded down nine.  Out of 101 chapters/solutions, I went back to “Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie,” “Be Excellent,” “Live With No Fear,” “Remind Children of Their Blessings and Stress the Value of a Strong Work Ethic,” “Set an Electric Tone on Day One,” “Realize That Kids Need to Move,” “Never Allow Students to Begin a Statement with Um, Well, or Me And,” “Fake it to Make it,” and “Let the Students Shine.”  Each solution or chapter is full of wonderful ideas, lessons learned, and failed attempts, but the ones above are the ones that really made me think!  I am not going to talk too much about the book, because I want YOU to go and get it, borrow it, or download it, and read it for yourself! 

You will not want to put this book down! It will give you a feeling of empowerment and wonder. The End of Molasses Classes will make you feel on fire and make you feel that you can conquer the world (or maybe just your classroom)! This has given me the end-of-summer drive to get back into the classroom and make it a place that Ron Clark would be proud of (we don’t want to disappoint Mr. Clark)!  I hope my students are ready, because I AM!!!! I am going to make it happen!