Sunday, September 11, 2016

Passion in Portable Land Joins the Ron Clark Revolution!

In my opinion, there is nothing more exciting to a passionate educator than being invited to visit The Ron Clark Academy!  I had been dreaming of going to RCA ever since Ron Clark started inviting educators to tour his Amazing School.  I also love reading blogs about the life changing experiences that other teachers had after their visits, and how they were impacted by what they saw at RCA. Since I simply didn't have the $$$ to sign up for a visit myself, I tried to participate in several book studies featuring Ron Clark Books.    

Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a book study of The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark facilitated by my principal, Mrs. Young last spring.   I love Ron Clark books because they are full of fun and exciting ideas, strategies, and solutions for teachers, so I quickly jumped at the chance to participate.

I loved this book and the "extraordinary solutions" that Ron gave to help kids enjoy learning and achieve greatness in your classroom.  Here is one of my favorite parts of the book...

Then after our first group discussion about the book, my principal announced that she was going to take a group of 10 from the book study to visit The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA!!  SHUT UP!!  My heart stopped beating and I had to catch my breath as all of these crazy thoughts ran through my mind.  "How is she going to decide?"  "What do I need to do to become part of this group?" And then fear struck... "What will I do if I'm not chosen?" 

As I looked around the room many of my friends, and coworkers had similar looks on their faces.  I began to imagined all of us fighting over the tickets like crazy Black Friday Shoppers you see on TV! Oh my!

Mrs. Young then announced that she would have a random drawing of names from a hat in front of all of the book study participants.  My heart stopped again as disappointment filled my heart.  I'm just not that lucky and I never win anything.  A few moments later all the names had been drawn and my name was not.  I wanted to cry.

That's right, I wasn't going.  My heart sank so low that I thought I was going to throw up! It was devastating realizing that I wasn't going to get to go.  I was so jealous, but I tried to smile for my coworkers as I fought back the tears of disappointment and told myself that I would just have to save my pennies and go myself eventually.  

Then the unthinkable happened.  One of the lucky winners became ill and wasn't able to go on the trip. The good news is that she is all better now, but last May she was not able to travel.  Mrs. Young was was going to hold another drawing!  This time I didn't get excited and wasn't even remotely hopeful. I couldn't bring myself to attend the second drawing.  I had made peace with the reality that I wasn't going at this time and I was alright with it.  

Guess what?? My name was drawn! Thank goodness you didn't have to be present to win!  After hearing this news I was a little shocked, and felt like it was all too good to be true.  I tried to keep my excitement contained, just in case something went wrong.  It wasn't until we were all standing in front of The Ron Clark Academy Gates that I let the excitement take hold!! 

My view upon arrival!  The front gates of RCA!  I felt like a crazed Elvis Fan in front of Graceland.  RCA is to teachers what Graceland is to Elvis fans! WOW!

Here we all are waiting to enter!  I'm in the front holding coffee!  Mrs. Young is on the right and Rosey is on the left holding the book!

I was so overwhelmed by the whole experience that I didn't get any really good pictures! Everything was so fast paced and full of energy that I simply tried to take it all in like a sponge! The only regret that I have is that I didn't get a picture of me with Ron...but I did get "Slide Certified" and I jumped on the trampoline! Thank goodness one of my coworkers recorded me on the trampoline.  Its a hoot!  This was the first 30 minutes of entering RCA!! 

I encourage every educator to read Ron Clark's books, visit his website, watch his school's YouTube Videos, and try to save your pennies to visit his school.  The Revolution is growing and you are going to want to become a part of it!  

Stay tuned to Passion in Portable Land throughout the 2016-2017 school year as I document my part in the Ron Clark Revolution!    

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