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Review of The Essential 55 by Ron Clark

written by: Margo Dill•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 2/7/2013
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Ron Clark, Disney's teacher of the year in 2001, wrote a book about the 55 rules or ideas he used to become an extraordinary teacher. He demanded the best from his students and from himself, and he did this in some of the most difficult schools in the nation.

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    Practical Information You Will Learn From This Book

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    ron clark essential 55 Some of Ron Clark's the essential 55 rules: 2. Make eye contact. 5. If you win, do not brag; if you lose, do not show anger. 18. Be as organized as possible. 41. At home, answer your phone in a polite and appropriate manner. 49. Stand up for what you believe in.

    Obviously, Ron Clark knows what he is doing. The rules I've listed above are just five of The Essential 55 that Clark writes about in his book. The rules above are great rules for kids and adults, at home and at school, and that's why Clark has a lot of success. These are rules for life--not just essential rules in the school community--and they make sense to kids.

    The best part about this book is after he states each rule, he gives stories and examples of how he used or taught this rule to his students. Ron Clark is honest and funny and shows that he didn't always know where he was going with something--like when he taught kids rule 11 about surprising others with random acts of kindness, and his students wound up in Washington D.C. at the White House.

    In the end of this book, Ron Clark also gives tips for dealing with children or parents and tips for setting punishments and rewards.

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    Who Can Benefit From The Essential 55 and How

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    Any teacher can benefit from reading The Essential 55 and applying the knowledge in the classroom. If you have taught for six months or thirty years, you can learn from Ron Clark. If you teach one student or 100 students, you can learn from Ron Clark. And if you teach high school science or fourth grade, you can learn from Ron Clark. Some of these essential 55 rules are common sense, but they are easy to forget in the day-to-day stress of teaching, discipline, standardized testing, and No Child Left Behind laws. Sometimes, we need books to remind us what teaching is all about. The Essential 55 is one of those books.

    Another great point about this book is you can start applying the knowledge today. You don't need a huge lesson plan or summer break to work on the points that Ron Clark writes in this book. They are as simple as taking a rule, talking to your students, and working on it as a team.

    The Essential 55 by Ron Clark can be found at most libraries, on-line bookstores, and retail bookstores. Find a copy, read it, and then pass it on to another teacher friend.