I'm blessed to have an amazing principal that gave several teachers in our school an incredible opportunity. We got to spend the day at the Ron Clark Academy.
Some of my takeaways from RCA:
1. Be a runner. If someone tries to slow you down, help them catch up with you. If they refuse, tell them to get out of your way and keep running.
2. No matter where you teach, you're going to have to work with difficult parents. Don't let their craziness get to your heart. Consider each difficult encounter as a new "badge" on your teacher sweater. Many times, parents just want to be heard and don't know a better way of letting you know that.
3. Don't medicate children with attention issues. Give them drums and teach them how to use them.
4. Movement is essential. (It's not just a good idea, a fad, a time filler, but an ESSENTIAL part of educating children.)
5. NEVER be negative. Negativity is POISON and has the ability to spread like wild fire. If someone complains or speaks badly of another teacher/student, DO NOT agree with them. This only encourages them. Instead, be BOLD and tell them you don't want to hear it and walk away. Then, battle their negativity by showering your colleagues/students with positive comments.
6. When you cheer for your colleagues and encourage them, it changes the culture of your school. It becomes a caring community that fosters learning of all students and teachers.
My favorite part of the day was having lunch in the "Great Hall." I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and my children and falling in love with the series of books. It truly was a magical lunch. We had numerous students to introduce themselves and help us throughout the day.
If you ever get the opportunity to spend the day at RCA, take it. It will give you a fresh perspective on teaching.
Teaching is magical. You ARE changing the world, my friend. The question is, "What kind of world are you creating for us?"