Covering all aspects of life, from the classroom to the world, from human interactions to the most frightening of all, cafeteria and bathroom manners, Ron Clark shows that with determination, discipline and regular rewards, the children you stick by will be the children you eventually admire.
Click here to listen to Ron Clark's The Excellent 11.
©2003 Ron Clark; (P)2003 Hyperion
"This book is a definite winner...Clark's slim but valuable volume will make a welcome addition to any teacher's library." (Publishers Weekly)
"Clark's book is a handy blueprint for parents who want to equip their elementary- and middle-school children." (Time)
This books contains a mix of anecdotes, stories and "tips" but no real why and how. The Essential 55 is in essence a list of "things you might want to teach kids".
Some ideas like every student should surprise someone every week and everyone needs to learn to say thank you lead to interesting stories and this is were the book does well. It is at times heart warming and touching.
The book falls apart however when it goes back to listing the "rules". Many things on the list left me scratching my head. It consists of many useless rules and a lot of etiquette lessons. Did you know that asparagus and bacon are one of 10 foods that can be eaten with your fingers?
If you are looking for cute stories and one teachers experiences... it is worth a listen. If you are hoping for guidance, professional development or new knowledge then pass this one up.
While I enjoyed listening to Ron Clark, I was disappointed that this was not a book about education but a book on manners. For instance, Mr. Clark spent several minutes discussing how to use you napkin in a restaurant and which foods are finger foods. Perhaps in his next book, Mr. Clark will discuss his ideas about education.
Really elementary. If you are charmed by cliche babble about what an elementary school teacher always tells his students (in the same tone of voice he speaks to his students) then this book is for you. I hated it.
It was interesting, funny and inspiring. It's not about duplicating his 55 essentials but about each teacher getting the inspiration and motivation to create their own essential 55. I wish I heard more applicable to high school but that's not this book. That's not what he teaches and he can only speak on his own experiences and that's fine too. The concepts are translate-able.
I recently graduated and I am currently a long term kindergarten substitute. This book motivated me to look deeper into classroom management. It's inspiring to hear such great stories and how they stemmed groom something so simple with such high results. I will be watching Ron Clarks videos and most certainly listening to more of his books.
Ron Clark provides another incredible opportunity for teachers to reflect and learn how to truly change the lives of students. I am eager to begin implementing many of these rules in my classroom today!
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