The Essential 55

An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child
By: Ron Clark
Narrated by: Ron Clark
Length: 2 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: Education & Learning
4.5 out of 5 stars (299 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If there were a code you could learn that would lead you to become a great teacher (of students, of your children, or of any young person in your life) wouldn't you want to learn it? The Essential 55 is a collection of the amazingly effective rules that Ron Clark used to become an extraordinary teacher. Through trial and error, this teacher has distilled 55 ideas that have helped him take apathetic students in some of the country's most challenging areas and transform them into award-winning scholars. 

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

Critic Reviews

"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)  

What members say
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Helpful Start

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Mr. Manners

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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Southern charm with no substance

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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

The Essential 55

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.

23 people found this helpful

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Inspiring

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.

THANK YOU

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

awesome!

Ron Clark has a fantastic mind for education. He inspires a new wave of common sense strategies.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Ron Clark's enthusiasm spot on!

This was the perfect read for the beginning of the school year. While I dearly want to soak up every ounce of Mr. Clark's enthusiasm I did raise my eye brows at a few "rules." I do however feel like there is room for individual teaching style and he admits we SHOULD have our own rules that make sense for us. This feels a little dated, I would love to read an updated revised version.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Essential Reminders

It was a great reminder for me of the assumptions I have of my students. Mr. Clark has 55 essential rules that all people should apply in their daily life. A must read for both parents and teachers.

1 person found this helpful

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A few thoughts

Hello everyone I liked everything about this book Ron Clark you are a great Author and teacher and a great narrator I have all of your books my name is Kate and I hope you write more soon I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone there so much credit for ice in all your books Ron I hope this helps and by the way I am 22 I'm not trying to be a teacher or parent your time soon but you always have great advice so anyway one little sidenote to audible this book and the I think it's called the excellent 11 something or not abridged they are complete so I'll just let you know audible thanks again guys

1 person found this helpful

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Practical Information for Teachers

I loved every part of this book! It was a fast and easy read. Awesome!