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Friday, March 25, 2016


A few weeks ago, one of our teachers submitted a request to attend the Ron Clark Academy training for teachers. She volunteered to pay all her travel expenses and asked our building Professional Development committee to pay her registration.

I knew the name Ron Clark was eerily familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. I also knew that she would take full advantage of the opportunity. She wouldn't have asked if she weren't convinced it was worth attending.

The committee voted, and she registered. I forgot all about it.

Then, last night, several administrators and members of the committee received this email:
"Good Evening,

I don't have enough words to THANK the PD committee for agreeing to pay for my registration to attend this training.  In the first day of training, I have cried, laughed and been inspired to be an agent of change in our school and in our district.  The students at the academy receive a rigorous education (many 8th graders taking HS Algebra and Geometry), have EXTREME amounts of fun daily and are held to high standards of behavior in every space of the school.  The decor creates an atmosphere that inspires not only the students but also the teachers. Classroom spaces are tight, most classes have in excess of 30 students, but because the rules and culture are taught an reinforced by everyone, off task behavior is minimized.

It is my strongest, highest recommendation that more of our district leaders attend one of RCA trainings.  The only way to have the greatest impact is too see it in action.  Dates are posted for 2016-2017.  Please consider.

Me with one of the founders RON CLARK!!! He leads the day, talks about the what and why of RCA AND we watched them work.  He teaches math.  The first part of his class he facilitated with chants, music and sign language.  It was amazing. AND yes her really walks on top of the desk!  

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  It was the BEST PD EEEEVVVVVEEEEERRRRRR!  Happy Spring Break"

I get no credit for this other than helping procure the funding for registration, but this made my day. 

And it wasn't until I got her email, I made the connection to the Write to Learn conference I attended in February...where Ron Clark had been one of the key note speakers.  

It was an incredibly inspiring, humbling, energizing address so I can only imagine how powerful visiting the school would be. I might be a little jealous, but I am thrilled she is having a positive experience and will bring back some awesome and much needed spring enthusiasm.

Sometimes, PD can be a good thing too.

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