Friday, October 21, 2016

Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me

     After hearing Kim Bearden's touching story at the Ron Clark Academy last week, I had to buy her book.  I started it on the plane and finished it yesterday.    
     Each chapter name is a different lesson that she learned from her students, such as "optimism" and "tenacity."  In that chapter she shares stories about her students that tie in with that lesson and how it helped her become a better person and teacher.  Each chapter ends with a summary of the key points and the homework for you to do as you implement that lesson into your own life.
     I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't my favorite.  The stories were interesting and inspiring, but were not developed fully enough to truly feel for her or the students she wrote about.  I would have liked fewer lessons with more complete descriptions that made them more memorable.  While I liked the stories, I could only retell one or two without needing to look back into the book.  I also disliked the key points and homework at the end of each chapter.  I know she was going with the school theme and helping me internalize the points she made, but it seemed heavy handed.  After the first chapter, I skipped the other pages at the ends of the chapters.
     It is worth reading if you are an educator, fan of the Ron Clark Academy, or of Kim.  But her personal stories are much more powerful when you hear her speak, which I highly recommend.   

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