We’ve met our share of cool educators before, but one principal in Atlanta, Georgia, has taken that concept to a whole other level.
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Ron Clark is a former Teacher of the Year who started his own school in 2007. The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta is a private, non-profit middle school catering to kids who are academically diverse and on the lower end of the income scale. The school has an innovative approach to teaching, fostering imagination and focusing on culture and “meeting kids where they are.”
You can tell the school is unique just by looking at it:
RCA recently made waves online, but not because of it’s amazing exterior paint job or its innovative approach to infusing fun into learning. Instead, the school is making headlines because of a dance video uploaded to the school’s social media pages.
The school was taking part in a dance competition online, but what sets their video apart from all the other competitors was the out-of-place man dancing in the middle of the group of students. Who is that man, you ask?
He’s the founder and principal of the school, that’s who. Ron Clark himself!
Ron stated that he was initially hesitant to involve himself in the dance routine, telling students that he was no good at dancing and it would be better if they did the routine themselves. But his students wouldn’t hear of it! They insisted that he join them, so he did… and it turns out, he’s got some serious skills!
The good-natured principal not only joined the kids in their dance, but he absolutely crushed it! Ron says that joining in on activities like this one is just another way that his school strives to transform classrooms by demonstrating innovative methods and techniques.
“At the Ron Clark Academy we’re all about relationships with kids, building bonds, and showing kids that you care, because when kids know that you’re willing to meet them where they are, and you’re willing to learn about their culture and interact with them in a positive way, they’re going to respect you more, and they’re going to work harder.”
The students are thrilled to be a part of this school, which has a stellar record of college admission: All but one of the RCA graduates have gone on to seek higher education.
Students like Jayden Lindsay think the fact that his principal gets involved in activities like the dance-off says a lot about the school as a whole. “The message to get out there was to say that we can do fun things while learning at the same time,” Jayden said.
Seventh-grader Mason Calhoun agrees, stating, “It’s very indescribable the amount of love that is shown from the teachers towards us, and it really motivates us to push ourselves, be great academically, and just be amazing citizens.”
When the school uploaded this video, they had no idea it would become such a big hit! It’s now been ‘liked’ by over 60 million people, and it continues to get clicks and likes as more people discover this principal who is redefining the word “cool.”
Watch the video below, and be sure to share with an educator you know who would totally do this too!
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