By: Krystle Crossman
In 2001 Opran Winfrey introduced a new teacher from North Carolina who came to teach minority and under-privileged children in Harlem, New York. His story was inspiring and was eventually turned into a movie, The Ron Clark Story, featuring actor Matthew Perry. His innovative and energetic methods for teaching have helped students to learn as much as they possibly can in the short time that they are with him. In 2007 he moved to Atlanta to open the Ron Clark Academy. Oprah recently caught up with Mr. Clark to see how he has been doing since he was first introduced on her show.
The academy in Atlanta is doing well. During interviews with students it is clear that he is a one of a kind teacher. He takes the time to care about the kids and gets to know them on a personal level as well. Clark states that his methods are ones that help him connect with the students and that makes them better students in the end. He likes to relay his lessons in the classroom by dancing and rapping. It has been a proven fact that music helps kids to retain information better than a regular lecture. They will be able to remember the fun that they had in class and will have a deeper love of learning because of it. One young girl stated that she was really bad at math. She told some of the other students that Mr. Clark was able to help her get 100% scores on her math tests he could help anyone.
Throughout the day during his lessons Clark will stand up and lead the whole class in a cheer. He knows that children are not meant to sit all day in a classroom without moving so he wants to make sure that they all get the blood flowing and the focus back. The kids really enjoy the cheers and when they are done they are able to sit back down and concentrate. He has inspired many students and his teaching methods appear to work well according to the test score improvements that his students are showing. Some have gone up in points on their tests by double digits.