“People travel from all over the world to come to our school and watch,” said author and educator Ron Clark. “We’re trying to create a revolution. I want our profession to be young, fun, electric, sexy and hot. Teaching is not exciting anymore, and that is going to be a detriment to society.”
Clark’s teaching curriculum includes singing, dancing, rapping, games and more. At the Ron Clark Academy, he uses a variety of styles to help students obtain and retain information. His new teaching methods attract nearly 40,000 visiting educators a year and have improved test scores from fifth to eighth grade.
On Jan. 26, The University of Southern Mississippi’s Luckyday Scholarship Program welcomed Clark as a keynote speaker to address the Hattiesburg community in the Thad Cochran Center.
Coordinators said they were glad Clark came to Southern Miss’s campus to speak about the keys to education.
“Ron is truly an amazing motivational speaker,” said program coordinator Jason Quigley.
Clark has worked with disadvantaged students around the country and has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He was the subject of a 2006 made-for-television film titled “The Ron Clark Story.”
The Ron Clark Academy was founded in 2007 with what some may consider to be a unique curriculum. During his visit to Southern Miss, he spoke about his very creative way of teaching and his journey of becoming the educator he is today.
“RCA is like my dream job,” said Jariel Davis, junior education studies major. “Ron Clark is everything I want to be in a teacher, and his academy is definitely a place I can see myself instructing at.”
Clark said he encourages students to follow their hearts in life and to chase opportunities.
“The journey of life is like a bus,” Clark said. “You have your runners, chasing after what they want. You have your joggers, doing whatever it is to get by. Then you have your riders, just there for the ride. Be a runner. Be the best you that you can be.”
This analogy is further explored in “Move Your Bus,” Clark’s latest book, which explores achieving success through work.
“It was honestly one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I will never forget it,” said sophomore music education major Elisha Dailey. “He spoke on some real stuff and helped me to see more of what I want to do for myself. He made me realize that who I am is exactly who I need to be.”
Clark signed and sold copies of his latest book after the program. For more information about the Ron Clark Academy or “Move Your Bus,” visit ronclarkacademy.com.