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The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck: 101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers (Touchstone Book) Paperback – 17 Apr 2012

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Paperback. Pub Date :2012-04-17 Pages: 322 Language: English Publisher: Touchstone Books In his NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The End of Molasses Classes. renowned educator Ron Clark challenged PARENTS. TEACHERS. AND COMMUNITIES everywhere to make a real difference in the lives of our kids. offering revolutionary and classroom-tested ways to UPLIFT. EDUCATE. AND EMPOWER our children. Read this book to find out why so many across the country have embraced these powerful rules. * SET THE ELECTRIC TONE ON DAY ONE * TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO STUDY-DON'T EXPECT IT TO COME NATURALLY * DON'T CONSTANTLY STRESS ABOUT TEST SCORES * NOT EVERY CHILD DESERVES A COOKIE * LIFT UP YOUR TEACHERS. NO. REALLY. LIFT THEM UP! * IF KIDS LIKE YOU ALL THE TIME. YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG * DON'T BE A PENNY PARENT BE DIFFERENT. BE BOLD. JOIN IN.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 100 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A very important book FOR PARENTS. 29 July 2011
By Ms Gibbs - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this book has life-changing information for parents. I am so thrilled to see so many educators all over the world be inspired by RCA. My hope is that parents all over the world will consider this "required reading" for themselves.
Part II of the book is geared specifically toward parents, and it is OUTSTANDING. "Don't be a Helicopter Parent. You can't rescue them forever" speaks to the importance of letting children learn to deal with disappointment, and how to handle the situation. Mr. Clark illustrates these points with a truly amazing story. (Ron, you definitely deserved a Krispy Kreme in front of American Idol after THAT experience. Your patience is really commendable.) The chapter entitled "Remind children of their blessings and stress the value of a strong work ethic" really stood out to me as well. There are so many wonderful, American affluent communities (like the one we live in) and the parents are hard working and well-meaning, but it is so easy to fall into bad habits that can create children with "entitlement issues." As a mother of a 10-year-old boy, the chapter, "Don't get your kids a video game system unless you are prepared to be a prison guard," really hit close to home. We have a game system, and it is a challenge to control his use of it. I gleaned several great ideas from this chapter.
But this is not just "garden variety parenting advice." Mr. Clark explains how these basic childrearing concepts are critical for a student's success in school, and beyond. Mr. Clark is right on - we DO need a full blown education "revolution" in our country. And it will not work unless parents PARTNER with the teachers and the schools. Mr. Clark has done of fine job of providing very specific suggestions on how to implement positive changes in our children's school experience. He does this with compelling real-life stories and shares his personal experiences with kids and their families. He has laid out an excellent "revolution strategy." I hope we all embrace it.
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Dedication to Teaching... and Nothing Else 31 July 2013
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Took me awhile to decide between 2 stars or 3. I got the book because I read a review of it and it seemed interesting. Ron Clark has an amazing amount of energy and dedication, and so too, do the teachers at his school. They are willing to get there early and put in 10-12 hour days to make sure their students learn and do their very best. I'm curious about whether any of them have families, however. I teach my 2nd graders and do my very best and devote time and energy planning lessons and learning new strategies/content, however, I can't stay there all night doing bigger and better because I have 4 children of my own who need me so THEY can be all they can be. My children take up much of my free time with their activities (which is as it should be) which means I don't have free time to go to my students' after school activities. There has to be a balance in life - work, family, fun. Ron Clark and his teachers run an amazing school it seems like, but do they have that balance? How much time do they spend with their own families? How excellent are they for their own children? First and foremost, I'm dedicated to my children and then I'm dedicated to my job. In that order. Does that make me a bad teacher? No. I struggle with teaching "methods" that mean you have to be dedicated to your job only and nothing else.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An attempt at dealing with scalability in school reform 18 Aug. 2011
By Adam Shields - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife is a teacher; I work part time with an after school program. My Mother-in-Law just retired as a principal in June and my Mom retired as a teacher last year. Many of my friends are related to education in one way or another. Personally, I spend a fair amount of time reading about and thinking about education theory and practice (at least for a non-educator).

School reform is a hot topic, but the largest problem, in my mind, is scalability. There are many very good solutions to the problems of education, but very few of them really scale because they are so dependent on either the people or the cultural context where they are working.

Ron Clark is a teacher and administrator that is trying to deal with the problem of scalability. He is the co-founder of a demonstration school in Atlanta. The school was built with the express purpose of teaching other teachers how to better reach students. (It is a middle school because that is the age that Ron Clark believes is most in need of help.) So each classroom has a class of about 30 student and stadium seating for about 80 adults. My wife and Mother-in-Law and many teachers I know have visited the school. I am currently trying to get some of the people that work in the after school program in Chicago to come down and visit.

The End of Molasses Classes is the latest book by Ron Clark about his teaching method. I have read his two previous book and they were directed at teachers and more about how he teachers. This book is broader, for teachers and parents and other people interested in education. It more about the general method of how the Ron Clark Academy works and why it works.

The format is 101 short chapters (some less than a page, very few more than 2 or 3 pages). Most chapters have a story to illustrate the point of the short chapter and a little explanation. Clark knows how to tell a story. He is a bigger than life, over the top, never can exert too much energy type of person. I went with my wife to the book release party and he never stopped. He signed about 1000 books, hugged and talked to every person, and did not stop moving all night. He is all about the energy, but there is more than just energy. He has well thought out principles that are behind the success of the school. One of the most obvious from the book is how much he values his staff, parents and students. He spends most of the book talking about how much the people around him have made the school a success. Clark is not a shy man, but he is also not hogging the credit.

The major issue really is time and effort. Ron Clark Academy teachers work from before 8 to around 6 every day at school. Then most days they need to work at home to prepare for the next day or grade. Ron Clark and the co-founder told one another they would essentially ignore family and all other responsibilities for the first three years of the school to get it off the ground, and in the book he says that has not been long enough. I am editing this at about 6 AM. My wife is walking out the door to go to school. Yesterday she got home at about 6:30. We have said we will not have children because we cannot do our jobs and have kids. Obviously that is not going to work for all teachers. And it cannot really be expected for all teachers.

Not every teacher is going to teach like Ron Clark, he knows that. But he does hope that teachers realize that they are important to the process and that it is essential that teachers find the best way to engage their students. This is not a blame book, but he is clear that teachers and schools can only do so much. Without parent support, even the best teachers will often not be able to help students succeed to their full potential. I am seriously considering going to visit the school myself because I want to know more about it. If you have any interest in education, or you are a parent, this is a good book about what needs to be done to move students to the next level. If you are a teacher, get this and read it before school starts, you will be encouraged and ready to start the year.

Originally published on my blog at
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This year's best read! 26 July 2011
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ron Clark's newest book is filled with motivational learning expectations and new strategies, along with Mr. Clark's fantastic sense of humor. Mr. Clark's "call for revolution" is truly inspiring. He points out 101 ways we can make education extraordinary. He discusses fearless teaching, fearless learning, which results in fearless living. I was truly inspired by the comments in the book, such as, "Not every child deserves a cookie", and "Teach the parents the correct way to tutor their children". The End of Molasses Classes is a must-have for teachers, students, principals and parents alike. I have purchased several books for my employees! Jeff Anderson, Audio Enhancement.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
At times a little too sticky. 14 Nov. 2012
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I admire the guy. He has a true passion and he certainly goes above and beyond for his students. If you are looking to find some achievable ideas for your classroom that are highly specific then this is not the book for you. If, however, you are looking to be inspired and reminded why you decided to be a teacher in the first place then dive on in. A little too full on at times, but that's also what made it such an inspiring read.
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