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'cause I'm waiting for laundry and thinking... - Niente Senza Gioia!--Nothing without joy!
'cause I'm waiting for laundry and thinking...
The senior-itis is a hard-core beast to fight. I can finally call it senior-itis because I'll be done soon. For this, we can all be grateful.

So, there's this stellar teacher whose name and work keeps popping up all over the place. First, I began reading one of his books, then people posted an article he recently wrote for CNN on facebook. Finally, there is an excerpt from one of his books in this month's teachers.net magazine. (yeah. those magazines excite me way too much...nerd alert!) Anyway, his name is Ron Clark and he fascinates me. He is a super visionary; he taught for a while, didn't like a lot of what he saw in the schools and so he opened his own in Atlanta Georgia. The school is incredible. It admits students in fifth-grade and those students attend until eighth-grade graduation. As part of the four-year global studies curriculum, students travel to sixcontinents and are pushed far beyond grade level expectations in their academic work. Standards are extremely high but the teachers are hired based on their abilities to plan "out-of-the-box" instruction. (there are fantastic youtube videos of the songs these kids sing about math concepts; they crack me up.) The Ron Clark Academy, as this super modest guy decided to name his school, is even innovative in its appearance. He took incredible steps to make sure that every child knows that RCA is like their home. My favorite feature is the slide going from the top floor into the lobby. RCA was rejected by twenty-seven ensurance companies due to liability issues with this thing, but they apparently got it figured out and it is now a trademark of the school. Ron Clark is clearly an extremely passionate and dedicated teacher. He admits students each year across the spectrum of academic performance to include struggling students, "average" students and those who are gifted. So I'm reading his book about his methods and such, I visited his school's website and I'm totally intrigued by all of this. For whatever reason, however, I can't get over the fact that his website says that students with IEP's or those needing special accomodations "need not apply" due to the "inability to provide special services." I'm sorry, but in a school that bends over backwards to include all children, to lift students up to their highest levels of achievement blablablabla...this just doesn't seem like an okay excuse. I just found this to be shocking. I know. I'm a freakish idealist who eats, sleeps and breathes my crazy inclusion philosophy. I realize where a school like this may not be able to accomodate kids with severe educational support requirements or whatever, but if you go to such lengths to promote this "can-do" atitude, it all just seems slightly ironic to me. Again, I'm not saying all kids would be eligible; I'm just saying it's a shame that such a broad statement was made in admission requirements thereby disqualifying many students. RCA's other agenda is to educate teachers around the world about its approaches. Methinks I'd like to go visit RCA, go down the slide and ask a few questions to make Mr. Clark squirm...just a little.

Anyway, laundry calleth.

Niente Senza Gioia!

Current Mood: full of beans

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