Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A MUST Read: "Crash Course" by @KimBearden

Ever since I was in High School, I've always admired Ron Clark.  He's been someone who has inspired me, and was one of the reasons I knew teaching was for me.

Almost 3 years ago I was afforded the opportunity to attend the Ron Clark Academy.  It was an absolutely incredible opportunity.  One that still helps shape decisions I make today, now as an administrator.  It's one of those experiences I will never ever forget.

While at the Ron Clark Academy I met a woman by the name of Kim Bearden who taught at RCA (who also happens to be the co-founder of The Ron Clark Academy).  The moment I met her I was in enamored and in awe.  Her passion, her grit, her creativity, just everything!  I soaked up every once of information I could from her.

Over the last three years I've had several interactions with Kim and Ron through social media, at different conferences, and Kim even came on my EduAllStars podcast! (you can watch her episode HERE).

Then last year Kim released her first book "Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me".  Because I loved learning from Kim, I bought the book immediately.  But it wasn't until just a few weeks ago that I actually found the time to sit and read it.

And I don't know why I waited.  There are only a few books that I have cried while reading.  As I sat on a plane, flying back from Indiana, I didn't just cry, I sobbed.  I couldn't put the book down.  The honesty, the heart, the passion, the joy, it was all there.

I shared about my love of the book on social media and Kim tweeted back.  It's one of those moments, when one of your teaching heroes, messages you back and you can't believe it!  I still have the tweets screenshot haha.

But the book moved me.  It showed a side of Kim that I hadn't known about.

It moved me so much, that I contacted Kim, found campus funds, and purchased a copy of the book for every single member of my staff at Webb Elementary.  The message in the book is one that every teacher should hear and I wanted my staff to be able to experience it, as well as have it serve as our fall book study book.

What I love about Kim's book is how it's written.  Every chapter is written as a "course".  They're all bite sized so that it's not overwhelming.  I also absolutely love that every chapter ends with a "Class Notes" box (little reminders from the chapter) and a "Homework" box (ideas of ways that you can stop and think about what was shared and implement it in your own classroom.

From connecting with your students, abandoning needless worries, recovering from mistakes, embracing your gifts, to nurturing ingenuity and originality, to so much more.  This book really feels like it hits every note!  I especially love how Kim talks about creating magic moments.

But in the end, what hit me the most was Kim's extraordinary heart for her students.  It is evident and written onto every single page of the book.

I am still so deeply moved by this book I had to write about it and share it with all of you.  So, if there is one book you stop and read this school year, I truly hope it's "Crash Course" by Kim Bearden.