Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The End of Molasses Classes Part I

On my to-do list this summer was to catch up on some professional reading.  Right now, I have lots of time to read as I sit by the pool/beach by myself {poor hubby has to work}!  

First up on my list was The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark.  I have actually had this book for awhile but just couldn't get around to reading it.  Well, I finally did in the airport and I have no idea what I was waiting for!  I could not put this book down.  The energy and dedication that Ron Clark brings to the world of education is inspirational.

As teachers we all have that bad day, week, month or even year.  We struggle to help our students in the best way possible.  Some days we struggle more than others.  I highly recommend buying this book just to have in your classroom {or home} to rejuvenate you on those days that you need it most.

I thought that I would share with you what I learned from this book and the ideals that I am hoping to implement in my classroom this year.  There are a lot so I am breaking this book study up into four parts.  Each part will focus on one section of the book.

Core Principles and Values

2. Not Every Child Deserves a Cookie
As a teacher, I admit, I don't want children to feel left out.  If one person receives a reward, all students should receive that reward, right?  If not, we fear the consequence of an unhappy student or parent.  How do we differentiate {and celebrate}, then, the students who are working hard and those who are not?  If we give "cookies" when they aren't deserved, then we are telling our young people that they don't need to work hard to receive rewards.

There's a difference, however, between a cookie reward for effort and an actual grade.  Students need to be held to high expectations.  If we continue to dumb down education and to give students A's and B's because they "tried," we are doing them a disservice and failing to prepare them to be successful in the real world.

19. Make Learning Magical
We talk about making learning fun for our students and so many of us do.  But, how many of us truly make learning magical for our students?  We need to make books come alive for our students, which is more than just reading in different voices.  Our students need to be completely immersed in their learning.  It will make for such memorable experiences for them.

9. Make It Happen.  Don't Give Excuses; Find Solutions!
I purposely listed this one out of order.  I thought that it was an important one after number 19.  Many teachers {including myself} might read that "make learning magical" ideal and simply say, "that won't work in my classroom" or "I just don't have enough time."  We need to make time!  Students are going to learn a heck of a lot more when we create a wonderful learning experience for them than when we hand them a worksheet.  We all need to have that type of dedication and will to "make it happen" when it comes to the education of our children.

Teaching Blog Addict hosted a book study on The End of Molasses Classes.  Check it out, if you want to hear more feedback on the book from other bloggers!

Here is the schedule for the rest of my book study if you want to follow along:

August 2: Part II ~ The Role of the Parent in the Success of the Child
August 3: Part III ~ Creating the Right Climate and Culture
August 4: Part IV ~ Reaching Out Beyond the Classroom

Tomorrow, we have something big coming your way, so stay tuned!


  1. I too read this book this summer and couldnt put it down. Thank you for sharing your thoughts

  2. Enjoy the book! It is wonderful! Be inspired by it, reread it for ideas and encouragement!

  3. I'm still stuck on his Essential 55!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover