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The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers
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The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  583 ratings  ·  107 reviews
New York Times bestselling author and educator Ron Clark challenges parents, teachers, and communities everywhere embrace a difference in the classroom and 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...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Touchstone
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I generally don't enjoy books written by people who feel the need to plaster their face all over the book. Ron Clark loves putting his face on everything (front cover, back cover, countless photos, etc.). While I think Mr. Clark is probably a great educator and doing wonderful things for the students at RCA in Harlem, I find his books a bit frustrating. This book contains "101 extraordinary solutions" to get "our kids unstuck" from boring, problematic classrooms/educators/parents. My primary bee...more
I admire this man's dedication but I think you can be a wonderful teacher without going to his extremes. He admits that he only sleeps 4-5 hours a night and has little time for family, friends, hobbies, or relaxing. It is amazing that he has the patience to be such a good teacher when he does not take any time for himself. I disagree with some of his philosophies but I agree with his overall message that teachers have the power to do great things if they are willing to try. He makes up statistic...more
Jason Palmer
There are some very motivating and insightful stuff for teachers in this book. I'm reading parts of it to my MTE508 students lately. This book certainly goes to show that you can't be a great teacher and have a life outside of school. You can be good, not great. You have to decide. Ron made the decision to become a great teacher. Personally, I'd rather be a great father. I don't know of a single person who has been able to do both.
I'm not rating this one yet because I have to cogitate on it first. After reading and following Charlotte Mason's views of: Let the students interact with the book, and get out of the way yourself, I have his view which is to stand on the desk and sing and dance your way into the kids' minds and hearts. He does have the kids do skits about what they've read- which is a great way to get the story into a child's mind. And some motivation seems almost mandatory in a class setting where children hav...more
Holly Jorgenson
Should be required reading for all teachers AND parents. I especially loved the parts about not being a helicopter parent and allowing your child to experience consequences. I completely agree with the author that teachers should not give extra credit and that, by doing so, we actually LOWER the academic standards we're always bragging about. This author really loves teaching and working with kids. He has so much enthusiasm for making the curriculum come alive and capturing students' attention....more
Jean Brazil
The amazing Ron Clark, Disney teacher of the year and founder of the Ron Clark Academy, gives helpful and motivational advice to both teachers and parents. However, I wonder how much can be applied outside of the ideal situations he has: with less supportive parents and the rules and limitations of a public school, a class of severe special needs students like I teach and yes, an energy and motivation level not up to the level of his. It is something to consider, but in a way, a very frustrating...more
Ron Clark is a teacher and administrator who saw a need for a radical reform in the way we educate our kids here in the USA. He has used the techniques he discusses in “The End of Molasses Classes” in his own classrooms and at RCA (Ron Clark Academy) with great success – creating enthusiastic hordes of students AND teachers, who live to learn and love to explore their world. You probably need to see this man in action for the full effect, but listening to him narrate the audio edition of the boo...more
Angie Stich
I was curious about the Ron Clark hype and, honestly, it's exactly that: hype. I do share some of his fundamental beliefs (raising the bar rather than teaching to the average/lowest common denominator), though I don't necessarily agree with him about how to go about it. Using food as rewards? Never. Failing kids when absolutely clear expectations about what is required to succeed haven't been laid out? Cruel and unethical.

I stopped reading after his passage about plastering the girls' bathroom a...more
Maria Ryan
Every teacher in the world should read this book and probably every parent. Alot of what Ron Clark has done does seem very unrealistic but really can't we just attempt to teach the way he suggests. Really, if you don't love the kids and love teaching...choose another profession! I am going to reread this one. I really want to keep reminding myself: "We have no time for fear" "A smile will erase any error" Exhibit the same energy you expect from your audience" "Laughter can help us all through an...more
Adam Shields
Short review: An encouraging look at how we can change education from one of the more innovative leaders in education. Ron Clark is a teacher, not a researcher. He runs a school with the express purpose of teaching teachers. So the rooms have 30 kids, but seating for 80-100 adults to see what goes on in the classroom. In the four years since it opened about 10,000 adults have seen how teachers can learn how to teach to the needs of the child.

A longer review is on my blog at
This book reminded me of every reason why I want to be a teacher, echoed my own educational beliefs, and gave me tips for when I have my own classroom, as well as things to remember when I'm at work with preschoolers. I had the pleasure of meeting Ron Clark last summer and he is one of the most genuine, honest, passionate, and inspiring people I have ever met. You can tell that he has a passion for everything that he does. I think that some people didn't like the book because all he talks about...more
From the title I was hoping this book would be more about specific active learning strategies I can use in my classroom. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it did have several good ideas still. The most valuable takeaway from this book for me was the importance of having high expectations for my students. I do appreciate his ideas for doing so.

The problem with this book is that reading about all that Ron Clark does at his school can be rather disheartening for me. I feel like I work real...more
Absolutely over the top. Beyond over the top. So if you're the kind of person who gets irritated by someone who seems to have limitless energy, drive, and determination, this might not be the book for you. But if you're looking to read some amazing stories about the power of education, to be inspired on a grand scale, and to find a spark of hope, you should probably read this right now.
Lisa Marie
Completely horrible. I don't see how it would help parents or even teachers, except maybe private school teachers. And it is so self-agrandizing, with that gee-whiz-who-me humility while tooting his own horn, it was sickening. Horrible read.
Lauren Rutledge
I want to be this teacher!!! What an awesome book for teachers...and parents. Thank you, Ron Clark!
Ron Clark has had America's attention since the movie (starring Matthew Perry) a few years back about him inspiring the children in an under-achieving East Harlem school to educational greatness. He was named "Teacher of the Year" by Disney and became Oprah Winfrey's first pick of her "Phenomenal Men". It was during a 2001 appearance on Oprah's television show that she suggested, during a commercial break, "You've got to write a book about all of the things that you do to inspire children". This...more
Very interesting book. Ron Clark is an inspirational and tireless educator, mentor, and leader. He may have too much passion for his work (I think he said he was separated), but gives many examples of how anyone can think out of the box, even if just a little, to push forward the next generation.
I was motivated to read this book out of my general interest in the education field. Beyond that, I quickly realized I had heard of his schools travels on many media outlets in the past, including Oprah...more
Oct 15, 2011 mstan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers
Ron Clark is just amazing. I don't know how he has time to do everything he does - though he does acknowledge that if he had his own children things would definitely be different, and I don't think he is married.

Some of the things he does:

1. Make wild, extraordinary promises before he has come up with any plan or even knew he had any intention of doing that thing (e.g. putting a tube slide in the school);

2. Turns children's lives around by affirming their dreams, and going to their basketball ma...more
Although there are things that are unfeasible for a single teacher to do, there are many positive ideas with examples of things teachers, parents, and administrators can try. I liked that Clark thought about taking some of his bold ideas and tuning them down for a small group of teachers or even single teachers.

As I was reading, I thought about the contrasts from Ron Clark's Academy to where I am. Would I want to be there? His school looks brilliant, and it's obvious there is a lot of wonderful...more
Not my cup of tea. Truthfully, I didn't really read it, because the first few pages put me off. My methods and ideology are a bit different than Ron Clark's. Not better or worse. Just different. I really enjoyed reading The Book Whisperer. That's more up my alley. He has helped lots of kids, though, so he must be doing things well! Give it a read, though -- it might work well for you!
Kathleen Woodruff
I am amazed at how much I enjoyed this book. Though most of what he does at his school is possible because he is privately funded, I really identify with his vision. There is a lot here for a public school teacher: lots of ideas that can be implemented all or in part, with a can do attitude and a bit of resourcefulness. It's very motivating and inspiring. As with any book on teaching, an experienced teacher will find a lot that is "obvious" or ideas that have been done in a million ways already....more
Well, I ended up liking this book quite a bit. I was surprised to enjoy parts of it as much as I did, because my first impression of the book went something like this:

The End of Molasses Classes, by Ron Clark
"I'm Ron Clark! I wrote this book! I wrote this book because I am a really great teacher! I want you to be a great teacher, too! You CAN be, if you visit my school, the Ron Clark Academy! It's named after me, Ron Clark! Because I am a great teacher! I can tell you how to be just like me. RON...more
I know our school sytem is broken and I have to say that many of the chapters brought tears to my eyes. But, I also have to say that many of them brought steam, boiling out my ears! He has some ideas that are amazing, incredible, and should be implemented in every school in America as soon as possilbe. He also has some ideas that for me border on abuse: giving a kid a hotdog every night for dinner until he is motivated to do his work? You have got to be kidding me.
I find him a man that I can lov...more
Punctuated with letters from students and parents, photos, and "Do This" suggestions, "The End of Molasses Classes" is personal, passionate, energetic, inspirational, and exhausting about education, with easy to read segments. Clark discusses the Ron Clark Academy's core principles and values, and offers solutions for parents, teachers, and the community. Clark builds on a foundation of a willingness to ask for help, dedication, creativity, and high-octane enthusiasm. Time after time, Clark show...more
This was a very inspiring book full of wonderful ideas. I truly appreciate the work that Ron and Kim have put into making RCA an inspiring place. However, it also seems as if they are working in a bubble. Yes, they have problem children, but when the class size appears to be 15-18 kids, it seems as though any problem would be easier to deal with. Funding for 15 kids is much easier than 150. They don't have the district restraints, nor the curriculum restraints of public schools. I really feel th...more
I think this was the best professional book ever! This made me inspired to become a different sort of teacher. I believe every single teacher in this state, and in this nation, should read this book. I especially love the part about jealousy. Just let me teach. That is all I want to do. It is all about the kids after all. I loved how energetic and unique Mr. Clark is. He seems to have an awesome rapport with that entire school, and most books portray their authors as perfect, and Mr. Clark even...more
Hilary Jensen
I would recommend this for anyone in teaching or who just works with children of any age. Ron Clark writes with equal parts practicality, passion, and compassion that reminds us why we do what we do.
Ron Clark's books are fun to read if just for the entertainment value. Giant blue slide in the middle of the school. Check. Charm/wheedling people into funding crazy projects. Check. Home makeovers. Check. International travel. Check. He is truly incredible.

I don't fully buy into all of his methods. He is geared towards elementary. He does projects that most teachers could not get away with. His passion creates scary high standards.

But mostly this book made me ask why not. Why can't I be super...more
Mary Theresa
For me this book is now officially one of my favourite books and has just encouraged me to 'raise the bar' in the way I teach and work with my class.

I think there are a few teachers out there who can read this book and go 'WOW this is something I can do.' Ron is obviously a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher whose happily allowed his job to become his life, if your one of the few who love that, well this is the best book you'll ever read. If not, you might just find a few golden nuggets of inspi...more
Ron Clark never let's me down. Hopeful, ebullient, and inspiring. A no-excuse, change education for the better approach, with motivating reminders and anecdotes at every corner. I have visited The Ron Clark Academy, and can personally vouch for the mindset of the students and the culture of the school that he so passionately espouses for on these pages. I would recommend ALL of his books, but especially this one, as it goes more into the teaching and personal TEACHER mindset than I felt Essentia...more
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Ron Clark has been called "America's Educator." In 2000, he was named Disney's American Teacher of the Year. He is a New York Times bestselling author whose book, The Essential 55, has sold over 1 million copies and has been published in 25 different countries.

--from the author's website

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more...more
More about Ron Clark...
The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children The Essential 55 Workbook: Essential 55 Workbook Surviving the Emergency Room: Expecting the Unexpected Am I Sleeping with the Enemy?: Males and Females in the Image of God

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