HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children
Author: Ron Clark
Publisher: Hachette Books, reprinted in 2005
ISBN-13: 978-0641721502 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0641721501 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1401308032 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1401308031 Paperback
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Adults (primarily teachers and parents)
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Clark, Ron. The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children (published in 2004 by Hyperion, 77 W. 66th St., New York City, NY 10023). Author Ron Clark became a teacher in 1995, teaching first in North Carolina and then in Harlem, NY, and won the Disney Teacher of the Year Award in 2001. Since then, he has traveled the United States speaking to teachers, PTAs, and school boards across the country where he met amazing teachers, administrators, students, and parents. His first book, The Essential 55, shot onto the New York Times bestseller list following his appearance on Oprah. The excellent eleven qualities, drawn from his own experiences, as well as his observations of other great teachers, are enthusiasm, adventure, creativity, reflection, balance, compassion, confidence, humor, common sense, appreciation, and resilience.
Publishers Weekly calls the book “Part memoir, part inspirational tract and part handbook for beginning teachers.” Each of the sections relates one theme directly to teaching and raising children, and Clark tells many personal stories to demonstrate the significance of each theme within the learning environment. While much of what he says focuses mainly on the ins and outs of classroom teaching, he does have a number of suggestions for parents in general, and a lot of his words of encouragement can be used by homeschooling parents too. One blurb says, “Clark provides a road map for both parents and teachers who want to enrich their children’s learning experiences.”