Ron Clark knows how to get on his students’ level. For the #DoItLikeMeChallenge, taken from DLOW’s song of the same name, Clark and his students show off their skills: the milky rock, whip and nae nae. The man has moves—and of course the video went viral.
But it turns out that making a video like this isn’t so unusual for an educator like Clark. He’s a former National Teacher of the Year (for his work in Harlem) who opened his eponymous private academy for fifth- through eighth-graders in 2007. His vision for the school was something akin to J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts, from her Harry Potter series: Every classroom has an elaborate theme; there are slides from one floor to the next; there’s a dragon; there’s a two-story bungee jump (!). Every kid who attends the Atlanta, Georgia–based school has to follow Clark’s 55 rules, including making eye contact and greeting everyone with a handshake. Last year, Ron Clark Academy students competed to be the MVP of what Clark calls the “amazing shake.” Rounds included being questioned by lawyers and leading a press conference. Plus, five finalists got a trip to New York! It’s a pretty unusual teaching model, no? Check out this video for an inside look at RCA.
Speaking of special teachers like Clark, do you know a dance educator who deserves recognition? It’s not too early to nominate someone for a 2016 DT Award. Click here to fill out a nomination form.