Move Your Bus is a practical guide for creating a high performing organization. An organization can be your school, business, family, or community.
Within any organization, you can either be part of the solution or part of the problem.
Ron paints a picture of a Flinstones like bus. No engine, gas, and the floor on the bus is cut out.
The bus only moves with the foot work of the passengers inside. There are drivers, runners, joggers, walkers, and riders. These passengers either help or hinder the movement of the bus, AKA organization.
Ron breaks the bus down like this. Drivers, steer the organization. Runners consistently go above and beyond for the good of the organization. Joggers do their jobs but don’t push themselves as hard as runners. Walkers get pulled along and riders hinder the organizations success and drag the team down.
- Do I think you should buy this book for reference in your classroom? Yes.
- Do I think you should encourage colleagues, your principal, and superintendent to read this book? Yes.
- Do I think this book could make an impact for you as a teacher, teacherpreneur, and just in your life? Yes.
- Do I think you should listen to this book on audio so you can hear Ron Clark’s southern and fired up accent in all it’s glory? Heck YES!
There are MANY Ron Clark super teacher fans out there. I’m really late to the game.
You would THINK, being a HUGE OPRAH fan, I would have known about Ron Clark earlier than just this past summer. Oprah LOVES Ron Clark. Her magazine named him as the first “Phenomenal Man.” He has also appeared on her show two times!
Then, I totally missed the boat when my FAVORITE Friends star, Mathew Perry, playing Ron Clark in a 2006 made for tv film. Clearly I live under a rock.
I think the real wake up call came this past summer. Teachers took over Pericope and Kim Bearden, Hope King, and Ron Clark, all teachers at the Ron Clark Academy, started scoping. The Ron Clark Academy is hot, hot , HOT in teacher news.
After hearing several of my Teach Happy Members buzzing over Ron Clark’s latest book, Move Your Bus, I had to find out WHO THIS TEACHER WAS.
Move Your Bus, became the official book club read in Teach Happy Membership this past November.
Here is a quick break down of the different types of people that are on an organization’s bus:
Runner – Never brags or bosses others. Pushes harder. Self-starter. Comes up with ideas that benefit the collective whole. Rarely asks for help but needs support because they take on so much.
Jogger – Does a good job. Often thinks they are a runner but fall short. Needs a lot of praise and motivation. Does a good job and helps. A good team member.
Walker – Will go in the right direction but needs a LOT of coaching. Has the potential to be a jogger but falls short.
Rider – Slacker. Toxic. Drags others down. Negative. Expresses unwarranted opinions.
Everyone wants to be a RUNNER, but how?
How To Be A Teacher Runner:
- When a problem, difficult parent, challenge, or new system is presented, what can you do?
Ron Clark Suggests
p. 61 Sometimes it’s great to ask for direction, for help , or for clarity. It’s not seen as a weakness. Instead, it makes it clear that you care enough about a project or a task to be sure you get it right.
- You feel you’re not a runner. You want to improve your teaching practice. What do you do?
Ron Clark Suggests
p. 62 Tell your boss you want to do better and ask for specific suggestions. If your company has a formal mentoring program, I would encourage you to sign up so that you can be paired with a mentor who can give you ongoing advice and encouragement.
- You are self-aware. You’re just not cut out to be a Teacher Runner. What do you do?
Ron Clark Suggests
p. 74 …..take the menial tasks away from the Runners. By saving them from one hour of menial work, you are contributing a substantial degree of speed to the organization and doing a great service that does not go unrecognized.
How To Be A Teacherpreneur Runner:
- You’re constantly sizing up your competition. Constantly checking out what they’re doing. Worried they’re doing it better than you.
Ron Clark Suggests
p. 84 When you spend too much time focused on what others are doing, you risk losing sight of your own job, if only temporarily. The shortest route from Point A to Point B is a strait line. p. 86 Don’t drift into the next lane–keep your eyes on the road in front of you!
- You want your TPT store or business to succeed. You discover a niche or area that others are not tapping in to, but you’re scared to put your idea out there.
Ron Clark Suggests
p. 102 The more limits that are placed on you, like a tight budget or quick deadline, the harder you’ll work to find a solution. When others can’t find a way, but you can, trust me, your initiative will always be recognized and rewarded.
- You want to stand out in your market but don’t know how.
Ron Clark Suggests
p. 115 ….. make a product seem more appealing by adjusting the little details. It’s all in the presentation. p.116 Overall in any organization, Runners and Joggers tend to be more concerned with the details. They realize that small things can be important, can demonstrate respect or a work ethic, just as much as larger things do. Turn your eye to the little details and find ways to step everything up a notch.
How To Have A Class Of Student Runners:
- You are spending a lot of time pulling the walkers and riders along and your gifted runner students have become invisible?
Ron Clark Suggests
p. 126 This is like asking an Olympic-bound track athlete to slow down a little, so the others on the team won’t feel bad about themselves. p. 127 want them to feel empowered and confident…..rewarding them throughout the year with additional responsibility and giving them the opportunity to work on influential projects.
Ron Clark Believes
p. 141 my personal philosophy of teaching is to teach to the top, never lowering expectations. I want every student at RCA to be challenged, to be inspired to reach ever-higher levels. The key is we give our students a high level of support and the tools they need to succeed.
How about some provocative questions inspired by the book? What do you think?
- RCA asks parents to sign a contract to be a partner with the school. Some of the requirements are 1) Students must be at school on time 2) Parents must attend school functions 3) 40 hours of school service every year. Do you think this is a critical key to the success of RCA?
- Do you feel all the new equipment, new technology should go to the runner teachers?
- Are the students in walker or jogger’s classroom being slighted because their teacher is not a runner?
- Ron Clark Warns us: When a society coddles the brain trust, it marks the beginning of its decline. Are we guilty of this? p. l06
- Do you think dress code impacts whether you are a runner or not? Should teachers have enforced dress codes?
- If you are a former runner what made you lose your momentum? How can you get your momentum back?
- Do you think the school system pays more attention to the runners or walkers/rider students?
- Do you think teacher tenure makes it impossible to get rid of riders? Is the teacher tenure system antiquated?
- In what parts of your life are you a runner and in what parts are you a jogger, walker, rider?
- Ron clark says on page 77, that you must always learn how to read the person you answer to. How do you handle a situation where you can’t stand the person who is your principal, boss, or customer? If principals are not runners should they be fired?
- Are you guilty of drifting in to other lanes instead of staying in your own?
- How do you avoid being a sponge that soaks up everyone’s negativity?
- If you are a runner, are you ok with not participating in staff meetings or raising your hand? Do you think that runners should be the main voices heard?
- How can you use the Move Your Bus analogy in your classroom? Do you think students can understand the concept of drivers, runners, joggers, walkers, and riders.
Let’s take a little Move Your Bus intermission: Kramer is DRIVING THE BUS!
Here are some interesting, Move Your Bus, thoughts from Teach Happy Members!
Jess, the Whimsical Teacher:
- Instead of placing myself on my school’s bus: I started looking at myself as the driver of my classroom bus. Being the driver interested me a lot more, so I picked the book back up again.
- I called out some kids that were real runners, and I started listing actions that they made that day. I coined the term “runner’s moves” and pretty soon, we had made a list of 12 actions that runners do daily. I believe now that kids need a list of observable actions, so they know HOW to become a runner.
- I must say that all the kids want to be runners. I haven’t had any complaints from parents, and overall the vibe in my classroom has gotten even better.
- 2 ways to look at this book: 1. Where are you on the bus? or 2. Do you realize you’re already driving your own bus?
- Driving the bus feels very empowering. I’m now looking at how I can teach kids to see their goals/ideas/education as a bus that they too can drive.
- I used it to teach my kids leadership skills. I taught them all the roles on the bus and I made posters, and it’s been so fun watching my riders and walkers go from being *blah about school* to turning into runners and joggers who are excited for life and learning. I’ve had 6 rider/walkers turn into superstar runner students, and it all happened so quickly just by telling them this parable and using principles from the book!!!
- I think that *most people* fill different roles depending on what bus they’re on. Some people may be a walker at home, but a runner at work. Or a jogger all the time at different rates of speed. Or a walker at work because they’re trying so hard to be a “runner” mom. Does that make sense? I’m not sure someone could be a runner in “all” aspect of life without wearing down at some point.
Karen C: I’ve heard my students telling each other and other students in the hallways to stop being riders and start jogging or running. I found a power point of the Essential 55, and have the power point running on my active board between lessons and during lunch. The kids are glued to it.
Lindsey Nagorski: It was such a great way of describing disruptive innovation that I even emailed one of my former grad professors, and suggested it as a text for his class.
Brandon: My students are understanding what I am saying and are constantly asking, “Am I a runner?” One of my walkers really made my day Thursday saying that he was improving his behavior (and he actually has been improving for the last 3 days, which really caught me off guard) because he wanted to be thought of as one of the runners in our class. It really was an eye-opening moment and sent me into the Thanksgiving Break feeling optimistic. I wanted them to know that we all have strengths and weaknesses. I wanted them to know that in order to ever be a runner, the first thing that you must do is admit that you are not a runner in what ever area you are focusing on! I truly believe that admission was powerful because it allowed them (and myself) to look at ourselves openly and honestly.
Sarah, A Rocky Top Teacher:
- I can see people who read this book and think I AM A RUNNER, when they are most likely not even CLOSE to being a runner.
- Is it possible to shift from runner to jogger to walker depending on the circumstance? And, how can you work towards changing your mindset so that you are a runner full-time?
- What category do I fall in? Am I honest with myself? Stepping aside from teaching, am I a runner in my personal life? Do I want to be one?
- It is my nature to want to be a “runner” in everything I do, but being a runner or jogger at work makes me a walker at home as a wife and then when I try to shift roles at home, my work life suffers. I finally settled on the idea that I could try to be a as close to a runner as possible in as many things as possible. It is okay if I fall short because that is still more effort that I am putting towards all aspects of my life versus being a rider and just letting it all pass me by.
Audrey: I love that idea of being okay with possibly falling short! I think sometimes we feel like if we want to be runners then we have to be as close to perfect as possible. I think the effort and the desire to make yourself better is hugely important. If I can focus on that, then the rest will fall into place easily!
Beth: Hope King (RCA), talked about how she is not good with paperwork. Hope King is clearly a runner, but this was an area she admits that she is not so hot at. I guess in a way you have to define what excellence is, either for you or your school as a whole or team and keep yourself accountable to that standard – not perfect, just excellent!
Thank you for reading this LONG POST!!!! Lots of juicy information. be sure to share this post out with anyone you think would benefit from reading this book. Then come back here and let me know how it went!