ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Innovative educator Ron Clark took the stage at the Albany Municipal Theater Thursday, drawing crowds from across the state.
The way Clark does things is a little different, but that's one reason he said it works so well.
"I looked at the kids and there was no passion," Clark said. "I didn't know what to do, but I said maybe I'll be excited. If I'm excited, maybe they'll be excited."
Clark soon found out that passion would be contagious. Since that pivotal point at the beginning of his career, he's been schooling other teachers on just how to tap into their students' interest and help them improve academically.
"The school year is getting ready to start," Matthew Sheets, a math teacher at Sherwood Christian Academy, said. "I'm hoping to get some new ideas, get excited and, maybe, find something I can use."
That may very well be the exact reason educators from 85 different schools showed up for his inspirational speech and workshop at the Albany Municipal Theater Thursday.
But it wasn't just teachers packing the room. Business professionals also took notes on Clark's unique style of motivation and leadership.
"We've pretty much filled it up with business professionals and with educators," Albany Area Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Rivera Holmes said. "So, it's an opportunity for our own residents of Dougherty County to experience this beautiful setting, and for all our friends visiting from throughout Southwest Georgia."
All who are stopping into town to check out his style of getting out from behind a desk, being interactive and paying special attention to every student.
"I hope that teachers will go out and realize how important they are," Clark said. "As an educator, if you have passion and you are excited, it's going to bleed into the hearts of the kids."
A word of advice that will be fresh in teachers minds as school gets underway. Chamber officials said the event was nearly sold out.
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