Book Review of "Move Your Bus" by Ron Clark
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Posted by: Christina Mimms
Reviewed by James Hutchins, Head of The Donoho School, Anniston, AL
We all remember the Flintstones … right? Fred, Wilma, Pebbles, Barney, Betty, Bam Bam, and their energetic pet dinosaur, Dino. In the opening of each show, Fred screams, “Yabba Dabba Doo” and slides down the back of a dinosaur and lands in his prehistoric, wood and rock car that’s powered by his feet. He paddles his way through the town of Bedrock, gathers up the family and the Rubbles, and collectively they run their feet as hard as they can and head to the movies. It took them, together, generating enough energy to move the car down the road. Well, Dino actually was a rider. He didn’t contribute any to the ride. He enjoyed it while the others worked.
This summer, the administration at The Donoho School did a book study together on Move Your Bus, a book written by Ron Clark, founder and head of The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. Clark uses a bus instead of the Flintstone car, but just as the Flintstones and Rubbles moved the car by running their feet, moving the bus forward is determined by its passengers. To further illustrate, Clark fittingly uses the bus to represent any organization’s goals and achievements. The organization can be a family, business, church, or school. If the organization wishes to “move its bus” to the next level of performance, those within the organization —or on the bus – will determine how far, how fast, or if it moves at all.
Clark categorizes the occupants into five groups:
- Drivers work to steer the entire organization.
- Runners consistently go above and beyond what is required.
- Joggers do their jobs well without pushing themselves.
- Walkers are just getting pulled along.
- Riders pick up their feet and slow down the whole enterprise.
Faculty and staff were given a copy of the book before summer and were asked to come back ready to “Move Our Bus.” As part of this year’s orientation, we included activities and discussions about the book, and throughout the year, division directors will continue implementing ideas from the book during faculty meetings.
Our faculty and staff are energized and ready to take The Donoho School to the next level. Several shared their thoughts:
Move Your Bus was a great choice for a summer reading book for our faculty. It inspired so much self-reflection. I felt like all of our faculty members took the time to step back and assess what kind of passengers they had become on our school bus and what it would take to be runners. For me, the evidence was a new, inspired energy that I felt all over campus the first week of school.
- Melissa Smyly, Upper School English Teacher
Move Your Bus has provided me, and our faculty and staff as a whole, with a boost of inspiration that is launching our "bus" into the best start of a school year yet! When I read the book on my own, I got a lot of great, practical advice that I could implement immediately. I started seeing positive results in my work and personal life. Then we were given the opportunity to discuss and engage with the book as a faculty, which propelled its message to a new level of effectiveness. We are inspired as a team to help each other run! We are excited to continue moving our school's bus forward with a helpful spirit and a positive attitude.
- Jennifer Senter, Upper School Science Teacher
Move Your Bus was very inspiring. It made me reflect on how I operate my part of our "bus." It reminded me how important each and every day of the school year is, and it reminded me how my thoughts, attitude, and actions help shape each one of those days. It encouraged me to constantly reflect and see where I can grow and learn from each experience. It also gave me the push I needed to start off the school year on the right foot and the push I needed to remember to spend my ONE chance with this school year the best way I can.
- Caroline Clay, Lower School Teacher
As head of school (the Driver), I am excited about the energy that’s being generated by our book study. It is my responsibility to steer our school and encourage my colleagues to keep moving our bus at top speed. As well, it is my duty to remove anyone that hinders our progress. As difficult as it is, removing ineffective walkers and riders that don’t aspire to maximize their efforts is a responsibility I take very seriously.
The Donoho School looks to the future with great anticipation. We are excited about building a team that focuses on success! Clark introduces strategies and techniques that will inspire and challenge any organization. I recommend Move Your Bus to any organization that’s looking to “up their game.”
James Hutchins is head of The Donoho School in Anniston, AL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.