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The Essential 55 by Ron Clark

The Essential 55 by Ron Clark


At CES, I also incorporate Ron Clark's The Essential 55 into our school day. A New York Times bestseller, The Essential 55 describes the 55 rules and expectations Clark had of his former students in Harlem and how he used manners and respect to help his classes achieve outstanding test scores. Here's the list.

  1. Respond to an adult when spoken to.
  2. Make eye contact when spoken to.
  3. Congratulate classmates.
  4. Respect other students’ comments, opinions, and ideas.
  5. If you win, do not brag, if you lose, do not show anger.
  6. If you are asked a question in conversation, ask a question in return.
  7. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and say excuse me.
  8. Do not show disrespect with gestures.
  9. Always say thank you when given something.
  10. When you receive something, do not insult the gift or the giver.
  11. Surprise others by performing random acts of kindness.
  12. When grading other students’ papers, give only the correct grade.
  13. Follow along when we read together in class.
  14. Answer all written questions with a complete sentence.
  15. Do not ask for a reward.
  16. You must complete your homework every day.
  17. Subject transitions and moving to different classrooms will be swift, quiet, and orderly.
  18. Be as organized as possible.
  19. When homework is assigned, do not moan or complain.
  20. When a substitute teacher present, all class rules still apply.
  21. Follow the specific classroom protocols.
  22. You may bring a bottle of water to class; you may not leave for a drink of water during class.
  23. Know other teachers’ names and greet them in the hall by name.
  24. Keep yourself and the bathroom clean and germ-free.
  25. Greet visitors and make them feel welcome.
  26. Do not save seats in the lunchroom.
  27. Do not stare at a student who is being reprimanded.
  28. Call me if you have a question about homework and leave a message –once.
  29. The ABC’s of etiquette.
  30. After dining in the cafeteria or elsewhere, be responsible for your trash.
  31. (Used at his school) In a hotel room, leave a tip for the hotel workers who clean your room.
  32. On a bus, always face forward.
  33. When meeting new people shake hands and repeat their names.
  34. When offered food, take only your fair share.
  35. If someone drops something and you are close to it, pick it up.
  36. Hold the door for people rather than letting it close on them.
  37. If someone bumps into you, say excuse me, even if it was not your fault.
  38. On a field trip, enter a public building quietly.
  39. On a field trip, compliment the place you are visiting.
  40. During an assembly, do not speak or call out to friends.
  41. At home, answer your phone in a polite and appropriate manner.
  42. When returning from a trip, shake the hands of every chaperone.
  43. Keep right in the hallways when walking.
  44. When walking in line, Keep your arms at your sides and move quietly.
  45. Never cut in line.
  46. No talking during movie or distance learning.
  47. Do not bring Doritos into the school building (a joke in his classroom)
  48. If anyone is bullying you, let me know.
  49. Stand up for what you believe.
  50. Be positive and enjoy life.
  51. Live so that you will never have regrets.
  52. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
  53. No matter the circumstances, always be honest.
  54. Carpe Diem.
  55. Be the best person you can be.
Caverna ISD  |  1102 N Dixie hwy  |  Cave City, KY 42127
Phone:270.773.2530  |  Fax:270.773.2524