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Crash Course

The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me



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About The Book

The inspiring true story of how a group of inner city school kids taught their teacher how to overcome personal adversity and achieve success and happiness: “Kim Bearden’s message is one that should be heard by all” (Ron Clark).

Crash Course chronicles the life lessons that Kim Bearden has learned during an award-winning career in education. From her challenges as a first-year teacher to her triumphs as the cofounder of the highly acclaimed Ron Clark Academy, Kim shares how children can teach each of us the importance of building relationships, abandoning fear, discovering resilience, embracing one’s unique gifts, and living with passion.

Full of honesty, humor, heartbreak, and humanity, Kim’s experiences show how children can help any one of us find joy and meaning in both our personal and professional lives. Crash Course is “humorous and sensitive” (Kirkus Reviews), an important resource for every home library.

About The Author

Photograph © jamezqua

Kim Bearden is the cofounder, executive director, and language arts teacher at the Ron Clark Academy, an internationally-renowned middle school and educator training facility. She resides in Atlanta with her husband Scotty and daughter Madison. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 21, 2015)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451687712

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Raves and Reviews

“Humorous and sensitive. … Thoughtful and entertaining tales of how students influenced and changed one teacher’s perspective on life.”

– Kirkus

“[Crash Course] was positive, inspiring, real, open, reflective, uplifting, honest and nothing short of incredible. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I reminisced, I related.”

– Adrienne Phillips,

"She loves these kids so much, she's always going above and beyond for them and they just love her to death. She's like mama bear and I'm papa bear. She's the best person I know, and I know a lot of people." (2010)

" clearly the best speaker I have ever heard at any conference I have attended. Her message about the importance of creativity in the classroom and how to make a difference in the lives of all children was both moving and informative. It makes me feel good to know that the education profession would choose Kim as a representative of all teachers. She is a professional who understands the ins and outs of being a teacher, and her message is one that should be heard by all." (2001)

– Ron Clark

"If we are lucky, each of us, during our educational endeavors, hopes to encounter that one teacher who helps us make sense of it all. A teacher with whom we can truly connect and enjoy the educational experience just for learning's sake. And if we are really lucky, this same educator may touch the soul of her students in a way that encourages her students to become a better human being. Kim [Bearden] is this teacher."

– Stephanie Hill, parent of one of Kim's students

“Whether you’re in education or business, or want to learn more from someone who has really had a profound impact on our society and the way that children are being taught, and has countless success stories to validate her methods, it’s worth listening to what Kim had to say.”

– Sheehan Marketing Strategies (blog)

“[Crash Course] will renew your passion for teaching and the human spirit.”

– Mrs. Jump's Class (blog)

“Kim is infectious!”

– Primary Graffiti (blog)

“Bearden has a love for children unlike anything I have ever witnessed… a must read.”

– Second Grade Shenanigans (blog)

“If you are up for an inspirational, heart-felt, honest read… then this is your book.”

– Kickin' It in Kindergarten (blog)

“This book will remind you why you became a teacher in the first place.”

– Kindergals (blog)

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