Ron Clark called yesterday. He called both of our cell phones to talk with us. There’s more to the story that we’ll get to in a minute, but there is serious power in a phone call!
Todd and I were on Voxer back and forth talking about different Principal challenges that we have and he was being kind of drama. So, I decided to call the front office of his school and play a little joke. His Office Manager answered and I told her it was Ron Clark calling for Mr. Nesloney. I had just seen Ron Clark on Persicope the other day surprising a school in Tennessee, or in Ron’s words, bum-rushing a school! Hey, I’ll call Todd and act like Ron Clark, see what happens next!
I had just returned from a training and was sitting in my office. Adam knows how much I look up to and admire Ron Clark. Adam also knew that I had just had dinner with Kim Bearden (the co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy) two nights before. I hear my phone ring in my office. When I answer it, my secretary says it’s Ron Clark. I sat in shock. She asked if she could patch him through and of course I said sure. Next thing I knew, “Ron Clark” was talking with me, asking if I was at my school, and telling me he was about to pull up in his big red bus and surprise my staff! Well, I may have been in a little shock….only to hear the next few words of….”just kidding, it’s me, Adam”. Yeah Adam punk’d me. And punk’d me good.
So what did I do? Well of course I Tweeted about it and made sure to tag the REAL Ron Clark in the Tweet.
Next thing we know Ron Clark was favoriting the tweet and then responding! First thing he told me was that it was funny that HE also tried calling my school three times and no one answered. I thought he was joking of course, only to have him respond a second time that he was serious. Next thing I knew I was running around the corner to the office, hearing the phone ring, and trying to catch it in time. And yep, it was Ron Clark. The REAL Ron Clark.
I could have passed out. My educational hero. My person I’d looked up to since I was a junior in high school was talking to ME on the phone. And it was like we were old buddies. We chatted for a good 10-15 minutes. Then it ended with Ron asking for Adam’s mobile phone number so he could let him know not to mess with his buddy Todd Nesloney. Epic.
After I punked Todd, it was time to work and had to meet with some teachers. I was in Evernote writing down some ideas and also watching Twitter on the side. I saw the entire Tweeting exchange with Ron and Todd and was fully laughing on the inside. Then my cell phone rang, and the call was from Georgia.
No way. It was Ron Clark calling my mobile phone and we chatted for fifteen minutes about education, kids and how much we love our work. Such an amazing phone call, filled with inspiration and energy. Thank you Ron Clark!
So why do we write you this post and share this story? Because there’s power in a single phone call. The power of a phone call is real. It’s profound. It’s important. It changes attitudes. Voice connects people in a way that email does not.
There’s such power in taking a minute just to tell someone you notice them. To take that time to share a laugh, a “how are you doing”, a great job, anything! Take a moment to call a parent and let them know the greatness you see in their child. Or take a moment to call a child at home and just let them know how much you enjoy getting to see their smiling face every day. Taking time out of your schedule to make a simple phone call can make a world of difference.
We spoke on the phone after our ‘Ron’ call and tried to process our feelings. If we feel like this after someone called us, how does a parent feel after you call them with a positive message about their child! They. Feel. Amazing.
Call home! Call home more often! Call home to celebrate kids!
Ron may never know it, but yesterday he made a difference in both of our lives. One we won’t soon forget.