ATLANTA — Educators connected with Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy got a major surprise from Oprah Winfrey on a Friday afternoon conference call.
Nearly 18,000 people joined the Ron Clark Academy Facebook Live session. Educators involved with the professional development institute across the country and around the world were looking to sharpen one another’s skills and lend support.
[SPECIAL SECTION --> Latest on coronavirus in Georgia and around the world]
Then, the school’s founder, Ron Clark, welcomed the media mogul to the call. Winfrey shared words of encouragement for the educators.
“A teacher saved my life, literally, Mrs. Duncan in the 4th grade,” Winfrey said.
Winfrey shared how Duncan was the first to recognize her potential and showed the power a teacher can give a child to achieve.
“I just continue to applaud outstanding, extraordinary, magnified, and magnificent work that you do at RCA,” Winfrey said.
Work that for all teachers and students has gone online and has also presented some challenges.
“I never taught online. I never thought it’d be that hard. Look, when I hit the bed at night, I’m out. I’m exhausted. It’s a lot of work,” Clark said.
Winfrey gave advice about facing challenges in these unusual times.
“Be kind. Be gentle with yourself,” she said.
Educator Julie Dexter-Johnson and her eighth grade daughter, Naima Johnson, watched it live and loved the surprise.
“She’s always been so supportive of teachers and educators all over the nation,” Naima said.
“I definitely liked her message of self-care and being kind to yourself as an educator,” Dexter-Johnson said.
Winfrey closed their time together in classic Oprah fashion, with an enthusiastic statement.
“God bless all the teachers,” she exclaimed.
© 2020 Cox Media Group