The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator's Creative Breakthrough

The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator's Creative Breakthrough

by Wade King, Hope King


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Experience a Creative Breakthrough in Your Classroom

Have you ever wished you were more creative… or that your students were more engaged in your lessons? The Wild Card is your step-by-step guide to experiencing a creative breakthrough in your classroom with your students. Even if you’ve never painted a portrait or written a poem, you can create unforgettable lessons that help your learners retain content.

In this book, Wade and Hope King show you how to draw on your authentic self—your past experiences, personality quirks, interests, hobbies, and strengths—to deliver your content creatively. The seven steps in The Wild Card will give you the knowledge and the confidence to bring creative teaching strategies into your classroom. You’ll learn...

  • Why the deck is not stacked against you, no matter what kind of hand you’ve been dealt

  • Why you should never listen to the Joker

  • How to identify the “Ace up your sleeve” and use it to create classroom magic

  • How to apply the “Rules of Rigor” in order to fuse creativity with learning

  • How to become the Wild Card that changes the game for your students

“This book is a teacher wonderland of ideas, inspiration, and mind-blowing magic.” —Ron Clark, New York Times bestselling author and cofounder, Ron Clark Academy

“Hope and Wade provide powerful, proven, practical steps to discovering the creativity inside of us all.” —Kim Bearden, cofounder and executive director, Ron Clark Academy, author of LA Times bestselling Crash Course

“Wade and Hope King challenge, equip, and emPOWER you to create lessons that bring light (not dread) to your students’ eyes.” —Jason David Frank, actor, Power Ranger, and eighth-degree black belt martial artist

“These pages are full of real-life stories that will pull you in and challenge you to your core.” —Amy Lemons, educator and blogger

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946444523
Publisher: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.
Publication date: 01/08/2018
Pages: 262
Sales rank: 19,459
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Our Own Path xii

Flexing the Creative Muscle xv

Part I Wild Card 1

Chapter 1 The Game of Life 5

Creativity is a Personal Brand 11

Creativity Is a Mindset 13

Creativity Drives Engagement 15

Chapter 2 The Deck is Not Stacked Against You 17

Chapter 3 Don't Listen to the Joker 21

Change the Dialogue 23

Shrug Off Setbacks 24

Part II Creative Breakthrough 29

Chapter 4 Awareness 37

Evaluate where you are today and accept it so you can move forward 37

Assess, Accept, Act 40

What's Your WHY? 42

Why You Need to Know Your Why 48

Chapter 5 Desire 53

Let desire drive your commitment to challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone 53

Don't Live in the Comfort Zone 56

First Step: A Smile 61

Rediscover Your Passion and Enthusiasm 64

Fake It till You Make It 68

Chapter 6 Reflection 73

Reflect on your own creative path. What will it look like? 73

Consider New Definitions of Creativity 75

Reflect on Your Vision for Change 77

Reflect on Your Goals 81

Chapter 7 Engagement 85

Develop a new understanding of engagement 85

The Rules of Rigor 88

Set Your Expectations High and Don't Accept Less 91

Create an Environment that Furthers Your Goals 95

Maintain a High Level of Energy 107

Build a Culture of Empowerment 111

Wrapping It All Together 120

Chapter 8 Authenticity 123

Identify your go-to thing and start there 123

Getting Started 133

Leveling Up 139

Avoid the Comparison Trap 140

Ideas Everywhere! 143

Chapter 9 Grit 153

Push through barriers and overcome obstacles 153

Crush Your Curriculum Challenges 156

Trounce Those Testing Troubles 160

Bust Through Budget Boundaries 164

Work Through Personal Struggles with Self-Awareness 168

Chapter 10 Persistence 173

Persist with and build on your creative efforts 173

Try Something Beyond Your Go-To Thing 175

Start a Club 176

Lift Up Your Colleagues 181

Chapter 11 Snappy Wrap-Up 185

Part III Toolbox 189

Cheers and Chants / Call and Response 191

Relationships and Culture 192

Soft Skills 194

Movement 195

Music 196

Games / Competition 198

Current Events 199

Debate 201

Effective Questioning 203


Socratic Seminar 206

Spoken Word 207

Drama / Role Play 208

Public Speaking 210

Room Transformation 211

Works Cited 225

Acknowledgements 227

More from Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. 231

About the Authors 242

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The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator's Creative Breakthrough 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Wild Card is an amazing book for all educators, K-12. It is a MUST READ! It will ignite your passion for education. Hope and Wade King, educators from the Ron Clark Academy, teach you how to set the stage to engage yourself and your students, find your passion, creativity and enthusiasm in teaching. This book will help you reflect on your current teaching practices and show you ways to improve what you do and how you can create more engaging lessons for you students. Be the reason your students want to be in school!!! Do yourself a favor and buy this book. It is educationally life changing!
Heidi Finley More than 1 year ago
Last year I had the opportunity to see Wade and Hope King in action in their environment at The Ron Clark Academy. I was enamored by their strategies and techniques. This began my journey down a rabbit hole reading Hope’s blog, watch YouTube and Periscope videos, as well as following them both on social media. When their book was announced I knew I wanted it. This book has surpassed all expectations. As I began reading I found myself connecting even more with these two extraordinary individuals who are truly changing the way teachers across the country are interacting and teaching the students who enter their classrooms every day. Wade and Hope have hit the nail on the head when it comes to identifying keys to success in classrooms. The success of our students begin with the creativity we put into our craft as teachers. Wade and Hope have shown through their book that having the courage to step out of your comfort zone helps meet the needs of all students in your classroom. They explain that our failures helps us grow. I can’t agree)more. There is no growing in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growing zone. This book, The Wild Card, should be required reading for all pre-service teachers. Can you imagine how different those teachers would be as they entered the workforce? The Wild Card is a must read, whether you have been teaching for 10, 20, 30 years or whether you are just beginning. This book, The Wild Card, has helped breathe life into my classroom and my career as a teacher.
5197134 More than 1 year ago
Educators need to have this book! If you are working with tiny people or seventeen year olds you have something to gain by reading a book by two amazing people who are LIVING classroom life right now! I'm ready for my creative breakthrough and you should be too! Oh! Principals who are wanting to make a change in your buildings, get this book for your teacher teams, hang the posters in your work spaces, and get the conversation rolling about making your building a safe place to play, explore creativity, and still get those standards taught! Hope says to take your most challenging standards and turn those into games and your kids will remember them! Check out the toolbox section for a jumping board to plug your own ideas into! BE THE WILD CARD!