Oprah joins Ron Clark Academy live video to surprise, support teachers

During a Facebook Live session for Ron Clark Academy on Friday, thousands of educators and parents were given lots of supportive words on the importance of education.

A few minutes into the video, a surprise guest was invited to participate, and she essentially came on to scream, “You get support! You get support! You all get support!”

No free cars were involved this time, but Oprah Winfrey joined Ron Clark, who created the southeast Atlanta nonprofit middle school, to encourage teachers and homeschooling parents to carry on with the important work of educating children.

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“I love teachers, and I think throughout the world a lot of people are appreciating teachers differently now than ever before,” Winfrey said. “Because they're having to sit at home and do it themselves, they recognize what you have been doing all along.”

The billionaire talk show host and philanthropist said teachers have always meant a lot to her. She cited her fourth grade teacher as someone who literally changed the course of her life.

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“A teacher saved my life, Mrs. Duncan in the fourth grade ... she was the first person I thought really saw me, and I can tell that you’re doing the same thing with your students,” Winfrey said.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of parents have been thrust into homeschooling their kids, while teachers try their best to teach over video calls and other means. Nearly 18,000 people tuned in to Ron Clark Academy's Facebook Live as it aired Friday afternoon, looking for advice.

Clark was among those looking for tips to better adjust.

Credit: Jennifer Brett

Credit: Jennifer Brett

“I’ve never taught online,” he said. “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.”

Winfrey said these times are a learning experience for everyone, urging parents and teachers to “be kind” and “be patient” with themselves in addition to their students.

“I can’t say enough about what it means to be a teacher ... I’d like to give a round of applause, a high five, a standing ovation to all of you on this call,” she said.

SURPRISE! Oprah jumps in the LIVE to surprise educators on #RCAEXP Online! — #ronclarkacademy #ClubRCA

Posted by Ron Clark Academy on Friday, April 24, 2020