March 19 – 5 minutes a day CAN make a difference

Jeff Charbonneau teaches Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering  at Zillah HS in Washington State. He is also the 2013 NBCT Teacher of the Year. Because of this title, he was asked to introduce Tony Wagner at the NBPTS Teaching and Learning Conference on Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Washington, DC.

He took time to first joke about how you can’t get anything done in 5 minutes. But then he quickly switched his tune and inspired the crowd of over 1,000 by saying ” five minutes can change the world!” He stressed that in 5 minutes “we can lift each other up to have the energy to keep going”. As teachers, he reminded us that we need that energy to do our job well so we should take five minutes to lift up our students, as well as our colleagues. Instead of only gripping with co-workers, we need to take just 5 minutes to lift a fellow teammate up.

This got me thinking. On Friday, a colleague came by my room with her computer. For a Gifted and Talented Class she is taking, she needed to watch a TEDtalk. She thought I’d like it so together we watched a talk by a young girl who emphaisized that teachers should let kids guide the class – Adora Svitak – What adults can learn from kids. Then I shared the TED link to my favorite – Rita – Every Child Needs a Champion We were together for 15 minutes of our break time but it was fun to together be inspired. Together we lifted each other up!

Then I thought about how this same colleague made the effort to ask me a few Fridays ago how my Parent Browsing Breakfast went. I smiled because I wanted someone to ask me this. I shared how it went great and how the parents really liked the movie we made. She asked, “Can I see it?” and so I brought her back to my room and showed her the 6 minute video we made to show our parents how we used the computer to make an eBook (really just a powerpoint presentation but it is more fun to say “eBook”!!). Then we  parted to use our planning time separately. Next thing I know, she is back at my door with a card – she took time to write my students a Thank You note to tell them how much she enjoyed the movie we made.

WOW! Claire, my colleague, totally gets what Jeff is talking about. She took time to lift me up. Then we both had the energy to keep doing this hard job called 4th grade teacher!

We all have 5 minutes today – take time to lift someone up!!

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