Follow us:

Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: National Teacher of the Year

You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.

May 6, 2014 at 5:00 AM

What tour taught our top teacher: Schools are better than we think

Jeff Charbonneau teaching a class of high-school students in Beijing. Courtesy photo.

Jeff Charbonneau teaching a class of high-school students in Beijing. Courtesy photo.

A year and 300,000 frequent flyer miles ago, Jeff Charbonneau, a science and engineering teacher from the small town of Zillah in Eastern Washington, started his journey as the 2013 National Teacher of the Year.

His travels took him to 32 states as well as China and Japan. He gave roughly 175 speeches to crowds as big as 9,000 people and as few as 40. He’s met with future teachers as well as governors, state education chiefs, and members of Congress.

As he finishes up his term as the nation’s top teacher, we caught up with him between trips, to see what he’s been thinking and doing.

Q: What have you learned in the past year?

A: I’ve learned there is a lot more going right in education than makes it into the national media. I have seen STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in high schools that rival that of universities.

I was shocked at how much better it is than I had realized. In the beginning, I kind of felt that maybe we in the Yakima Valley were doing things way better than anybody else, and I found out that wow, everybody is doing just as well as we are.

More

Comments | More in News | Topics: Jeff Charbonneau, National Teacher of the Year, teaching