I have always maintained that successful teachers should “adapt”, rather than “adopt” other innovative ideas, resources or lessons. Certainly, as educators, we all copy or adopt ideas and resources that we have gathered. However, when we adapt a concept and “make it our own”, the opportunities blossom and our students become engaged when they witness our passion for particular adapted projects.
Such professionalism and passion are demonstrated by Chris Harbeck, an innovative junior high Mathematics teacher at Sargent Park School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Chris read my recent blog post entitled “How to Make a Difference in December” and decided to creatively adapt the concept to engage his students. The result is his powerful blog message entitled “Would your students donate $0.25 cents per day?” which I encourage you to investigate. Not only is Chris challenging his students to contribute 25 cents a day from December 1st to Christmas to support various charities but he has also used the power of his personal “Make It Interesting” blog and his extensive Professional Learning Network to challenge other teachers and students to demonstrate their Christmas charity contributions. In fact, Chris has created a “25centsaday” wiki which schools from across Canada and around the world can track their charity contributions this December.
However, when I visited Chris’ wiki, I was totally “blown away” with the inter-connectedness of educators utilizing the Internet to “make a difference” . Guess who was the first educator to contact Chris by email and indicate that he, too, was challenging his high school students? It was Karl Fisch from Arapahoe High School in Colorado. For those readers who are unfamiliar with Karl Fisch, I will provide a brief background.
As a New Year’s Resolution, I wrote my first introductory blog post on January 1st of this year. My second blog post on January 2nd was an article entitled “Can one individual influence many?” which described the profound impact that Karl Fisch had made when he shared his powerful PowerPoint slide presentation entitled “Did you know?/Shift Happens“. Undoubtedly, Karl Fisch continues to influence many and his recent November 28th post entitled “A Quarter is More than Just a Fraction” demonstrates how he took Chris Harbeck’s powerful idea and adapted it to challenge his high school students.
I trust that educators will investigate Chris Harbeck’s charity initiative and consider joining his wiki to demonstrate your students commitment to contributing. Perhaps, the image on the above quarter will help us focus on a goal for the upcoming holiday season. Through the power of the Internet, perhaps we can figuratively “join hands” to help make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Take care & keep smiling 🙂
Credit: Flickr image “Canadian September 1999 quarter reverse” by Astro Guy