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Teacher of the Year has novel idea on how to improve education

Jeffrey Charbonneau, a teacher at Zillah High School in central Washington was named Washington’s 2013 Teacher of the Year. (97.3 KIRO FM/Kim Shepard)

The man selected as Washington’s Teacher of the Year says he’s not the only good teacher out there, and a big part of improving education might be to recognize the good work happening in schools.

Jeffrey Charbonneau, a teacher at Zillah High School in central Washington named Washington’s 2013 Teacher of the Year, tells The Ross and Burbank Show that even if people have a negative general view of education, they’re usually very positive about their kids’ teachers.

“If you ask them ‘How are your teachers of your students?’ They say, ‘My teachers are great.’ Then you realize, wait a minute, if all the people across the United States are saying that their teachers are great, but education is failing. Maybe we’re actually mis-perceiving education across the United States.”

Charbonneau says it seems discussions on education always seem to point out the negatives. A big thing he says the government could do to improve things is point out the good examples and successes.

“They look at the test score and they say how many kids didn’t pass and what’s wrong with education, let’s switch our message and start telling people what’s right in education,” says Charbonneau. “Then maybe we’ll start feeling better about ourselves and then maybe we’ll have the conviction and the ability to rejuvenate some of these teachers that maybe have lost some of their passion.”

Charbonneau definitely hasn’t lost his passion. He tells Ross and Burbank that each day he greets his students by welcoming them into another day of paradise. He says he tries to listen and cater to each student’s education. He believes his success can be transferred to any classroom, it’s just a matter of finding kids’ passion and maintaining a teacher’s.


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