The people that make a school work well are driving buses, delivering food in the cafeteria, answering phones, sweeping floors after hours, etc. You can also find people in your community willing to help you make cool and interesting things happen for your students. Connect with these folks and appreciate how large the team is that wants the best for the community’s children!

For Day 5 of The Challenge, here are two avenues for connecting more effectively with those who help and can help you.

Choose one or both of the following:

a) Figure out who among the clerical staff, janitorial staff, or similar has an upcoming birthday or anniversary. Buy or make a card and have everyone in your department or grade level sign it, showing your appreciation for the work that person does. This doesn’t take a ton of your time, but could mean mountains to the person who gets the card, particularly if it’s a person who wouldn’t normally get a card, due to what we could call a somewhat contrary personality. Afterward, give the co-signers a high-five for your random act of kindness, and pledge on each other’s sacred honor that this won’t be the last time you do such a thing.

b) Identify a low-level need in your classroom, and write up what it could do to help your students, as well as what it costs and where it can be purchased. You might add information about how that product/service is being used to help students in another classroom or school. Find out which service clubs are in your area (for Rotary, for example, you can use the “Club Finder” feature at, and send them a note asking if the club might be able to help you with this item. Before sending, it is probably a good idea to get feedback from an administrator on what you’ve written (that person may already have a contact to suggest). May this suggestion turn into a substantial stream of financial support for your classroom!

What do you think of this? Share your thoughts via social media using these tags: #5DTC and (if specific to today’s material,) #5DTCday5. Please also add #edtechteam and @rushtonh, if you have space.

And if you have a suggestion, critique, compliment, or story to share with me, please do so via the 5-Day Teacher Challenge Feedback form.

Thanks for making the connections that make new things happen!

Thank you, also, for taking part this week in the 5-Day Teacher Challenge. The posts will continue to live at so others can give it a go, too! Over the coming days, I’ll start sending out thank-you notes, but if ever I can help you make what happens at your school better, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

In service,

top image credit: Five by Alan Levine from Flickr (CC by 2.0)
birthday card image credit: Birthday Girl by Heather R from Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)

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