The #CountUp Movement


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

By Brooke Helle

One of Huntley High School’s very own is the creator of a growing Twitter movement for teachers with a refreshing twist on what it means to be an educator.

The idea started in April of 2017 when anatomy, physiology, and biology teacher, Gerard Marchand, wrote a blog post discussing his take on the problem behind counting down and not up, for the days remaining in a school year.

Counting down the days until an event is usually for joyous occasions such as a birthday, vacation, or anything of this sort. However, as a teacher for fourteen years, Marchand does not consider “his kids” leaving as a positive celebration, contrary to the uplifting events often with a countdown.

“When most of my students leave, it’s the last time I ever see most of them again because they graduate and, to be honest, the teacher part of me gets pretty sad about that,” Marchand said.

Understandably, it is human for both teachers and students to want the school to end and summer to arrive. Inevitably, some days students are better behaved than others, but this does not outweigh the love educators have for their jobs or for their scholars.

“Of course there are days when my students drive me nuts (like the end of the quarter), but like my own children (as in biological offspring), those are expected bumps in the road,” Marchand said. “My students driving me nuts for a couple of days is never enough for me to start a countdown to never seeing them again.”

This simple blog post has shifted on Twitter into a movement where teachers all over describe their school days counting up, rather than down, and the times they get to spend with their students.

From pictures of worksheets given out, to the lunches teachers eat in between lessons, the #CountUp trend is showing students what it truly means to be a teacher and the joy in the simple things. Most posts even nominate other teachers to participate.

Even students can look at the positives and count up their school days. As much as school can be tough and something not everyone necessarily signed up for, it can lead to so much more.

“Their positive event is a graduation or advancement to the next year in the educational career,” Marchand said.

Especially in times like these, this movement helps shed light of positivity in those dark tunnels. It reinforces that the small pixelated people talking through your Zoom screens count every second up as another reason why they love doing what they do and a way to feel connected to everyone.