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Education Consultant

Thanks for this great post,

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Thanks for this great post, Ainissa! Passion is important in every aspect of life, and works best when you're sharing it with others. I became a music teacher because my music teacher shared her passion with me. It was infectious. Now, as an entrepreneur, I try and instill passion for building things in the students I work with. I want them to feel like they can dream something, and make it. I try and teach them that with passion and motivation, they can do anything they want. Do you think this is too ideal? Or is passion-based teaching helping our students have the confidence to find their own passions?

co-founder I am Bullyproof Music

On Vulnerability and Geekiness

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I rarely warm up my voice before helping students with their own voices. I have observed that students learn much more from watching me fudge, then fix, any tricky passage that needs to be smoothed out vocally. Whether it be singing, chemistry or cooking, allowing info to be shared more personally with one's students seems, at least to me, a lot more productive and sincere approach than just "presenting" in a cool manner.

PS. I posted this as a passionate geek..as in...NO ONE likes to squak when they sing. That's GEEK101. That's vulnerability in spades. Sometimes when a singing coach doesn't warm herself up, she does end up squaking loudly. NOT cool. Very geeky. But that's okay. I'm so passionate about teaching kids to sing, I'll play the geek card. Helps them learn. Keeps me humble :-)

High School Assitant Principal/Virtual School Director

Bring Passion back to the

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Bring Passion back to the classroom!
Thank you for this intentional description of how to engage students in loving to learn, particularly focusing on the innate curiosity children have about the world around us. Isn't this a perfect opporutnity for students to practice skills with online tools, helping to free up time for a teacher to share personal passion with students? Making emotional connections is a requirement to reach deep learning.

Science Evangelist

You're welcome!

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I am happy to know my words were meaningful. Thanks for reaching out.

Thank you Ainissa for this

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Thank you Ainissa for this blog post. It was truly inspirational. In education today it is easy to forget about the passion in order to engage our students. I agree that educators need to have a "beginners mind" to engage our students in the learning process!

Science Evangelist

Passion is the candle.

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I agree that passion is the candle that we need at this critical time when we are mired in this morass. We only need a few candles to squelch the darkness.

Founder, head, and PK-3 teacher at he Phoenix School in Salem, MA

I was thinking today during

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I was thinking today during #satchat whether or not it wasn't possible for creative, innovative teachers (there are some left, aren't there?)to weave the common core requirements into a passion-based approach to learning? I'm on the same page as Heidi, making learning all of the above. Engaged kids learn and remember best when curriculum can also be individualized and they have some choice. Passion-based learning allows for this beautifully. A lot of work, but might be a way through the educational morass we seem to be in right now.

High School Library Teacher in Massachusetts

Ainissa, I really like your

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Ainissa,
I really like your comment about how teachers need to have a beginner's mind, thinking about how a topic looks to someone who does not already know something about it. Great reminder!

I also like that remind your readers how important it is to be passionate about your subject. Cool Cat Teacher just posted a piece about how disengaged teachers destroy student engagement, for obvious reasons. Perhaps I am naive, but I would hope that 99% of the teachers students meet do NOT fall into that category of being disengaged. I would think that someone becomes a teacher because they LOVE what they do and they can't wait to share how cool it is with other people, in this case, students!

Personally, I have to go on the assumption that teachers ARE passionate about their subject. Assuming this is the case, I would argue that inquiry learning really is one of the best ways to help students move beyond simple, in-the-moment engagement, and into intrinsic motivation. The inquiry learning model can easily include these other models you discuss - problem-based (the inquiry question is intended to solve or answer a problem), or project-based (why not have students work with a real-world problem and ask important questions about it?). In fact, I have written about several of these topics already in my new blog. If you and your readers would check it out, I would welcome the opportunity to continue learning about these topics together: http://convergenceinthecommons.com/2013/03/18/engage-students-or-motivat...

Science Evangelist

Empowering teachers

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Thank you for your comments. I read that one of the things that got Finland to be so successful is that they empowered teachers to make some key decisions. After the US gets passed the finger-pointing and the paralysis of analysis, we should let teachers get back to the work of inspiring young minds. Until then, I hope this blog stoked the flame a bit for some in this time of darkness. Thanks again. (And thanks for the work you do!)

Director of Partnerships at nonprofit Facing The Future

Passion -- real world challenges & sustainable solutions

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Ainissa,
Your science evangelizing about connecting students and teachers to their passions is welcome indeed! Our nonprofit strives to support teachers and students in exploring and applying knowledge and skills to global sustainability challenges. In this climate of blaming rather than respecting and assisting teachers, it's wonderful to put teachers in their true place -- the inspirers and nurturers of our children's hearts and minds. Thank you!

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