Your best learning comes from outside of school.

Bring your outside interests into your classroom.

Photo of Matt O'Donnell
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The most successful things I did in my classroom did not come from what I learned at staff PD days nor from conferences; they came from hobbies I had outside of school.  Most of the tech skills I used in my classroom I learned on my own through trial and error in creating a sports blog for my favorite baseball team.  We learn best when it does not feel like work and it feeds our interests.  I had a need to talk baseball with fellow Red Sox fans but found it to be very difficult living thousands of miles away and surrounded by Giants and A's fans.  I created a blog in 2007 without really knowing what I was doing and quickly learned about different web platforms, image and video editing, and a plethora of tech related skills that I then brought into my classroom.  I took what I learned and changed my teaching so that my students were producing work they could share through their own blogs and films.   This would not have happened if I waited for the PD day on blogging or video editing that may never have come.


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Photo of Jessica Lura

I think that this is really important, and schools should make a space for educators to bring those passions into the classrooms. It keeps the teacher engaged, exposes students to new interests, and when a person is passionate about a topic, it's contagious and leads to learning for everyone involved.

Photo of Karen McGahey

When I think about my own experience as a classroom teacher, I am certain that the times I was at my very best was when I was teaching through my passions and interests. Those classrooms experiences were the most rewarding for both myself as a teacher and my students as well. The thing that shines through is the sheer joy of learning.

Photo of Dan Blake

When I think of those teachers who stand out to me as innovators, it's typically those who have brought their own interests and passions into the classroom and shared this with their students. This serves both the students and the teachers well: teachers model for students what it means to be passionate about a subject and teachers themselves are more engaged and willing to build their skills in pursuit of their interests. I look forward to discussing ways we can tap into teacher's passions and interests in order to improve teacher learning.