I have been debating on writing this post for awhile, because this is a completely new experience for me. I have had life-changing news recently and couldn’t decide how to let you know. How much do we reveal? How much is too much? What is the correct way to approach this situation? Should I even let you know? These are all questions I have been struggling with.

I didn’t begin my social media journey until a little over a year ago. I started using Twitter on April 8th and I hadn’t used it much till May 2009. At this time I started my blog as well. The reality is social media and my Personal/Passionate/Positive Learning Network (PLN) are now a huge part of my life. In the past year, I have traveled to 8 different cities and 7 countries to meet members of my PLN. Therefore, I feel quite close to many and feel as if I have some incredible friends. Many of you have communicated with me weekly through Skype, Ning, Twitter, Facebook, this blog, and more. Many of you have been completed challenges like the 30 Goals with me. Therefore, I feel I should explain my absence a bit in the last week. I haven’t posted for over a week and that is unlike me. I apologize.

I have come onto a fork in my life’s journey and within the next two months I will be leaving my beloved Germany for other places. The future is still unknown and I have just been dealing with this shock of packing up and moving and dealing with illnesses from my family members. This is all I feel comfortable revealing now. Thank you for all your support, encouragement, and friendship this year. I will get my act together soon and this blog will continue to strive towards the goal of reforming education by providing teachers with resources, pedagogy, knowledge, experience, and most importantly, the desire to continually learn and improve themselves. As a community we provide this together.

In the meantime, please share any experience you have of undergoing trials in your life and dealing with the social media aspect of your life. I would appreciate the experience.

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


  1. Hi Shelly,
    This is difficult. We haven’t met, though I wish we had 🙂 Still, there’s something about sharing ideas and thoughts over the social media that brings us all together in a new kind of bond and a novel idea of friendship.
    I wish you and your family members best health and happiness. I also hope you will continue your online journey along with you life journey. I think this time we live in, which enables our extended reach is a wonderful, exciting and enriching time of true revolution.

  2. Shelly,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and I know that the passion and energy you have will allow you to overcome whatever life throws at you.

    I have found myself taking time away from social media in the last few months due to changes as well. It is difficult because my connections and conversations related to my career (which I feel is a blessing) are hard to put on the back burner. But I also know that I need to take care of personal matters first or I will not be able to do the type of job I want to do.

    I don’t really want to get into a lot of deep personal stuff on here, but I believe that good things happen to good people and all of the positive energy you have sent towards others will be repaid to you.

    Discuss these concerns and vent about your frustrations with those who you trust. Change and loss are processes that we all experience, but we also experience them differently. It is just a process we have to get through.

    I would guess you are an optimist and person of faith and these two things will help you a great deal. I hope this bumpy road that you have hit is a short one!

  3. Shelly, you know that I’m always here for you and feel so bad especially w/ the way you have helped me out so selflessly. If there is anything I can do don’t hesitate to ask.

    Whatever the situation is I wish both you and your family the best. You’ve been a great friend and a huge inspiration to me and so many others. We’ll all get passed these hurdles together!!

  4. Shelly,

    I think you are an amazing person; your positivity, enthusiasm,and passion is an inspiration to me. You always extended a hand to help other individuals without a second thought.

    Even though we live miles apart and have never met, I think of you as a dear friend. My own Twitter experience would not be the same without you! If there is anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to ask. My thoughts are with you and your loved ones. *BIG HUGS!*

  5. Miss your encouraging voice Shelly. I will be praying for wisdom and guidance as you take on this new journey. I am undergoing some of the same feelings and unintentional distance from social networking because of new directions in my own life. It is all consuming and hard not to share with all of you that I have grown to love.
    You will be amazing wherever you end up, how could you not be? 🙂
    Please lean on us and let us know how we can support you, pray for you, or even laugh and cry with you!

  6. Hi Shelly,
    It seems we are going through almost the same trials and tribulations at the same time. Although I won’t be moving, my brother-in-law has been in the hospital in extremely critical condition for the past month. My family is extremely close so it is taking a physical and emotional toll on all of us. This would be why I haven’t be around on twitter or on my blog much either. Trying to care for my 3 year old nephew, continuing to encourage my sister, and the constant worry have exhausted me. So I know how you feel and what you are going through right now. Just remember that even though very few of us have met you, you have all influenced and changed our lives in a very postive way. We all love you and want the very best for you.
    You will definitely be in my heart and prayers.

  7. Dear, dear Shell,

    Thank you for finding the courage to share your trials. It is hard to know how much to share publicly. But know you are held in very high esteem by your PLN and we all wish you the very best outcome possible.

    With love, Judith

    • @Judith,May I echo your post?
      Shelly, You are indeed held in high regard. My thoughts are with you as you meet life’s challenges.

  8. Dear Shelly,

    Know that I will be praying for you and I hope that everything works out for you on your new path. As educators, it is so important to take care of ourselves because if that part of our life is not balanced, we will never be able to help others grow and learn. You are an amazing person and I love the fact that I have gotten to know you over the past few months. Know that if you ever need anything, do not hesitate to ask.

    – Nick

  9. Smiles from New Zealand!! I wish you much love and support for the forthcoming future. Marama 🙂

  10. Shelly,
    I was very touched from your post! And with all this trouble you had the time to look over my video, or do other stuff. You are amazing, my mentor, and I believe you’ll come through whatever it is that you are dealing with. My life is going through family changes too, for the last few months and I try to compete with all the difficulties and my addiction to the social media. But I realised that a pause from all this, is ok. Perhaps even better because you come back with more energy and the will to offer and share.
    I wish you all the best. Thank you again for the inspiration.

  11. Dear Shelly,
    I am really very very sorry about the things you are through.When things go wrong you may question yourself or moreover blame yourself for what’s happenning.But this is life, it has its own flow and (sometimes) you cannot manage it. The most important thing you should keep in mind is; YOU ARE IMPORTANT! VERY IMPORTANT! Not because other people love you, adore you, in love with you, desire you but because you are one and only; because you are UNIQUE and PRECIOUS! “Time heals all wounds” may sound a bit cliche and unreal at the moment of the situation but you’ll see how it will.
    If there’s anything I can help, I will, you know! Wish you and your family all my best! And I want to finish with Virginia Satir’s very true and motivating words:)
    “I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”

    Your Turkish Sister,

  12. Dearest Shelly,

    I am really sorry about the sadness transpiring your post. Life is right here and right now so if that’s where you need to be, you might want to embrace this change with the energy which is so characteristic of you. The future is always uncertain…but you will always be you, wherever you are.

    My prayers are with you and your family.


  13. Thinking about you Shelley and wishing you and your family all the best as you travel through this part of life’s journey. I’m sure that your positive nature, so evident in your writing, will see you through. Thank you for all that you do for others 🙂

  14. Hey Shelly,

    I’m so sorry to hear of the illness in the family and the move that you do not seem to want to make. It doesn’t matter where you are, though, as we are still a community. This will be another step in your journey, and there will be more legs after this one. I’m sure that others, like me, look forward to hearing where you will be once you are sorted. We are here for you.

    Your post is timely, as I am contemplating changes that may have a significant impact. Like you, it has to be the appropriate time to post, so mine will follow later. Take care.

  15. Here’s wishing you loving times caring for your family. I think going home is a good move if you can reconcile the various parts of your private life. It’s when they are in conflict that it gets complicated. As for the professional side of things, you’ve built a solid foundation for your career, to build on. The best of luck to you, dear Shelly!

  16. Shelly, I know from my own experience how debilitating this can be. My advice is do what you need to do and don’t even worry about us — we’ll all still be here when you’re ready to blog prolifically again. Again, in my experience, and as the comments here reveal, most people are very understanding.
    Take care, and above all look after your SELF, otherwise you will be no use to anyone else. x

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