Passion: PASS It ON

* The title of this post, Pass it On, comes from one of the We Connect submissions by a student named Hannah Hardy.*

My experience with passion has shown me that passion is often consuming as in your thoughts running wild with ideas keeping you up in the wee hours. It’s lying in bed with your mind planning, organizing, contemplating, reevaluating till you have to get up and produce. Passion is action because you have to release the insurmountable creativity and energy boiling within you. It’s often an unedited you with your thoughts on paper napkins, sketches in journals, or audio recordings of deep thoughts.

Passion is infectious. It spreads. When I feel uninspired I just have to listen to a song, watch a TED Talk, read a Seth Godin book, or talk with my Passionate Learning Network (PLN), and my thoughts are set back into motion.  Here’s one of my favorite passionate speakers who has inspired me and over 13 million others with his message!

Passion Must be Shared

What I’m sharing isn’t new. You know what passion is because you have your own experience with passion or have been inspired by a person’s passion. What you may not realize, though, is that passion must be shared in order for you to really experience passion’s potential. Passion has the ability to change minds and inspire action. Only when your passion impacts another human being do you feel its intensity. Gather a group of passionate individuals and you create movements, make history, change lives, transform the world, and transform yourself.

Education and Passion

In education we need a gathering of educators, parents, students, and community leaders passionate about learning as an antidote to the boredom, mistrust, stress, and blame raging through education systems worldwide. Daily schools have the opportunity to spark a passion for learning but often desensitize children.

We need passionate educators to begin passing the passion on. Our passion must become viral. In order to do this we must gather and spread the message and impact others like Nick Vujicic does in the video above. Imagine if all our students are impacted by our passion daily. Imagine if all the children that entered school found their passion and ran with these passions like Ana, the student blogger, is doing.

What’s Your Movement and Message?

I think social networks and online educator communities with passionate individuals are part of the solution. I believe if all educational stakeholders are surrounded by the passionate individuals in our online communities, they will feel inspired. We need schools where inspired educators help students find their passions and explore these passions even if it is passion for art, music, a sport, or subject. Monika Hardy, a dear friend has created the Innovation Lab at her school that does just that and is revolutionizing the way schools can help students learn about what they are passionate about.

Therefore, in March 2010 I asked fellow passionate friends to help me create the We Connect creative commons video and wiki.  You’ll notice Monika in this too! Over 50 parents, teachers, administrators, and kids from over 12 countries participated in providing short video messages of why they connect online. All I did was combine the submissions and add the background music. Various concoctions of this video have been presented to audiences worldwide in order to inspire educators to participate in online communities.

Originally posted on Angela Maiers’ blog!


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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. What a fantastic post! Truly – passion isn’t really passion if it isn’t passed on and shared. So often we as teachers hide behind the lie that we have to have “expert” knowledge or professional distance. Instead, when we let down our guard, students can see that we don’t have all the answers, but that we are passionate about learning and excited to go on the adventure with them.

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