Goal 3: What Do You Believe About Learning? #30Goals

Goal 3 of The 30 Goals Challenge 2011


Short-term-Make a bullet list of what you believe regarding how you and others learn. In this reflection, think about how being part of online professional development has redefined the way you learn.

Long-term– In what ways will you ensure that your belief of how your students learn is reflected in your classroom?


“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ”

by John Lubbock

Special Guest

Today we also have a special guest, Ryley, Marti Side’s son who talks about how he learns and how his new school the Sharp Academy allows him the flexibility to learn in an environment that works for him. Read Marti Side’s post which details more about her decision to send him to a school that would meet his learning needs, What Do You Value?


Make a list of bullet points of what you believe about how people learn! Please share with us during your reflection!

Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30Goals, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the 43 Things web/mobile app, or adding a comment below! Feel free to subscribe to The 30 Goals podcast!

Keep an eye out for the book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, that will be published by Eye on Education in the Fall of 2011!

Background music is Trimming Sails by Chuck B featuring Kerri from CC Mixter

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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), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, 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 https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations


  1. I believe that
    learning should be life long
    is freeing
    is possible
    is active
    is better when shared and authentic
    is POSSIBLE!

  2. Ry – You did a fantastic job with your reflection video! Reading time sounds wonderful and comfy with those blankets and it sounds like you enjoy learning about what is “inside the books”. Thank you so much for sharing with us what works for you as a student – that helps teachers like me work harder to provide a good learning environment for ALL students.

    Oh, and I bet you look very sharp in your polo shirt and khakis!

    🙂 MrsDi

  3. First of all, Ry I loved your post. Here in Hawaii we have a school called Assets for kids that are dyslexic. I used to teach there and still have many friends that do. I’m glad you like your school because that’s so important.
    Everyone needs to feel good about learning & I’m so glad you found Sharp Academy.
    Mrs. Jacobs

  4. Goal # 3
    I believe everyone can learn
    I believe we all learn in many different ways
    I believe the most empowering phrase is “Yes, I can.”
    I believe learning is exciting & constant

  5. I learn best:
    When I love what I’m learning.
    When it’s personal and useful.
    When it helps me connect the dots
    and opens new windows onto the world.
    When it’s fun and challenging.
    When I can visualize what I’m learning.
    When learning is NOT connected to
    “achievement” and judgments (grades).
    When I encounter the encouragement of
    others—teachers, peers, colleagues, readers…
    When I have the TIME and FREEDOM
    to learn.
    When I care!

  6. Goal # 3

    I really enjoy learning when:

    I can exchange ideas and thoughts with other learners

    I can have lots of fun

    I am challenged to do my best

    I am given support

    I can also support my fellow learners

    I can actively use my new-found knowledge

    I have the time to devote myself to learning

    Most importantly of all, I enjoy learning whenever the opportunity arises!!

  7. http://reflectrepentreboot.blogspot.com/2011/02/goal-3-what-do-you-believe-about.html

    I do not wish to make a list of how we learn that is obvious. We are familiar with Multiple Intelligences, Bloom’s Taxonomy, etc. Regardless of our learning styles, I believe that some things are shared commonalities when it comes to learning. This is my quick list… bet you can think of things to add to it!

    We learn by

    Getting our hands dirty
    Indulging our curiousities
    Failing, falling, and getting back up again
    Asking questions – endless questions
    Putting away the ego and jumping into the fray
    Being open to other perspectives, views, and ideas
    Feeling safe enough to open eyes, ears, and minds to possibilities

  8. Some people learn by doing. Some people learn best by listening and traditional note taking might be more of a distraction than a help. Some people need to move around. Some people need to see examples. All students are more successful when the teacher makes it their priority to understand the student’s perspective rather than expecting the student simply accept the teacher’s.

    I have an example I heard today. I attended a statewide video conference titled “In Our Own Words”. The speakers were people with disabilities. One(an adult with Autism) told about a situation where she was asked to observe a young boy (also on the spectrum)who had recently begun to take things that didn’t belong to him on a regular basis. She went and when it was time to change classes he took some small item off the teacher’s desk as he exited. When she asked him about it (privately) he explained that each day as he left the teacher told him to “Take Care”. He wasn’t sure what she meant so he always tried to watch what she glanced at the most and thought it might be “care”.

    This is a long post but I read today’s goal before I left this morning and that story resonated with me. I am enjoying reading everyone’s thoughts. I am also enjoying starting each day by checking out the goal and having something tucked in my mind to ponder.

  9. Ry is such a cutie patootie! Okay, mission accepted, working on what I believe about learning. Thanks for doing another round of the 30 goals challenge. I am a few days behind but working on playing catchup!

  10. I learn best in a web.
    I love the internet because you can be interested in one thing and begin your search, then you can easily jump to something else that is connected to your first topic. By the end, maybe you are learning about something on the opposite end of the spectrum to where you started, but it was all self-directed, and it was all interconnected! Sometimes I love trying to re-trace my mental path to try to find those connections (not always easy!). It just reminds you that connections are everywhere, and learning is just connecting with ideas that are new to you.
    I am still struggling on how best to transmit this to my students in a classroom, but I love this forum that is, every day, encouraging us to learn from others, reflect, and try new things.

    Thanks to everyone for the unending inspiration!

    • Hi Karissa,

      I like the way you describe learning on the web. I find that I do the same thing. I am so fascinated by the Internet. I am just happy I was able to be there when it was invented and really took off in order to see the before, during, and after of this historical invention.

  11. I love that the first thing in your list is “getting our hands dirty”. It is so true! Physically connecting with our environment and our subjects is so important. This seems obvious with the sciences, but my question now is, as a new ESL teacher who is constantly soliciting advice, how do we get students to physically connect with language?

  12. Hi Shelly!

    Being part of a PLN has given me a great opportunity to learn how to use technology in
    my classroom. I’m thankful specially to you for
    all your encouragement.
    I’ve found out some students don’t learn or decide not to learn due to lack of confidence. Teachers should design learning situations to foster self-confidence.
    Hugs from Argentina!

  13. […] @teachingwthsoul. This weekend is dedicated to some catch-up time, as I am just now completing Day 3.  Here are the goals & video: Short-term-Make a bullet list of what you believe regarding how […]

  14. Thank you to all who gave comments to Ryley. It’s been s week now and he asked me again tonight if anyone else had commented on his video. It gave his self-esteem such a boost! If your kind words can do that for him, just think of what comments from a world wide audience can do for our students.

  15. Hi Shelly,

    we’ve just finished a “LERNIEing” unit in class. I wrote the story of “Learnie and Chreate” to help students reflect on the meaning of learning and attitude. After discussions and activities they seemed to agree on the fact that:
    – everything is up to you
    – you can learn anything if you really want to


    Thank you, Shelly, I’ve been learning a lot from you! 🙂

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