Nudges We Create & Watch Breathe New Life

“We get to make things. Things that make the world nudge a little bit in what we hope is the right direction.” Wilson Miner, Webstock 2012

recite-16031--930386081-1ayn6lrI’ve been thinking a lot about our ability to create and the impact of what we leave behind when we no longer exist. As an educator,  speaker, writer, human being I plant daily. I plant thoughts, ideas, emotions, inspiration, energy, passion, etc. I don’t always plant positive seeds, especially when I take for granted my interactions, choices and actions. Sometimes, we just don’t think about these things. Life and its slumps get in the way. We need to create, be a part of something, or do something that makes us reflect on our actions and choices. We need books to read, music that inspires us, podcasts to digest, conversations to reflect on, and so forth.

Recently, the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators began and now I’m surrounded daily with inspiration and already I have seen the positive change it has made in my life. My blog is no longer empty. My presence in my social networks is more positive. I am visiting and reading more blogs. I’m listening to friend’s podcasts, asking friends how they are doing, participating in more projects, writing more creatively and enjoying life more. I wake up with a smile, a glow, a jump as if I have been ignited again.

What do we do when our creation is in danger of dying?

It’s funny how we don’t think about the impact of our creations. I created the 30 Goals. It’s my baby, but in 4 years it has taken a life of its own and others have become a part of it and made it into something beyond what I could ever do alone. Last year, I thought it would die. It was too much for me to do alone. I felt overwhelmed. This year I decided to make it less about me and more about the community. I contemplated for months how I could make it more collaborative and highlight the creations that are inspired by the 200+ educators who are taking part now.

Allowing our PLN to revive us….

We need people and we need to allow their creativity and inspiration to breathe new life into our creations. I think educators sometimes have a problem with allowing others to take over. We create so much in our lives. We create lesson plans, lectures, PowerPoints, worksheets, posters, documents, learning stations, bulletin boards, curriculums, instructional plans, etc. We invest so much of ourselves that it is difficult to let it go and allow our students to take that from us and contribute to it. Maybe we feel it will be vandalized or we won’t be able to direct the outcome. I like to be surprised by the outcome. I like to think that the various projects I’ve helped create- #Edchat, The Reform Symposium, and The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators- will still be around inspiring others long after I am gone. If these projects do continue to live and inspire it is only because my PLN (passionate learning network) has kept them alive. For that I am blessed and extremely grateful.

This reflection was inspired by Wilson Miner’s When We Build Talk, which was shared by @ILOTimo. I’ve made the following quotes from his 43 min presentation using Recite This. Maybe you don’t have 43minutes but if you have 6 minutes catch the presentation from 36:40 on up. I hope you are as inspired as I was.

Wilson Miner’s Talk

Webstock ’12: Wilson Miner – When we build from Webstock on Vimeo.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.32.45 PM

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, author, and international speaker. She is the host of American TESOL’s Free Friday Webinars and the Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E. She has co-founded and organized the acclaimed educational projects, Edchat, ELTChat, The Reform Symposium E-Conference and the ELTON nominated Virtual Round Table language and technology conference. Her prolific presence in the educator community through social media has been recognized by several notable entities, such as The New York Times, UNESCO Bangkok, Edweek, Converge Magazine, the United Federation of Teachers, the 140 Conference, Mashable, English Central,, and T/H/E JOURNAL. Her education blog, Teacher Reboot Camp, is ranked as one of the top 10 language teaching and technology blogs and the 50 best blogs for education leaders. In 2012 find her book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators published by Eye on Education and participate with over 7000 educators worldwide in this online professional development course that helps educators develop Personal Learning Networks and accomplish social media and teaching goals. Find her on Twitter, @ShellTerrell. Shelly has taught English language learners at various levels since 1998 in the US, Greece, and in Germany. She currently presents and hosts workshops on integrating technology effectively with young learners and adults. Shelly holds an Honours BA in English and a minor in Communication with a specialization in Electronic Media from the University of Texas in San Antonio and an Honours MA in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix.

4 thoughts on “Nudges We Create & Watch Breathe New Life

  1. Thank you for all of the ways that you have contributed to our field. I have personally grown as an educator through your interactions on Twitter and your posts. We are too quick to be critical when we are unhappy, but we often fail to give a pat on the back or a hearty thank you when someone does something to help you. So take this note as a thank you many times over for the times I have missed giving you the credit when you deserved it.

    Keep going and may you be encouraged each day knowing you do make a difference.

    1. Hi Nathan,

      Thank you for uplifting me with your words! It was always great interacting with you. I haven’t been conversing much here or on Twitter but that’s slowly changing. Thank you for starting the conversation again!

  2. Hello Shelly,

    I am still learning how to use my edublog page and am not too sure how I became subscribed to yours . . . but I’m certainly glad I am! Yesterday’s post inspired me to dig up an old goal and look at it with new eyes. This post inspires me to keep “nudging.” (I’m sure I used to “push” – and that’s probably why I ended up disappointed so often :)!

    Bette (

  3. When I read your post, it reminds me so much of raising my children.

    I had such aspirations for them…some very realistic and some that only a mother can dream up. I think this is a good thing. When you created this little being you imagined all sorts of possibilities.

    Then your children grow up and mess up all your dreams….they dare to find their own path and rarely look back. It’s in that moment that you have a choice. If you truly raised them to leave the nest, you have to celebrate. Even if that celebration is only intellectual because you know it’s the right thing and your heart is breaking.

    Slowly….your heart catches up with what you knew was “right”. And you can celebrate the amazing things that they are doing with their lives. Things I never dreamed and wouldn’t have seen as possibilities. And in most cases, things that are way “cooler” than what I imagined.

    I think it’s the same way with your dream of 30Days. I don’t think we give each other enough space to grieve the loss of what we imagined….so that we can lay down that burden and then joyfully embrace the new dream. It seems to me that you’re in the midst of this process and I just encourage you to keep on.

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