Choose Your Battles

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 3.47.43 AMGoal 6: Choose Your Battles of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators. Click the link to find out more about the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators.

“Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It’s not winning battles that makes you happy, but it’s how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go.”~ C. JoyBell C

This year with the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators, our 30 Goals Facebook community is voting on what some of the goals will be. We are grabbing this from the list of goals from the previous 3 cycles. This year’s theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal will focus on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments.

My Take on the Goal

For the past few years I feel like I’ve been constantly warring. I am a passionate person. I see things not right with the world and I choose to make them better. I believe Nelson Mandela’s words, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” The educators I surround myself with exhibit the same passion and battle to make their schools better learning environments for students, staff, and the community. Often, this means we feel like we are continually fighting the system. Teachers tell me they try to get bans lifted, use technology in ways administrators don’t support, do away with grades, do away with standardized tests, or get other staff members excited about online professional development. We are constantly battling something to improve our educational environments.

That’s a good thing. It’s one of the qualities I love about the educators I interact with daily, their passionate and they make a difference. Sometimes, though, you have to walk away especially when you feel the situation has taken all the fight in you. Sometimes, you have to know when to just let go and when not to take things so personally. It’s what I did a few months ago. I left kids I loved and an environment where I felt I was really contributing to their lives but at some point I realized that all the battling was wearing me down and I needed to walk away so I’d keep my passion and spirit. Sometimes, we have to let go and battle somewhere else. I know that many teachers have struggled with this and felt they were abandoning the kids they were teaching but now that they made the decision, years later, they are happier, healthier, and still making a difference.

Short-term– Think about what you’re up against this year and potential scenarios where you will clash with someone. Try to strategize how you’ll tackle this so you’ll keep your sanity. What kind of compromises will you make and can be happy with accepting?

Long-term– Make a list of what you want to achieve this year. What are you passionate about and what do you want to see changed in your school environment? Choose which of these changes you’ll focus on and tackle. We can’t win them all but the things we are most passionate about we can focus on and trust me you’ll see some improvement by the end of the semester. Change and transformation take time. I remember to integrate technology wholeheartedly in the curriculum once took me 3 years.

More Resources


Make a list of what you want to achieve this year and choose only one thing to focus and fight for.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

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Please fill out this Google Form if you reflected on at least 1 goal so you will be listed in a 30 Goals blog list and on a 30 Goals Twitter list.

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

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