Extend the Conversation

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 3.08.54 AMGoal 8: Extend the Conversation of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators. Click the link to find out more about the 30 Goals Challenge for Educators.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ~ Ralph G. Nichols

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

The start of a new school year can feel overwhelming. Many of us have to learn new curricula based on the latest education policy, learn to integrate new technology given to us usually at the last minute, prepare our lessons, and more within a short period of time. During the first week of school and the weeks leading up to it, I always work about 50 to 60 hours just to complete tasks, because many of my days are filled with professional development and meetings.

Sometimes, we can get bogged down by all the bureaucratic stuff that comes with being a teacher that we lose focus on what matters- cultivating relationships with our new learners. Before I get sucked into the hectic haze of all that comes with beginning the school year, I remind myself that in the end what matters most is that my learners leave my class knowing I care about them and they have the power to pursue their interests if they continue to learn. In order to achieve this, I know I have to provide opportunities for my learners to discover their interests, strengths and weaknesses. I also have to listen to them and get to know them so that I can best help them along their learning journeys. Allowing these opportunities can be tough, especially when most curricula doesn’t provide time, but at some point we have to just forget the curricula, policies and standards and create moments with our learners. Drew Dudley in his 6minute TedTalk, Everyday Leadership, talks about creating lollipop moments with our learners. It’s worth a watch.

Short-term– When you get the feeling that one of your students wants to say more then he/she is saying, stop and listen. Let them know you care about what they want to say.

Long-term– create opportunities every week where your learners can voice opinions, reflect, and feel that you care about their thoughts, frustrations and ideas.

More Resources

These posts exhibit conversations teachers have had with their learners:


Extend a conversation you feel one of your students wants to have but doesn’t have the courage to.

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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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

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