Dare Them!

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 3.40.18 PMGoal 17: Dare Them! of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.

My Reflection

Are you familiar with Norman Vaughan’s story? At 89, he achieved his dream of climbing a mountain peak in the South Pole. His motto was, “Dream big and dare to fail.” I imagine myself climbing a mountain at 35. The obstacles seem too overwhelming. However, I imagine my dreams seem overwhelming to others. I’m okay with failure, because I believe we don’t truly live till we test ourselves and our ideas.

I like to think of myself as an idea creator, maker, and nurturer and I would like to pass this on to my learners, but how? How does a teacher entice learners to face failure and expect them to undergo the hardships that come with pursuing dreams?  It’s not easy. Sometimes, it is dangerous. Often, it’s lonely. The pursuance of dreams consumes your time, energy, spirit, skills, talents, sleep, courage, strength, and relationships.

I read a lot about genius hour and listen to inspiring speakers like Angela Maiers talk about getting our students to share their genius and change the world. I love the movement, but I think we have the responsibility to undergo the journey of pursuing our own dreams before we dare our learners to do this. We need to climb our own mountains and risk the dangers, hardships, and self-doubt.

Angela is an incredible example of someone who models what she requires from learners and her Choose2Matter organization helps individuals pursue their passions. Choose2Matter does not paint a pretty picture of transforming the world. It prepares learners and realizes the journey is tough, but necessary.

So today I dare you, reader, to pursue a dream, an idea, a passion. Tell your learners you will be daring to pursue a dream and that you are scared silly about doing it, yet excited. Share with them your story about how you came to have this dream and why you think it is important in life to pursue dreams even with the risks and hardships. Then, dare them to chase a dream this year. Create a community of support in your class. You can blog about the experiences, or share inspirational quotes, music or speeches.

You won’t find this as part of the common core or school objectives, but trust me it will be a life lesson your students will thank you for. We don’t dare our learners enough. We don’t dare them to pursue what is in their hearts and they feel the void. Often, they fill this void with gangs, drugs, crime, and suicide. If we don’t dare them, we lose them. We lose millions each year. I dare you to try to save some.

Goal- Dare your learners to pursue their dreams. Join the journey by pursuing your own dreams. Create a community of support in your classroom.

Ideas include:

  • create a collaborative Pinterest/ Educlipper board of inspirational quotes, videos, etc.
  • create a class playlist of music that learners find strength in
  • post butcher paper on a wall and allow learners to pin quotes, images, etc.
  • add TedTalks or speeches by inspirational individuals
  • have students create goal collages or vision boards


Pursue a dream, idea, or passion. Then, dare your learners to pursue their dreams. Go on this journey together and create a community of support in your classroom.

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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*Image above adapted. Sick Superheroes by Brian Dewey, CC, Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdewey/5725260482/in/faves-shellyterrell/

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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