Carrying Conversations: 10 Lessons Learned from Learners

1st post in a new series: PLN Tips 4 Teachers and Goal 14: Carry a Conversation of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”~ Plato

One of my favorite reads growing up was Chicken Soup for the Soul. I learned how to be the kind of educator I can be proud of by reading these short inspirational stories. One of the anecdotes that left a great impression was about a teacher who had a student she did not like. The teacher judged the student by how dirty he was and how he dressed. One day he gave her a used gift. Later she found out it used to belong to his mother and that he gave it to the teacher because the mom had passed away and he felt compelled to give it to his teacher. The teacher had misjudged the student and didn’t realize this until she had a conversation with the student. I took this to heart when teaching my most challenging students. I remember one threw a chair at me and instead of sending him to the office I had a conversation with him. He was struggling with emotional issues with his dad. He never threw a chair at me again.

Important insight and powerful reflection can occur when we carry conversations with our students. Below are a few of these insights blogged about by other classroom teachers. These posts offer insight and deep reflection. I hope that they will encourage you to take the time to listen to your students this year and learn how to be a better educator by reflecting on their words.

10 Posts of Lessons Learned from Learners

These posts are in no particular order:

The 30 Goals Challenge

As part of The 30 Goals Challenge I would like to inspire you to accomplish these goals:

Short-term– Take the time to have a conversation with one of the students who you are struggling with this week. Blog about what you learned. You can even blog about it here if you do not have your own blog.

Long-term– Make it a habit to have at least one conversation with a student a day. This goal is similar to last year’s goal: Ask a Learner.

Important News

  • Lisa Dabbs and I have decided to change the hashtag to #30GoalsEdu.
  • This year we are focusing on 1 to 2 goals a week in order to have time to really reflect on the tasks and respond to each other’s posts and enhance our support system for each other.
  • Check out my Pinterests for other posts with this goal or ask me to add yours!


Have a conversation with one of your students you are struggling with. If you feel inclined, share any insight gleaned from this conversation.

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 #30GoalsEDU, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the GooglePlus page, or adding a comment below!

Be inspired with these Inspirational songs, videos, quotes, and more on my Pinterest board, Inspiration for World Changers!

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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),, 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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