Finding and Sharing Passion in the Classroom

For many people, seeking passion is a lifelong journey. Others are lucky to recognize an interest early on, hone it into a passion and allow it to dictate the direction of their lives. Passions are personal, but they often bleed over into our professional lives. Teachers, perhaps more than anyone, can appreciate how following a passion can provide professional fulfillment along with personal joy. Not only are the best teachers passionate about their jobs and their students, but they also possess the amazing power to help students uncover passions of their own – passions that may guide students’ lives far beyond their school years.

While the results of a passion are sometimes easy to recognize – a beautiful vegetable garden, a moving piece of music, a classroom full of laughing children – passion itself is a really abstract concept. Helping students foster their passions may feel like a big job, and it is. Chances are, though, most teachers are already leading all kinds of classroom activities that help kids connect to their interests on a deep level. Show and tell, hands-on lab experiments and integrating music into lessons are all great places to start. But if you’re ready to make passion-based learning the cornerstone of your classroom, there are lots of resources that can help.

1) For a big picture view (and a quick read) of how to approach passion-based learning, stop by Angela Maiers’ website for notes from a discussion with several experts.

2) 25 Ways to Institute Passion-Based Learning in the Classroom offers a wealth of practical activities and advice for classroom teachers of any grade level.

3) In an interview with Edutopia, veteran educator Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach touches on many aspects of passion-based learning, and specifically addresses how teachers can re-orient themselves with passion in mind.

Have you tried any passion-based learning techniques? Do you swear by passion-based learning in your classroom? Share your experiences and advice below.