A Call to Action with an Open Heart

Mégaphone by Felipe Bachomo, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Photo by  Felipe Bachomo 

This has been a challenging blog post to compose. Not because I struggled with what to say, but instead how to say it. Playing through my mind is John Mayer’s beautiful song “Say.”

Taking his advice I will say this with an open heart but also a respectful voice. Being passionate about what you believe makes you so deeply invested. When you believe strongly about something it can be so difficult to understand why it isn’t as obvious to others. When you believe in moving forward it can be frustrating to hear “no.” Yesterday I called the power of my passion into question. I began to doubt that it could make a difference. I began to wonder if passion was enough to bring about change.

It is ironic because when I am with my PLN and my classmates learning, sharing, growing, and exploring I feel like I can take on the world. I believe anything is possible and I feel my passion bubbling over. I believe the power of all our shared passion is such a force it would be unfathomable for it not to bring about change, on a massive scale. I am surrounded by hundreds of authentic examples every day of passion-based action by educators. Embedded in their work is what they believe in their hearts, their guts and their minds. They are teaching with passion. Today I vowed to shake off the discouragement by reminding myself that passion does matter, it really matters, and I am not alone in this belief.

Bringing me back from the edge were amazing classmates, friends, professors and strangers…through blogs, tweets and Skype calls. Thank you for rallying around, guiding me back to the path and sharing your own passions. I was down but not out because of your support.

I wanted to share a small sampling from my collection of blog posts that give me perspective and hope. In Angela Maiers’ blog post “Superman Ain’t Coming and Why That’s a Good Thing” she talks about all the waiting that happens in education. This waiting makes us feel hopeless and helpless. However as educators we have the power to make change happen though our “superpowers of empathy, compassion and passion.” I am wearing my cape, Angela! Jeff Zoul writes about creating a “Culture of Yes” within his school. “In a Culture of Yes, risk-taking and innovation are encouraged and even expected.” To you Jeff I say, “Yes!” Bill Ferriter discusses being digitally resilient despite the challenges we face. The image in his post is hanging on my wall.

As well as, here are a few of the many bloggers who boldly ask the big questions and inspire me to stay passionate:

In an effort to surround myself with positivity I want to add to these collections. The brave words and actions of others are validating, empowering and strength-filled. Please share in the comment section the bloggers and blog posts that inspire you and offer hope for change.


19 thoughts on “A Call to Action with an Open Heart

  1. Thanks for the post. Change takes time and requires the right people to be in leadership positions. I count myself lucky that we have the right kind of leadership.

    In your frustration, remember that you are one voice, but you have a strong voice. With your research and work, your voice will grow stronger and more people will listen to you.

    “We are the champions!”


    • Thank you, Jeff! You are so right- it is important to have a mindset for change at all levels. I do strongly believe we can all be leaders even if our “title” doesn’t state it. “Lead by example” is so very true. Thanks!

  2. Wow!!! Again.. adding another layer of just the amazing thoughts we have growing out there. I know what you mean! I think it can’t possibly help but reach a tipping point. Certainly the voices that tell us this is not happening are few… they just have amplifiers and we still work with that still, small voice that speaks honestly. If we can only turn down the noise, we can hear the voices that live in our hearts.
    I can’t wait for @cogdog to join our class! Be prepared to be MOVED!
    I have taken so much inspiration from@giuliaforsythe

    I am just replying quickly with the two folks i am super stoked by at this particular moment… .there is so much love in my heart for others I have not mentioned!!

    • Thank you so much for your comments! I love how you captured the power of our voices-“we can hear the voices that live in our heart.” Beautiful! Really looking forward to Alan’s time with our class, too.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I too at times feel like progress moves too slowly. Working in the world of physical education I see how much needs to still happen and it can get very discouraging. I always try to take time and reflect on what has changed and how I have been a part of those changes. It helps me cope. Hearing your message and reading the posts you shared also helps. Is there a site or blog out there that has a soul purpose of motivating educators? Not sure.


  4. Don’t let one little word defeat you and your passion. If it is a passion of yours,find another way. I too have heard “no” when I thought I had “great” and “innovative” ideas. I never fully got what I wanted, but change did occur. I remember a quote from one of my other profs. He said, “if you want to get the people on the bus to Moose Jaw, show them Swift Current! I didn’t understand it at the time, but it makes a lot of sense with all of the change currently surrounding education today. Maybe you can use it to your advantage.

    • Mike, thank you for shrinking the size of the word “no” for me. I was looking at it like the biggest and most deflating word but when you said “don’t let one little word defeat you” it made me think about it differently. A refreshing perspective and I needed that! 🙂 BTW I love the Moose Jaw quote, it applies to many situations!

  5. Don’t be discouraged – you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time…

    A couple of blogs I follow pretty religiously:
    http://georgecouros.ca/blog – he is Alec’s brother and thinks deeply about education/teaching/learning
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/ – Seth Godin asks thought provoking questions that are not limited to education
    http://blog.strongerteam.com/ – It is a Basketball coaching blog but many of the ideas are transferable (Alan Stein)

    • Angela, thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my post. You are truly inspiring! Thank you for your commitment to sharing your passion and positive energy every single day. It is contagious! #youmatter

  6. Thank-you for such a wonderful and thoughtful post. You have put to words many hours spent in frustration. I am always baffled at times when I go to a conference and get all pumped up to create and instill new creative ideas only to have them squashed in a stale negative work environment. Thank-you for sharing your three inspirational blog posts. I will be passing them on to give others inspiration as well.

    I can’t find the cartoon anymore, but I remember in university there was a cartoon on one of my professors doors that had a bunch of big wigs in a room talking about whether or not to hire a new guy and the caption said “Let’s hire him to see how fast we can squash his enthusiasm.” What a reminder that not all environments are ‘yes’ environments.

    • Thank you, Raquel for your comments! Although I don’t want anyone else to feel frustrated, I am finding strength in knowing I am not alone and many awesome people like you are also committed to pushing forward and changing “no” to “yes”. We can do this! 🙂

  7. Stay strong, be refreshed, move forward with enthusiasm and know your positive approach will eventually grow stronger. Surround yourself with fellow positive up pressure types and soar as high as you dare.

  8. Pingback: The Bat Signal | Aspiring to Higher Tech

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