Passion. It’s something we all have. Something we all possess in one form or the other. Merriam-Webster defines passion as: “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.” (Definition found here). Synonyms for passion include : fervor, zeal, vigor, energy, and animation – just to name a few of my favorites.
What are your passions? What is something that you always get excited about doing? Something that you pour energy, time, and attention into? For one person, it may be photography; they can spend hours waiting and preparing for the perfect shot. For another, it may be studying weather patterns; pouring days into tracking a huge storm system to offer up accurate predictions. For yet another, it may be designing, creating, and riding the perfect skateboard. My point is, passions come in all different forms. Some are aesthetically pleasing while other are heavily involved with precise measurements and information. Passions can be discovered at any age. Some are born with an immediate fascination of a topic while others take prodding and exploring with patience to finally find something that clicks, really clicks.
Students have passions too and they can and probably will be, as diverse as the students themselves. Remember that definition and synonyms I gave earlier? Imagine a classroom full of students who are being allowed – no, encouraged – to explore, develop, and learn more about their passions. Can you imagine the products those students could produce? If students are interested, truly interested, in something, the amount of effort and time they put in will be exponentially more than something they were told to interested in.
Passion-Based Learning is a great, wonderful, and powerful way for students to learn.
It doesn’t box them in, limit their abilities, control their creativity and freedom, or conform them to a specific mold shared by all others. Passion-Based Learning gets students “in-the-zone.” It challenges them to push themselves, encourage each other, create originals, be proud of their interest, and most of all – learn! Passion-Based Learning takes what students are vigorously interested in, then builds on it to show them genuine learning through a personal process of discovery.
Passion-Based Learning is something I would love to incorporate in my classroom. It offers many benefits for the students. It could take some work to adapt it to meet the needs of various age groups but I believe it will be worth it.
It will be worth it to see my students excited about learning. Worth it to see my students encourage each other in their passions. Worth it to see my students connect to the real-world and each other. It will worth it to see my students create and make something born out of their own mind and thoughts.
I want to be an effective teacher, yes, but I also want to be a passionate teacher. I want to show my students it is okay to express their passions. I want to show my students the joy of learning about something meaningful. I want to show my students hard work and effort. I want to show my students how to use their passion to help them grow. I want to show them because I am passionate about teaching and being a leader for my students. I’m a teacher and that’s what I do.
Now, Go out and find your passion!
A Teacher Sharing her Passion of Teaching to Start a Fire in her Students
*For more on Passion-Based Learning, click on the links below to read stories from teachers who have implemented this great style and given me the inspiration to use Passion-Based Learning.
**Also, here is a link to a great article about the differences between school and learning.