Living and Learning With Passion

Last week was Demonstration Speech week in my speech classes. I think it's my second favorite speech that students give. With this speech I learn my students' passions.  I learn what gets them excited about life.  Students who may struggle with other speeches shine when they give this one because this is where they live and love. This is something they enjoy.

I took pictures for the yearbook of students presenting their speeches, and wish I had them with me to include. You see, the speeches don't just take place in my classroom. The kids present everywhere. We were in the gym (lots of volleyball speeches), the parking lot (I think I could change my own tire after that one), on the track (learned to throw a shot put and do the long jump), and the back lawn behind the building (I can throw a pretty good spiral now).


And then Friday night at the lake, we had a little jam session in the store at the resort:

Here are guys, doing what they love. It might not be their job, but they kept their passion in their life. Some plays gigs on weekends, but they all play for themselves and for the joy it brings to their life.


Today, I traveled with four like-minded teacher friends three hours from our hometown to visit another high school. We're observing a new way to teach kids. We'll be observing in classrooms of what I am sure are other like-minded teachers.  We have one thing in common--finding new and better ways to reach students.  We are passionate about our teaching and becoming better at  it.


What's yours?


  1. Wow, that's so exciting that you get to observe another highschool! I am hearing a lot about flipped classrooms lately. I would love to hear more about your visit!

    One of my passions as a teacher is helping students find a love for reading and writing. I also passionate about finding ways to be a better teacher.

    --Jee Young

  2. The demonstration speeches sound like personal essays in my classroom. I found that kids who struggled writing personal narrative excelled when we got to this unit. It made me LOVE to teach the non-narrative genres as a result.

  3. What a great way to use a location to support the speech and illustrate the passion of a student. The fact that you are passionate about teaching and supporting your students comes clearly out from your writings. I am passionate about teaching and reaching my students too. Sometimes it brings joy, sometimes it may hurt.

  4. I love your idea that locates the speech where most appropriate-terrific. And I love the way you organized this post. Passion is found in so many places and in exciting ways that are played out. Lucky your students are because it resides in you.

  5. It's so neat that you made the speeches authentic by going to whatever place was appropriate to learn that task! How fun for your students! It's also exciting to read about your passion for learning better ways to reach your students! I also have a passion for learning new and better ways to make my kids excited for learning and help them learn more!

  6. That is a great idea. Instead of bringing props you go to a setting. Very nice! It's important for people to have a passion. Sometimes they just think it's something they do and it's nothing special, so these presentations give them the opportunity to shine.

  7. Love the echo of passion in this piece. My passion is books, particularly picture books. Can you ever have enough?

  8. My favorite part is the parentheses. I always tell my students that the real story is in what they were thinking and feeling--I think that parentheses let me in on your reactions in a way that feels more intimate. I like feeling like I have been let in on something.

    I share your passion for growth- mine as a professional and that of my students as readers, writers, and humans.


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