Here is a wonderful person who we wouldn’t miss to feature as an epitome because she is sincerely passionate about teaching, utilizing the advantages of technology and having the insatiable energy to do what she believes 24/7. Her own words on passion, “Passion is often consuming as in your thoughts running wild with ideas keeping you up in the wee hours. I don’t sleep much. It’s lying in bed with your mind planning, organizing, contemplating, reevaluating till you have to get up and produce.” Our heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Shelly Terrell for sharing her wonderful insights:
- Description. I am passionate about education and collaboration. I believe that education is key to solving world problems and that every child deserves to learn the skills to make a positive difference during their lifetime. In order to do this children should learn how to collaborate with peers worldwide and get along with them. These skills are difficult for most adults because we were never really taught to care and problem-solve with others worldwide. I am passionate about establishing opportunities for educators and children to be able to communicate and develop relationships with peers worldwide. Therefore, I currently am a freelance teacher trainer, the VP of Educator Outreach for Parentella, the Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E, and an English language teacher in Germany.
- Discovery. I’m a lot like my father. He used to help people as long as I can remember. We always had several people stay at our house and he’d help them out and take them places their parents never would because the parents couldn’t afford it or were working 2 or 3 jobs. My father never saw obstacles either. He was a championship bowler. When he was in the Navy he pulled his right shoulder and the doctors said he would never bowl again. He spent days learning to bowl with his left hand instead and has a signature movement that helps him bowl perfect scores.We joined an innercity church when I was in high school. We volunteered to be leaders of the children’s church, the youth group, and the prison ministry. We worked with over 500 children, adolescents, and teens. We taught them through innovative means – singing, puppetry, music, dance, pantomine, etc. Mostly, we were there for them and if they were in trouble at 3am our phones and doors were always open. I learned a lot during those years because I worked with several kids who struggled with drug addictions, abusive parents, teen pregnancy, gangs, peer pressure, poverty, crime, and more. In college, I volunteered for several creative writing and literacy programs. As a result, I had a chance to visit several schools with the lowest reading levels and achievement. These schools always seem to be in low-income areas with high minority populations. I was appalled that some teachers would call students stupid or yell at them that they would never amount to anything. Those teachers saw stress, another failing grade, or another misconduct. I had worked personally with children who lived in the low-income districts and all I could think of was what they were suffering at home. Plato says, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I remember this as an educator no matter how stressful things may get.
- Conquered Challenges. Toughening myself up! When you live with passion and collaborate with others you will always annoy someone or have people who only see the obstacles of why something can’t be achieved. They will tell you all the reasons it cannot be done. I had to learn along the way to surround myself with the people who believed in the same vision. We only have walls if we see them and allow others to put them there. Vision is important because what seems an obstacle to one person can be a learning opportunity for another. I don’t see walls. I don’t see how something cannot be accomplished. I just do it and if it happens at a later time than expected or becomes a bit more different than what I first envisioned then I believe that is because it was meant to be like that.
- Feeling for Living. Blessed. I wake up everyday and feel blessed to live everyday exactly as I choose to, helping others.
- Greatest Achievements. My greatest achievements have been working with several talented individuals worldwide to provide innovative educational opportunities to students and educators worldwide. One of these projects was a nonprofit organization called E.T.H.O.S. ETHOS achieved the SAMMS Ministries 2001 Volunteer Group of the Year Award for the creation of a creative arts program for homeless children. Basically, a community of poets, writers, artists, musicians, and slam poets gathered for the summer to visit nearly 75 children living in a homeless shelter and got them to learn through hands-on creative lessons. The children got to play and make drums, create and recite their own poetry, and so much more! They were so incredibly happy and for a few hours everyday got to think about something else than their circumstances. Another project is the free annual online conference, The Reform Symposium, which had over 35 Keynotes, Panels, and presentations and over 4,000 attendees worldwide.
- Sharing. I share my passion daily through social media platforms- blogging, Twitter, online educator communities, free weekly webinars, online discussions, Facebook groups, and more. I also present at several conferences worldwide and participate and support many educational projects to inspire teachers to be active in their own professional development. Any educator can download my free 30 Goals Challenge E-book which walks them through these steps and join the 30 Goals Facebook Community for support from other educators worldwide. Many of the projects are listed on my blog, Teacher Reboot Camp.
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