Passion-Based Learning

3374654634_4c75640663_oPhoto CC: Neil Conway

“What will I learn? What will I solve? What will I create (Couros, 2015)?” Three very essential questions asked by George Couros for passion-based learning in his article, 3 Questions to Drive Passion Based Learning. What is passion-based learning and what does it have to do with school education? Passion is that thing that keeps the world up to date, it is the thing that can keep students so into a lesson that they will still be thinking about it days later. When students find something that they are passionate about, it makes it easier to teach them. As a future teacher, I have already realized that it won’t be easy to find what drives my students to be passionate about something that I teach, but that doesn’t mean that I will not try!

One of my favorite definitions of passion comes from an article titled Passion-Based Learning written by Ainissa Ramirez. “Passion is hot. It is a force that sells movies and margarine and everything in between. It is a force the can move mountains, inspire art and make the weak strong. We need to bring passion back into learning, in teaching and all around. Passion motivates. It makes a way out of no way. It allows students to overcome hardships to achieve a goal that is meaningful to them (Ramirez, 2013).”
It’s what drives students. Well, it’s what drives most students. Some students haven’t had the chance to find what drives them; they honestly don’t know what they are passionate about. That’s what I’m going to be there for, finding that passion and giving them the opportunity to grow as students and explore. To think what would happen if students were able to ask those three questions. What will I learn? What will I solve? What will I create? The places that they would get the chance to go would be endless and the ability to grow would be of great value. Yet, we are expected to teach students from the standards that will appear on state tests. Are students in today’s schools great learners, or are they just learning stuff. It’s my job to make sure that my students are actual learners, not just learning stuff. A school is not just about learning, it’s about making connections and growing but you can’t do all of that without being a learner. A learner is someone who explores creativity in and out of the classroom, it can happen anywhere and anytime, it’s finding that passion that drives a student to come to class and see what else they can find out.
Let’s make students learners through passion-based learning and not simply have them learning stuff. It’s time to change the education field and take a second look at what really matters: The students.

I’m here and I absolutely can’t wait to be The Next Teacher.

Week 2 Of My Independent Learning Project


Photo CC: Davina Harrison

An added 5 hours of work on my project makes 13 hours in total of crocheting my blanket. My plan for this project is to have it done by the end of the semester in May. I’m already learning that even with a lot of time and yarn put into this blanket, it may be a long shot to get it done by then. It takes a lot of yarn in order to get just one row crocheted, meaning you go through yarn very quick. My plan was to make the whole blanket navy blue, but sometimes plans change. Due to the lack of navy blue colored yarn that I can get my hands on, I’ve chosen a whole new color scheme. Here’s to hoping Navy Blue, tan, and Olive Green all go together.
At the end of the 5 hours put into this project, I really believe that it is going well. I’m getting a lot more faster at crocheting and learning the patience it takes in order to create a whole blanket. I have a really bad habit of starting a project and being very into the project, then all of a sudden, I will lose my want to continue the project. There have been times that I have started a project and honestly forgot about it until months later. I’m hoping that with this project, I will continue and be able to finish the whole project. It will definitely be worth it in the end to see the finished project. Maybe after I finish with this blanket, I will continue to crochet as a stress reliever.
Overall, I believe that this project is going well. I have really gotten into crocheting more and more. As Grandmaish as it sounds, I crochet whenever I have time. If I’m stressed, I will pick up my hook and thread and do as much as I need to in order to calm down. I’m going to have to learn how to switch colors soon. I’m officially out of navy blue yarn. Hopefully learning how to switch yarn will be simple. Just incase it is not, I will leave it for tomorrow. Start off the week right by doing something new and focusing on learning a new crocheting trick. I haven’t decided the occasion for the afghan blanket yet. Perhaps it will he a warm reward for making it through the semester. Who knows?

Why Every Kid Needs A Champion: A Ted Talk Wake up Call

“I am somebody. I was somebody when I came. I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. I am powerful, and I am strong. I deserve the education I get here. I have things to do, people to impress, and places to go (Pierson, 2013).”

It’s the motto Rita Pierson told her students to say with their head held high no matter if they did well in class or not. While listening to Rita Pierson’s Ted Talk, I got a sense of pride. This is the teacher I want to be, this is what I strive to be! I thoroughly enjoyed that Ms. Rita Pierson is so passionate about her students and helping her students to understand that people make mistakes, but one should never focus on them for too long. Just long enough to know what they need to do better and how to make it happen. She focuses on lifting up her students’ motivation by encouraging them to do better after reviewing the material. Everyone makes mistakes, as much as we don’t like to admit it this day and age. Pierson is right when she said that you hardly hear some teachers apologize. To some students, it’s a complete shock.

“A colleague said to me one time, ‘They don’t pay me to like the kids. They pay me to teach a lesson. The kids should learn it. I should teach it, they should learn it, Case closed.’ Well, I said to her, ‘You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like’(Pierson, 2013).”

Your mind went to a certain teacher, didn’t it? If it did, was it that teacher you really didn’t like back in middle school? Personally, it was for me. The second I heard that last part, I went straight back to my 6th grade year and remembered how hard it was to learn from a teacher that just assumed we all should have known the material right after she taught the lesson. She never made a relationship with anyone of us in that class. It’s always harder to ask questions when you feel like your teacher doesn’t really care. When you feel that your teacher does care though? It opens up a whole new world for students and their education.

Education is All
University of Manitoba

This Ted Talk perfectly explains why I chose education as my career path. I want to lift students up. I want to have a relationship with my students that they can look back at their positive school experiences and I happen to come to their mind. I want to inspire them. But mostly, I want to be their champion.
Rita Pierson died at age 61 not long after giving this Ted talk. Her words have truly found a place in my heart and I will carry them with me. I only hope to be as great of a teacher as she was.

“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be. Is this job tough? You betcha. Oh God, you betcha. But it is not impossible. We can do this. We’re educators. We’re born to make a difference (Person, 2013).”


Hacking Education Through Creativity and Creative Minds

33627388363_6e84370329_oPhoto CC-By: World’s Direction

What does hacking mean to you? Does your mind instantly go towards that sketchy e-mail you got last week, the news, or thinking someone is watching you through the camera on your laptop? What if I were to tell you right now that hacking is not what you may think it is and that we can use it as a positive in schools? Bud Hunt in his post titled Centering on Essential Lenses explained it the best. “Hacking too often gets a bad rap, because we’ve lost the sense of the word. The original definition of a hack was a fiddle that improved a process or a program. A hacker was someone who made such changes. Hackers were revered in technology communities, because they took what was there and made it better (Hunt, 2012).”
In the Ted Talk by Logan LaPlante, this teenage boy speaks from an interesting point of view on how he hacked his own education. He brought up a point of view that I often forget about while I was that age. “When I grow up, I want to be happy. For me, when I grow up, I want to continue to be happy like I am now (LaPlante, 2013).” As simple as this quote might be, it really hit me hard. It is a quote that I can live by, it’s a quote that I can understand, and a quote that everyone can relate to. Some kids really aren’t happy learning what they want in school and some students really don’t know how to be happy.

Isn’t that crazy? There could be students in your classroom, people you walk by every day, or a family member that you know that don’t know how to be happy and healthy.
I would want to know what my students want to know. As an Family and Consumer Science teacher, it’s my job to teach my students life skills that they can use inside and outside of the classroom. If my students want to know how to make a pizza from scratch, then I’ll make a lesson plan about making pizza from scratch. Is pizza made from scratch healthier then store bought pizza? Who can make the healthiest pizza versus the least healthy? What are some hacks we can use while making pizza? They want to know how they can be happier and healthier? Let’s learn about that together! Let’s look into what makes us happy, healthy, and ready to learn.
I know to some people, there is no sense in making a lesson plan dependent on what the students want to learn, but I’m so glad that I get the chance to make that an opportunity for my students. For some other teachers, it may be harder to hack their education when lesson plans are so specific.
So, let’s hack education for the benefit for everyone. Let’s use personal and professional experience to make the school experience better for our students in the long run. Let’s make education not only better for us, but also for our students.
I’m here and I absolutely can’t wait to be The Next Teacher.

Want to know what I know? Here’s the link to Logan LaPlante’s Ted Talk!
The link for Bud Hunt’s Blog post

Digital Literacy in a Digital Age

Technology is forever changing, just like the education field is. Sometimes it truly mind bogles me that these very young kids already know how to use cell phones and Ipads so well that they can practically do it in their sleep. As a future educator, I’m trying to learn how to use technology to benefit my students in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom for when I give them homework. As far as I can see, technology and the digital age are going to grow more and more, thus, as a teacher, I need to grow with it. Being a student in my 20’s, that’s not very hard for me. I’m lucky to have grown up with technology for most of my life, granted that I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was in the 8th grade. Trying technology in the classroom to see what works and what doesn’t work will be something that I will have to work on personally.
As for digital literature, it will be even more important to learn now as it will be to learn in the future. As I type this entry, I realize that digital literacy will forever be needed in schools as a subject to learn. For example, if it weren’t for my Information Technology class in Jr. High, I wouldn’t have been able to type very well or know how to google search in a timely manner. Students do need to know this skill as much as some teachers disagree. Cornell University defines digital literacy as “the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet.” The internet opens so many doors for students to learn and discover what is happening across the world right at their fingertips. They will have the information they need to know by a simple click of a button and will be able to share it with other peers. My fellow education students are able to share useful information with me thanks to a digital literature class we are taking together. Learning a new skill can be scary, but it is the future of education and so far, it has proven beneficial.
While I could argue all day about how digital literature is important for students, you can also read the article attached to get more of an insight. I found it very interesting and full of great points throughout the writing.

I’m here and I absolutely can’t wait to be The Next Teacher.

My Road to Being a Successful Learner

The road to learning is paved with smooth stretches and a couple pot holes here and there. I truly believe that in the end, though it may be hard, the road will be well worth driving. Learning isn’t all about material in a sense. It’s about trying to figure out what is the best why that your students learn and in order to discover that, reflecting on how you learned as a student is beneficial. For me, picking up information was easy at first. Of course, there was always some sort of subject that I wouldn’t be able to pick up on right away. Math was one of the hardest subjects for me, but key moments in my life helped me to understand the toughest of subjects. Out of memory, there are 5 key factors/moments that helped to pave my road to learning.


One of the top key moments that helped to pave my road to learning was when I was younger. I’ve always had a love for baking and have always felt like I was good at it. My parents and grandparents started to teach my brother and I how to bake and cook at a young age. I really didn’t know then that this moment would be one of my favorite and most valuable. Knowing how to bake and simple facts about baking really helped me. Little did I know at the time, I was already expanding my education and preparing to enter school to learn different things.

Living out in the country side of Nebraska offered a lot of benefits for me as a student. It was always quiet, the air was always clear, and the well water was always fresh. I never felt pressured or short on time.

In middle school, I had a very hard time with math. Like I said in the beginning, math was one of the hardest subjects for me. If it weren’t for my dad, I don’t know if I would have ever made it through my math classes and accomplished being on the honor roll. My dad always supported me and made sure that I kept my cool while working on my homework. He taught me patience and continues to teach me patience throughout my college career.

My college friends have helped me incredibly throughout my educational career. They have helped me by lending an ear that listens to me when I need it the most. Being my support system here and now at college and knowing that I will have someone always to talk to when I need them the most makes me feel more comfortable. They are always here, and they are always ready to help.

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My family and friends from home, friends I have been with for over 13 years, will always have a special place in my heart. Without them, I may have never ended up at Chadron State college. Without that, I would not have met the wonderful people along my road that I did. They have supported me through thick and thin and have encouraged me to continue along the path that I want for myself. My family and friends have kept me level headed and have reminded me that though my goals may be hard, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

I’m here and I absolutely can’t wait to be The Next Teacher.

Introducing Me: The Next Teacher

Hello one and all and welcome to my blog. I am The Next Teacher, also known as Mikaela Franzen. As of right now, as I write this blog post, I am a current Sophomore at Chadron State College in Nebraska studying Family and Consumer Science Education. I have always loved to craft and take the chance whenever possible. I also find peace in cooking and baking treats as well as teaching my friends how to cook simple meals. I believe the purpose of education is for every student to learn the skills that they need in order to succeed and I believe that Family and Consumer Science courses give students those skills. After completing my goal of obtaining a degree from Chadron State College as well as receiving a teaching certification, my next goal is to acquire a teaching job in a public school and gain teaching experience before perusing a more challenging experience. I would be teaching students to the best of my ability in the Family and Consumer Science field. As soon as I feel as if I have gained enough teaching experience and I am ready to move on with my teaching goal, I plan to pursue a teaching career in a juvenile detention center. I believe by establishing trusting relationships with the students, who would potentially pass through my classroom on a daily basis, I will help them grow into hardworking people who would benefit society. I hear a lot that Family and Consumer Science classes are just common-sense classes. I really can’t say that that is a lie. Not every student has the opportunity to learn these skills at home or by themselves. I truly believe that education is one of the top things that can never be taken away from someone. Educating students about their nutrition, how to cook, how to balance their checkbook, and how to simply sew a button onto their shirt.
I currently have a beautifully hectic life by being the President of my sorority, Zeta Alpha Kappa, and just trying to figure life out. Inspiring my future students and living by my favorite quote are part of what keeps me going. “If you wanna be somebody and you wanna go somewhere, you gotta wake up and pay attention. Cuz it’s the real world out there. And it don’t matter how ‘hip’ you think you are or who you ‘kick it’ with, that don’t matter. If you don’t have an education, you don’t have anything. That’s the truth, honey.” – Sister Mary Clarence
I’m here and I absolutely can’t wait to be The Next Teacher.