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Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #1 
Thanks for joining the book circle!
I hope you enjoyed reading the first section of the book as much as I did. 

Burgess discusses three types of passions: content passion, professional passion, and personal passion (pgs. 5-10). Reply to this discussion question with your three passions below.

Maggie Susong
ATPE Member Engagement Coordinator

Posts: 48
Reply with quote  #2 
I am very passionate about students' ability to read and write.  That stems from the day when a teacher told me "you cannot turn in any more book reports on horse books".  She ended my passion for reading for the next 20 years with that sentence.  Today I (over 60 years later) encourage students and families to let them read ANYTHING (not x-rated) and then to write.   I tell parents to encourage their children to draw, scribble, comment on paper - just put something on paper in any form at all.  Thus the beginning.  Note:  Now 74 I enjoy reading with a passion as long as there is a horse or mystery involved.

As a special Educator, my real passion is to have the world understand that people with disabilities are people first, that they CAN learn. Probably 99% of them BELONG IN GENERAL EDUCATION settings.  TEACHERS need to spend more time presenting their material in a variety of styles - kinesthetic, auditory, visual, etc.  That by teaching in all of the styles, teachers reach their students with disabilities and reach ALL of their non-disabled students too.  As such the class as a whole will be more successful.  TEACH but don't waste your time teaching to the test.

My qualifications include MS in Organic Chemistry, BS in Biology, ABA in Life Sciences, Texas Special Education and Math teacher, certified riding instructor, and someone who flunked out of Veterinary Medical College.  Passionate about teaching and learning the basics of each subject, I understand that K-12 is the time when we first learn to socialize, then how to read, write, and do math.  Next comes a taste of science and history and finally by the time we graduate from High School we should be able to use a dictionary, recognize that a term belongs to a general subject (math, science, history, literature, etc), hold a meaningful conversation, and have an opinion with a reason for that opinion.

Retired from public education, today my subject, professional, and personal passions are blended together as I teach youth and adults to ride horses, encourage the youth to achieve the highest level of education they desire, help their parents to be proactive, accepting, and realistic dreamers too.  Summed up, I have the best volunteer job in the world because I teach a subject -- horsemanship -- allowing people to achieve beyond their disability and create reasonable goals that most people would think impossible.

Sanna Roling

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
As a middle-school science teacher, my content passion is probably earth science, particularly geology. I really am into rocks and minerals.

My professional passion is to be able to craft lessons that make kids excited to learn.

My personal passions are many and varied, but currently, other than reading, I am enjoying weaving. I recently took a class and can't get enough of it! I guess any craftiness is really my passion.

Diana Daniels

Posts: 32
Reply with quote  #4 
As a retired elementary school teacher, my content passion as a priority was always reading.  When I was very young, I remember very painful moments when students who did not read well aloud were forced to read to the entire class.  Even at an early age, it appeared to me that this was cruel and unnecessary punishment.  Learning the lifelong joy of visiting faraway places through reading should be something that individual students can either share with others, or not.  I never forced a student to read aloud in class, but allowed them to develop a passion for reading by allowing them to go at their individual pace, and chose their individual subject matter.

Professionally my passion is to develop the potential of each student fully.  Teaching in a Title I school, this involved motivating students who felt there was no future for them in school.  They often needed to be reminded that in this country all students can achieve their dreams, and there is always a path to get there.

My personal passion is for all things related to the ocean.  I have retired to the island of Galveston, where all children, regardless of circumstance, can enjoy the natural beauty here.  Most of the schools here encourage the exploration of nature that surrounds us.  It's what I love most about my life.

Rita Wilcox

Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #5 
I love to teach reading and writing.  My 4th grade teacher turned me on to reading when she read "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" to us.  I relished the afternoon reads and loved hearing each new adventure throughout the book when she read to us.  It was not this monotone teacher just reading, she put different voices and accents to each character throughout the book.  She made it interesting for us as students to listen to what was being read.  Even then, she would have us complete assignments throughout the reading so that we could be creative with what we were learning!  I still have some of those assignments almost 40 years later!  That is one class and teacher that sticks in my mind whenever asked what is the most memorable thing from when you were in school.

Professionally, I teach students with an array of disabilities.  My students are special to me and I get excited to see them learning!  They also teach me a thing or two throughout the school year!  Most of my student's difficulty is in the area of reading and writing, so it can sometimes be challenging when writing lesson plans that will keep their interest, I have to become creative.  I use what interest them and give them choices of how to complete their assignments.  My students really enjoy working with others and getting to use the choice board.  The students have many ways they complete their assignments in my classroom from paper/pencil, drawing, painting, acting things out, etc.  There is not one day that is the same as the next in my classroom.  

Personally, I am an outdoors fanatic!  I like to ride horses, kayak, lay in the pool, sports, etc.  Anything that has to do with being outside!  My husband and I also volunteer to work with military veterans and their families.  This is interesting to me because not only is it a learning experience, but you get to work alongside others with the same passions and interests as yourself.  There are many experiences that are gained through each and every person that comes into your life.  My husband and I were both prior military and are now retired and we enjoy meeting new people and becoming part of their family as well.


Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #6 
Content wise, I grew up loving school. There was nothing I couldn't get enough of. Now, that doesn't mean I know everything, but I truly do have a love for learning. I'd say my favorite subject or content area is English. I love reading, writing, and, yes, even grammar and vocabulary!! I'm a weirdo like that!

Professionally, I love planning and organizing fun and exciting activities and projects. I've always loved it when I was in school, and now I love it even more when I get to come up and plan these things. Also, I just love spending time with kids.

Personally, I love to perform. My passion is music, singing, dancing, acting, speaking, etc. If it's on a stage, I'm there. I've always been a ham sandwich and teaching gives me outlet to let that passion shine. It's easy for me to make lessons full of energy because honestly I always am full of energy.

Lauren Milam


Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #7 
content passion-I am passionate about teaching Reading. I was a struggling reader growing up and I like being able to help students in ways I wish my teachers had helped me.

professional passion-I am passionate about engaging students in their learning. I enjoy using movement and chants to allow all students to participate on an even playing field. I love seeing the light come on in a student's eyes.

personal passion-I am passionate about traveling and learning about different cultures. I believe the more you know about a different place or people, the more tolerate you become because you learn that we are more alike than different.

Cathy Holladay

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #8 
My content passions are the subjects I teach. I teach math, science, and social studies to second grade ESL students. I enjoy finding new ways to make each lesson fun and having activities that encourage a more hands on learning experience.

My professional passion comes from working with the students and the great second grade team members. Our team is a very good team and we work very well together.

My personal passion is my family. I enjoy spending time with them and all the fun things we like to do together. Our favorite thing is going to the deer lease. The boys hunt and I sleep and am the chief cook. It is nice and relaxing.

Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #9 
As a math teacher, my content passion is algebra with geometry a close second.

My professional passion is helping students who think they can't do math to not only be successful but change that mindset and have confidence in their ability to do math.

My personal passions are my faith, sign language, and running.

Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #10 
Because I have a degree in biology, I'd have to say my content passion is anything related to life science.  

My professional passion would be getting the students engaged in learning by having as many hands-on experiences as possible.  

My personal passions are reading, boating, and crocheting.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #11 
As an elementary music teacher my professional passion would have to be witnessing students perform and compose what they didn't think they would be able to and visitors to my classroom to witness the students doing so as well.

Content wise I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this and I had a difficult time settling on an answer. I suppose its teaching music literacy because I love hearing the students "read/sing" what is presented. It is in that moment the students own the music and make it theirs for life.

My personal passions are roller derby (I love to skate!), crocheting, reading, and drum corps as well as my nerdy obsession with Star Wars, Harry Potter and the like!

Jenny Todd

Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #12 
As a middle school teacher my content passion and professional passion seem to go together.  I just finished my student teaching World Cultures in April.  I really did not like geography before student teaching.  I absolutely found the content passion with South Asia.  I was excited about learning all about the history between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. I loved researching the information and learning just as much as the students.  Because some of my students were from the area I was able to include them in the lesson from their experiences and points of view.  

I have a professional passion in researching fun and engaging lessons.  I absolutely love looking for out of the box activities that are unique.  For instance, when I had to introduce Confucius and Buddhism, I found a mock trial that the students were able to work in collaborative groups.  The students had so much fun learning and they didn't even really know they were learning. 

I have a personal passion for my family and superhero movies. I love going to Houston and San Antonio Comic Con.   My husband and I will take the boys to see the same superhero movie at least 3 times.  We will have major dinner discussions on what we missed the first two times.

Cheryl Rene Ferguson

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #13 
I am passionate about reading and math. After student teaching in a 2nd-grade reading class, I've gained new knowledge pertaining to reading and strategies that could help our students read. I advocate for reading, since it holds a fundamental importance to the rest of the school subjects. I am also passionate about science and social studies. I like the idea of bringing authentic learning to these two subject areas (in all areas really) to motivate, engage, and fulfill learning. 

For my professional passion, I love authentic learning and any learning that is relative to our world. I love to have a class where they have fun learning but also learn to value citizenship values. As a teacher, I do not only plan to teach the content, but also teach my students social values (when appropriate) and help them grow to be good citizens. 

My personal passion is spending time with my cats, husband and my family. My husband and I love to travel, especially to our favorite places- beach and places to camp. We also like to venture out and meet new places. We love cruising as well! With my travels, I like to bring artifacts or objects that I can share with my students. 

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #14 
As a secondary math teacher my content passions are trigonometry and geometry.  I love the usefulness of many of the topics as well as the ability to prove the concepts.

My professional passion is the constant joy of getting to know my students, working with them and watching the grow in confidence and achievement.

My personal passion is the ocean and all the wonderful creatures that live in it. Snorkeling and scuba diving are two other related passions.


Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #15 
My content passion is reading.  I want all students to love reading.  If they can read they can learn anything. I want students to read for enjoyment not because it is required.

My professional passion is to convey my love of reading to students and get them excited about reading.  Sometimes that is difficult with all the tasks that have to be done.  Finding the books that the individual student wants to read is what is most important in creating that love of reading.

My personal passion is music.  I enjoy singing and playing the piano for fun.  I am not a performer, but I enjoy doing it for relaxation.  I also enjoy time with family.
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