I Matter!

(This is a part of the Deeper Learning Story Bank. Add your story!)

This is cross-posted from JoAnn’s blog at DoMoreEdu.

Story title: I Matter: Teacher’s Passion

Submitted by: JoAnn Delaney
Hershey Middle School

DL story: I matter! 2 simple words that I was inspired to have my students chant from their heart after hearing Angela Maiers!

I matter! 2 simple words I wanted my students to feel as they lived their passion during Genius Hour.

I matter! 2 simple words that students beamed as they changed the world in their own special way.

Today, as I “Think Outside The Storm,” the teacher is called on to share her passion.

My passion is having a profound world changing impact on every student! As I feverishly posted Vine videos and posts showing the enormous power children hold to change the world, I found myself driven with excitement!

As a result of providing my students with the gift of Genius Hour, they tapped their passions and created beautiful change.


This change opened our hearts to the world, sometimes bringing great joy and other moments heart-breaking hurt.

Students’ bravery is remarkable. Sully resiliently faced bullying and turned to bullied children to befriend them, “Speaking Life.” Kamrin rallied her friends and neighbors to collect items sent to Gambia, Africa! Dani, Emma and Jaelissa use their amazing voices to sing “Beautiful,” encouraging girls to find their beauty within. Charlotte loves animals so much that she collected and delivered needed items to the Humane Society. Makenzie created crayon dripped art for a hospitalized child and shared the message that anything is possible; believe in yourself! Alexa emotionally moved by a family member’s breast cancer, raised money to end the disease. Rachel made bracelets and delivered them to sick children at the hospital. Ainsley created homemade cards and gift baskets to deliver to the elderly. My students’ passionate gifts abound! I am humbled by their genius.

As a passionate educator my enthusiasm created possibility. These student actions began with an I wonder question, genuine interest and/or deep passion. The change of one affects many leading to powerful world change.

I believe that the smartest person in the world is the world! It starts with 1 passionate person and grows exponentially to world compassion.

I matter! I am genius! I am genius and the world needs my contribution!

We matter! We are genius! We are genius and together can change the world with our contributions!

Going back to the original questions that led to this blog post, What’s your passion, and what drives it? What’s your heartbreak? How will you use your genius to change the world?

I ask you, have I used my genius to change the world?

Genius Hour main site:
Genius Hour – Passion Projects

Vine videos:
I Am Beautiful
I Am Resilient
I Speak Life
I Helped Gambia, Africa
I Donated To The Humane Society
I Believe In Myself
I Will End Breast Cancer
I Care About Sick Children
I Visit The Elderly

DoMoreEdu Blog

Twitter @jdelaneyJoAnn

Thinking critically; Collaborating; Self-directing learning; Believing in yourself (academic mindsets); Doing relevant, engaging work

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