Inspiration, PYP

Choose To Be Passionate

I saw a post on a blog about being passionate, and it really resonated with me.  Check it out yourself, but in a nutshell it proposes the idea that instead of waiting to be filled with passion (putting you in the passive role), you actively pursue passion.  Approach your work, your “art” with great passion and enthusiasm and ‘bring it’ – you ARE passion.

I keep rolling this idea around in my head. There are lots of ways to think about this and I think the reason it resonates so loudly with me is because I have continually come up against (but not in a really negative way) students (or parents) who declare that they “don’t have a passion” or “aren’t passionate about anything” and those statements really put up road-blocks when you are embarking on a Passion Project!

For those embarking on Passion Projects, Genius Hour, or the PYP Exhibition, I say to you, keep pushing on! I believe that we all have in us the passion to live a fulfilling life and I think that starts with 1. Loving what you are doing. 2. Doing it wholeheartedly. 3. Helping others realize their passion too. So you might not know what you are passionate about but you can work with passion. I have been posting a lot about starting with questions built from concepts, but maybe some of our students just need to start by helping others who are already on track with their passion? Perhaps passion is born from inspiration, from the sharing of ideas, from seeing the fires other people have lit?

In my dream world, such projects look like this:

Be Inspired!


A never-ending process of giving and receiving inspiration from each other – the ‘other’ being those in the room, down the hall, in the school, in the community, or out in the connected, internet-world! Show up. Be passionate. Learn from each other. Repeat. Like love, passion shouldn’t be a chore, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t involve work.

If you haven’t seen this gem, take 2 minutes.  If the message doesn’t inspire you, the gorgeous lettering surely will!

Inspired to Inspire from Nathan Yoder on Vimeo.


And if you are still looking for inspiration to get you really passionate take a look at this blog post.  Pennies of Time is a blog dedicated to ‘teaching kids to serve’ and has a post highlighting other blogs with a similar message.  Mostly on the topic of random acts of kindness and ways to be giving, these are all very child focused ideas that could provide a springboard for inspiration and the development of passion. Click on the image below for more:

BloggersInspires Collage

Creativity, Design, Inspiration

In Memory – Ten Things Pablo Picasso Can Teach Us

If he were alive today, Pablo Picasso would be 130 years old.  39 years ago, Picasso passed away but has left an amazing legacy. As I sifted through a google search of “Picasso Quotations” I was reminded of why he is, and always will be, one of my favorites. If you have not done so, a read through of “When Piggaso Met Mootise” would be a great way to share the two fauves with kids.  It is a well read book from my homeroom and art teacher collection of books.


The more I read about 21st century education and the more I read from great educators, such as Picasso, the more I wonder if we have been really  listening all these years or simply ‘talking past each other’?  I love sharing all the things I find but the more I look and read and search and find, the more I am urged to do, to act, to…..something!  And it would seem Pablo would agree! On the anniversary of his death, he is still, as always, an inspiration.

Pablo in bold.  Sonya in italics.

  • Action is the foundational key to all success.   See!  Action.  Doing.  Creating.  Making.  I just have to figure out what!  Where does your motivation come from?  What is simmering away on your ‘action’ burner?  What are you doing?  Or, why aren’t you doing it?

  • Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  Nothing like art to open your eyes to new things.  I love this graphic (below) as a reminder of looking for the beauty in the everyday with a sense of wonder. I sure want to live in the overlap! 
  • Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.  My hope is to teach kids in my class to steal well.  To steal things worth stealing and to make things worth stealing.  To be inspired. 

  • Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  See point one.  Act.  Do. Make. Create. Repeat. 

  • Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.  I love this one.  Break stuff, see how it works, make it better.  Who doesn’t love to pull something apart?  If you have a kid like this, How Stuff Works will be their new nirvana. 

  • I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.  Love this too.  Need to do it more and to help my kids do it more too.

  • Love is the greatest refreshment in life.  All we need, right?  Get up and go hug yours.  (Then come back and keep reading please)

  • Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.  Again, see point one.  The laundry can wait but what about……?

  • Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.  Exactly. 

  • Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.  There’s the call to action again.  Is he trying to tell us something, perhaps?