Finding my Inner Genius

passionA few things happened today that may prove to be pivotal at some point. First, I found myself turning around 3 hours into a drive, choosing family over an edcamp. I’m sorry Kansas! I met a great friend for lunch, where we talked of education and his surgical recovery. Heather Lamb sent me a link to a blog post, which sent me on a quest to find the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Finally, Jenna Shaw shared her story about finding her passion and how finding her “why” helped to define what she does. You should follow her. She is amazing!


I’ve spent the last few hours trying to think of things in my life that move me so much that I lose myself entirely. Jenna recalled how much music, dancing and gardening fills her spirit. The image that spoke to me from Jenna’s post was the one that her words painted of her students. Jenna wrote:

 “In the end, I want my students to walk away from my class, and their overall education, feeling how I feel when I dance or garden.  I want them to be filled with joy and amazed that they could be learning so much and feeling so good at the same time.”

I have had many moments in my life that I thought were passions. I played the flute through college. I painted an okay picture once or twice. I bought sketch books because I was determined to fill them with my drawings. All of those things seem miles away.

What really drives me…my purpose…my why?

A few months ago, while in Maryland at Beyond the Textbook, I was deeply honored to listen to Angela Maiers as she talked about passions, genius and hobbies. She said something that resonated with me. She said that passions are hobbies but that our genius is what we can give to change the world. I’ve thought about this many days since that event. I wrote about it.

Reading Jenna’s post reminded me of my own genius. It’s not “learning and expanding” as I originally thought. It is in my ability to reach learners and help them to understand that which they thought was impossible. My classrooms were always filled with children that others had written off years prior. I see them around today and they are thriving, successful and sometimes they’re even sharing their genius with the world too.

Now I get to reach even more students by supporting their teachers, which is exactly what I wrote that I would do with my life when I was their age.

I fully understand my “why”.

Now, the real work begins with what and how.

By the way, my passion project that I would do for “genius hour” is my blog.

Comments 6

  1. Rafranz, I am in awe of your thoughts here. Thank you so much for connecting with me through my blog and sharing your own thoughts on yours. This is what it’s all about 🙂

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      You are so right! People should totally include blogging in the conversation of connectivity. I’ve learned so much from reading what everyone else is posting! It’s like a big cycle of learning!

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  2. As I’ve often said, you also have a way of inspiring those around you by encouraging risks, stepping out of the box, and moving beyond what they thought they had within them. There is much to be said about passion! Great post.

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