Professional Passion Project

After seeing the success of Genius Hour in the classroom, I wondered, “What if we had Genius Hour for teachers?”  Shouldn’t teachers have time to explore their interests and share their findings with colleagues?  This led to the Professional Passion Project.

The project begins with a question or wondering – something you always think about, but never seem to have the time to explore in depth.  Teachers begin by brainstorming questions and decide on the one that will have the most impact on their professional growth, as well as the most positive impact on student learning.  This leads to a plan of action, taking into account materials needed, resources to research, a timeline for the project, and people to collaborate with.  The project concludes with a share-out to the community.  Invite parents and stakeholders to share in a celebration of teachers who are passionate about education.  This is a great opportunity for teachers to model lifelong learning!  Encourage faculty to submit their findings to educational publications, too.

Here is a template to guide the process:


Last, but not least, teachers reflect on the project, considering both their success and failures.   This will hopefully spark ideas for another passion project and the process begins anew.

The Professional Passion Project provides meaningful, relevant, and personalized professional development.  Teachers are engaged and motivated because the project directly impacts their own learning and that of their students, too!

Check out these teachers sharing their Professional Passion Projects:

How can I use movement as a behavior incentive? (Grade 4)

How can I create global connections? (Grade 5)

How can I use Genius Hour to help students make a difference? (Grade 2)

Other ideas:

  • How can I use Class Dojo to improve classroom management?
  • How does a morning meeting have a positive impact on building classroom community?
  • How would a flexible learning space improve student learning?
  • What apps support collaborative learning?
  • How could a digital PLN impact my teaching?
  • How can I design authentic assessments?
  • How can I use technology to increase student motivation and engagement?
  • How can I use Kaizena to give meaningful feedback to students?
  • How would Genius Hour improve students’ ability to problem solve?
  • How can I collect data through Google Forms and use it to inform my instruction?
  • How can using Twitter improve my teaching?
  • How do online math tutorials aid in the comprehension of math concepts?
  • What apps better support English language learners? 
  • How can art/music/movement be incorporated into the classroom?
  • Does student work improve when they are given choice of how to share their learning?
  • Reflect on educational videos. How can they inspire your teaching?
  • How can flipped learning increase student engagement and deepen understanding?

What will your Professional Passion Project be?