Guest Post: Passion

Yesterday I was a guest poster on Angela Maier’s Educational blog.  Check out my post here.

This month, Angela is hosting guest posters each month! She asked me and another art teacher in my district to write a post. So exciting!  All of the posts must speak passionately about passion. Angela’s new book is entitled “The Passion Driven Classroom.

If you don’t know Angela, you should! She is pretty much a rock star and someone I immensely look up to. She is an educational consultant, speaker and author of several books on education and passion. She is also consultant with our art department helping us with re-writing our assessments, which I talked about here.  She lives in the Des Moines area, so we are so lucky to have an international educational consultant in our own back yard to work with us.  Angela has inspired me in ways that she does not even know!  I sent her my blog a few months ago to check out. She replied with paragraphs of ideas, encouragement and feedback. Who takes time to do this when they are so busy and successful? Angela!

When you are passionate and in your “Element” you should gain energy from the experience, not have energy drained from you. When I work with Angela, I feel so energetic and ready to take on the world.  The things she teaches and knows about education are so different then the things we are currently learning in our schools. Her fresh perspective is so welcome, because as artists and teachers, we are the people who should be open to change, creativity and looking at things differently. We can be the catalyst in our schools.  Angela has helped me to realize this!

Angela is also a go-giver and introduced me to this concept and book.


Basically, the book says if you give to others, and give because you want to help them, mentor them, and because giving makes you feel good, then the return to you will be exponential, without you even knowing it. This is why I give free lesson plan downloads on my site, whole others are selling theirs (to name one example).  The more positive energy you send out the more positive energy you get back.  Teachers especially seem to hesitant to give of their time, talents, etc to other professionals because teaching can be a very possessive profession. My lessons, my kids, my ideas.  We are so much better together.
I can’t tell you the countless people who have helped me, who have taken time they didn’t have to, to listen, guide, give feedback, and mentor. If I can do that a little bit for someone else, that is very very cool.
I encourage you to go to her blog and her site, and read her books.  I also encourage you to mentor to help and to inspire someone else. Angela did this for me, and hopefully I can do this for someone else, too!

Who inspires you to be your best? Do tell!




Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Great post. I love the concept of a “Go-Giver.” I write on similar themes that you and your readers may find them of interest . . . and I’d love your thoughts about them. Today’s post is on “Embracing a Purpose; Ready, Fire, Aim.” You can find it at

    My best,

    • Thanks for stopping by, Steve! I checked out your blog and think our readers will have a lot in common as well. I try to infuse so many of your concepts into art education. Thanks for all of the inspiration- I look forward to connecting.

  • Amy

    What a beatifully written post! And this book has now been added to my Christmas list

  • Hi Jessica, thank you so much for your extremely kind mention of John David Mann’s and my book. I also appreciate Angela’s kind recommendation. Looks like both of you are exceptional, value-based people and – not surprisingly – doing lots of exceptional, value-based work. Thank you so much again – Bob

    • Bob,
      I am so honored that you have stopped by! Thank you for your feedback and also for sharing your message with all of us!

  • Anna

    Both books look fantastic! Thanks for sharing!!!