int(13) int(8) ESEA Video On Demand National ESEA Association
This video is available as a NAESPA membership benefit or for a limited time as a conference attendee.
90 : 09
Passion Projects for Equity

This workshop will explain the idea of passion projects and why they must be implemented to recommit, renew, and reimagine what we can do to promote and increase student agency, equity, and engagement. This presentation will share the story of how a middle school teacher and instructional coach began a journey to bring about schoolwide change and ignite the passions in their students and school. They will share the stories of what is possible when students are given the choice to learn and research about anything they want to, then create, and share with their peers. Passion Projects can enrich gifted students, but also increase the learning for all students including those with disabilities, with severe trauma, refugee students, and those who identify with the LGBTQ community. In this presentation, you will also learn how to begin a path to implementing inquiry-driven individualized passion projects and how to integrate assessment best practices in your own classroom.

This talk was presented at:
2022 National ESEA Conference
February 2022 in New Orleans, LA
For more information:,,,
Joy Brooke

Dr. Joy Brooke believes in progressive education including inquiry learning, language learning programs, social and emotional learning, the integral part of the parent's role in the journey, rich literacy writing and reading workshops, increasing student choice, and agency, inclusive education rooted in social justice education, trauma-informed learning, restorative practices, project-based learning, service learning, and implementing current research-based practices in science, math, and technology to increase student achievement, joy, and purpose. Dr. Brooke is currently a consultant and an Instructional Coach at C.S. Porter Middle School with the Missoula County Public Schools. She has worked with all age groups as a teacher and administrator but is currently loving her role in learning beside students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. She adores her staff and this amazing learning community. Dr. Brooke consults with other schools and organizations providing personalized professional development opportunities for school districts and also with families on helping parents/caregivers to help their own children to find success. Besides education, Dr. Brooke is passionate about reading good books, spending time with her family, traveling, and helping to end illiteracy.

Britany Eisenzimer

Britany is currently a 7th and 8th grade Math and Health/PE teacher at C.S. Porter Middle School in Missoula, Montana. She is in her 8th year of teaching and enjoys every minute of it. When she is not teaching you can find her jumping out of an airplane. Yes, indeed, Britany is passionate about skydiving and truly any sport.

Melissa Briner

Ms. Melissa Briner teaches Math and Social Studies at C.S Porter Middle School in Missoula, Montana. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from St. Michael’s College in 2008. After accepting a job to tour the country with Missoula Children's Theatre, she quickly fell in love with teaching. She loves working with her middle school students. Her passion lies in teaching life skills through the performing arts, spending time with her cute cat Harry, and hiking the mountains of Montana whenever possible.

Mindy Nowlen

Ms. Mindy Nowlen is in her 9th year of teaching at C.S. Porter Middle School in Missoula, Montana. She is currently teaching Science and Social Studies in 8th grade. When she is not teaching you will find her following her passions of camping, golfing, reading, and spending time with her family.