“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I hate that “riddle.” It is stupid. Maybe I don’t get it. BUT it relates to this so bare with me. I think the reason I think it is stupid is because if no one is around, then no cares if the tree falls and more than likely the tree will not effect anyone.
So I’m going to change the saying to this, “If you have a passion for something, and you do not share that passion, does it make a sound?” or “If you have ideas and the power to change things, and you not share this, does it make a sound?”
For a few days this week I traveled to Georgia to the Promethean headquarters, to discuss their presence in the social media space along with 5 other educators. (promise this is not an ad, its why we should share our passions, don’t leave yet!) Up until recently I have a view of Promethean that was not negative, nor was it positive. I really did not have much of an opinion of the company. I knew who they were, I have a board in my classroom, and recently met Adelma who tweets for @PrometheanUSA. I have to admit this, I just thought they were a company like all others, out to make money. Then this week happened.
With in an hour of being in the building I knew the place was different. Most people I had met were former teachers. The place was playful (they were dressed up for spirit week to raise money for an awesome cause), it was open, heck they even had a wii set up in a hallway. It was like a mini-Google head quarters. Every conversation kept going back to education, not product. Even more shocking, some of the people were listening to what we had to say (in my mind I’m a lowly teacher, why would they do that?). By the end of the first day, it was obvious to me that this place really cared about teachers, students, and education in general. By end of dinner, I was convinced that place was not like had assumed in the past. They were more than orange shirts trying to make a buck.
That passion became more obvious the second day. The CEO of the company, Mark Elliot, came in for “5 minutes” to hear reasoning behind why we thought Promethean needed a better social media presence. After an hour it was obvious this guy really wanted to see change in education, was supportive of teachers, and had amazing ideas of how to do this. Unless you were watching the tweets from the panel or worked for the company you had NO idea of this. Before long Mr. Elliott had the senior level staff in there listening. Telling him why it was now time to change. Time to make their voice heard.I am convinced changes are about to happen and you will be hearing about this passion soon.
So I am going back to my question earlier. “If you have a passion for something, and you do not share that passion, does it make a sound?” I am going to tell you exactly what I told them, you must share this passion. You MUST not keep it to yourselves. That is insane. How are people supposed to hear your ideas? How is your passion going to spread to others? DO NOT KEEP IT BOTTLED UP! No one knows how brilliant you are if you keep it in the four walls of your classroom. Just telling others your ideas and showing them you are passionate about it can make it spread. Blog. Tweet. Write. Speak. What ever is your medium, do it. Once your passion starts spreading, add more mediums to use to share. Please do not discount it. Please. I want to know. I want to learn. I cannot do that unless you share.