One of my favorite shows to watch as a kid was Captain Planet. If you’ve never seen it, let me break it down. There were five kids from different continents who each found a ring with a power over an environmental(ish) factor.
When the kids met up, they found that they could randomly point their rings somewhere and yell out a random word. Sing the song with me now. “Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Heart!” Magically, this random blue guy with green hair would pop up and save the world against some random polluting bad guy. (Side note: there is a hilarious, although NSFW, parody on Funny or Die featuring Don Cheadle.) When he was done, he would randomly disappear back into the rings, while saying, “the power is yours!”
The power is yours. Indeed.
I’m a huge conspiracy theorist, especially when it comes to cartoons. For example, I’m fully convinced that Pinky was the genius, and The Brain was insane, and that is a conversation that I’m prepared to have if we ever meet face-to-face. I digress.
Anyway, I think that what Captain Planet was trying to say to the kids, once you read between the lines, is that they didn’t really need him at all. They had the power to save the world, as do all of us, the kids watching at home. The kids who have now grown up. (Psssst…you and me.)
We are educators. We not only have the power to change the world, we ARE changing the world, whether we realize it or not. That being said, we tend to have a lot more power than we even realize. It took me a while to grasp this, but in the age of social media, we can move mountains.
I don’t know how many educators are on Twitter. I’ve heard two million, six million, eight million, a few hundred thousand…it depends on who you ask. For the sake of argument, let’s lowball it and say half a million (totally inventing that number…I’m sure it’s way more than that).
Generally I don’t care about numbers of followers, because it’s honestly stupid. #sorrynotsorry. Twitter shouldn’t be a popularity contest; it should be about creating meaningful connections so that we get better as educators. However, today I will entertain the discussion, again, for the sake of argument. After all, if we are trying to move educational mountains, we cannot do it by ourselves…so the ideal would be to have a high number of high-quality connections (i.e. collaborators).
Let’s say you get 1% of all educators on Twitter on board with your idea. Even with my fictional lowballed numbers, that is still 5,000 educators. Get 1/10 of that, and that is 500 people in your corner, helping you to move this mountain. Get it?
The power is yours.
Moment of honesty: I facepalm every time someone on Twitter asks me to start something brand new on their behalf. No.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it when people ask me to be involved in what they’re doing, ask me to amplify (as long as they are not spamming me), or even give feedback/suggest improvements to something that I’m doing. It frustrates me to no end though, whenever someone has a great idea and tries to hand it over to me because they think I have some kind of power that they don’t. That’s ridiculous.
THE POWER IS YOURS DAGNABBIT!!!! So stop it!
What is the difference between a teacher and a teacher leader? It’s not a title. Not some secret ceremony with your admin involving a sword and holy water. A teacher leader does. That’s all. Be like Nike and just do it! If you see a need, and are smart enough to find the solution, just do it. Don’t ask me (or anyone else for that matter), because all I will say is, “do it yourself…let me know if I can help.” Just save yourself the lecture 🙂