Monday, August 12, 2013

Words and Actions - An Earthshaking Combination

Before reading this post, I must give a little background on the Tunguska Meteor Blast.

 “In the early morning of June 30, 1908 in the Tunguska river valley of Siberia, an earthshaking event so powerful occurred that it was felt over 1000 miles away in London. The estimated power of this air burst is calculated to be 1000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The Tunguska meteor knocked people off their feet and shattered windows hundreds of miles away. –

“This is often considered to be the loudest single-event in history. “–Written by Jamie Frater on

Now…onto my post:

Words and Actions – an Earthshaking Combination:

“Actions speak louder than words” is a phrase we’ve all used. But today, I ponder the question, “Can actions and words together produce a sound that is louder and has an impact greater than the Tunguska Meteor?” 

Words Matter

On July 5, I published a post that received 16 views in its first month. (You can access the link here.) In the post I included links to two letters I wrote to my future students. It took me roughly 15 minutes to write both - my audience was 52 ten year olds I had yet to meet.

The letters were inspired by Angela Maiers’ Ted Talk. Her messages that,  “You Matter” and that “You’re a Genius” resonated with me so much that I had to act. I had to stop what I was doing and tell those in my life that they mattered to me. After I said those words, I had conversations that I hadn’t had in years. Those two small words are powerful. Like the Tunguska Meteor, they shook my world. It was obvious to me to me that WORDS MATTER – but this was just the beginning…

After sharing the letters with Angela, she decided to post them on her blog that has just a slightly bigger following than mine. ;) The post is titled “Two Letters That All Students Should Receive.”  Incredibly, in five years of blogging and in less than a week of being published, this post has received the most views and shares to date on her blog. As of today, 12,500 people have viewed the post. In awe, I watched as tweet after tweet, comment after comment rolled in about the letters.  The comments that meant the most were the ones stating that other teachers were eager to write letters of their own to their students. My world was shaken yet again.

Just yesterday, Angela wrote another post, this time on, entitled “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grade Teacher?” Again, she shared some of the words I wrote to my students, but this time she encouraged those beyond the field of education to carry on her message. Angela says it so succinctly in her Ted Talk, “Mattering is a DNA thing.” Every single human being wants to feel significant. Every single human being wants to feel that his or her contribution can make a difference. No matter your field, no matter your title, YOU have the power to share this message!

Actions Matter

As the school year approaches, and my teammates and I prepare to send the letters, I reflect on this experience. The simple act of putting my words online reached many more eyes than I intended. However, the readers can choose to read the words and forget, or they can choose to read the words and ACT!

We can say the phrase “You Matter” to the students every day, but if we don’t LIVE out those words daily by actively showing the students that we truly believe in each individual child, the words will die quickly.

Technology has created a web of interconnectedness that is revolutionary. Who knows how many students will receive letters that include the phrases “You Matter” and “You’re A Genius.” This was all possible because Angela SHARED her genius from the Ted stage and in turn gave me inspiration for the letters. This was possible because she SHARED the letters with her much larger audience of readers. This was possible because other educators will choose to ACT by writing letters of their own to students who may never have heard those empowering and inspirational words before!

Now, am I implying that my two letters shook the Earth? Absolutely not! However, WORDS MATTER and ACTIONS MATTER. Together they can be earthshaking, and the sound that results will be much louder than any sound either could produce individually.

So, what words will you speak today?  What actions will you perform? Choose carefully! Because like the Tunguska Blast- 

Your words and the conversations that follow may be an incredibly important event that occurs in another person’s life.

Your actions may knock people off their feet thousands of miles away!

And most importantly, TOGETHER we may just rock the world!

Lesson # 28:  We must be intentional with the words we choose to say and the actions we choose to perform.  We must Choose2Matter!

What are your thoughts on this topic? Please leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter (@KressClass)

Thanks for reading,

No comments:

Post a Comment