BUT, the fire must be "tended". That's what we say in the South. If no one tends the fire, keeps it stoked and refueled with more firewood, then it will eventually go out. There will be some warmth if you get really close, but it won't be pretty to look at and will go out soon.
I can't help but compare this to our passion as educators. Teachers need a fire, a.k.a. passion, in order to be the most effective in the classroom. You can teach without passion, but I wouldn't want to be a student in that classroom. Just sayin'. So, assuming you have a passion for teaching, how do we tend to those passions? Without passion, the demands of being an educator these days can be overwhelming. So many demands and needs in the classroom can really take their toll. Passion needs to be tended to help us stay above the weightiness of our profession.
The passion I have for education fuels my curiosity to continually learn, make the most of my interactions with students, and to give as much as I can to my community. Helping others is fulfilling, but it can distract you from tending the fire. The fire needs attention. One of the best things I've discovered is that I can lean on others to tend the fire, to keep it going. That's why I love being connected with other passionate educators. There's so much support and inspiration to be found in those people down the hall or around the world. They help you tend your fire when they share, connect, and support you. And you can help someone else in that way, too.
Reach out to others and share. Be a fire tender. Help out a colleague, be inspired by others, and make a difference in your school. It works out great for both sides. Twitter is where I connect the most with those who can help me stay passionate about my job. And there are people in my own school district who help tend my fire, too. So, to all those that help to tend the fire that is my passion for education, THANKS FOR SHARING, CONNECTING, and SUPPORTING! You make a positive difference to educators, which impacts students in an incredible way!
Keep that fire tended!