The Education Superheroes: A Note To Faculty And Teachers
It’s easy to comment on all the things education could do better, all the ways our school system, individual schools, or specific classrooms fail to meet our expectations. As parents, community members, and administrators, it’s easy to point out the test scores we’d like to see, the policies we think need changing, and the list goes on.
We’d like to take a few minutes to celebrate what often goes unnoticed, unremarked on, and maybe underappreciated: the faculty and teachers who greet our students every morning or evening, the ones whose smiles keep our elementary school children motivated, or the shoulders who help lift our adult students through times of turmoil. So let’s use some inspirational quotes from other superheroes for these education superheroes.
“Life doesn’t give us purpose. We give life purpose.” — The Flash
After so many years working in administration, we have come to see that teaching truly is a vocation more than a job; it is a calling, a way of life, a compulsion to change the world one student at a time. Teachers give a little (or really a lot) of themselves every year, to every class, and we wonder how we, as a community, can give some of that energy back.
“The future is worth it. All the pain. All the tears. The future is worth the fight.” — Martian Manhunter
At all levels, faculty encounter students (of all ages) facing challenges far greater than facilitating mastery of their curriculum, and teachers are often the only positive influences a student may hear that day or week. Students carry full lives with them, and the energy required to address not just academic issues, but also social, emotional, financial, or even physical – is truly astounding.
“You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.” — Superman
How can we recognize, celebrate, and support faculty who devote decades to our students?
- Awareness by parents, community leaders, and administrators that a teacher’s influence is great; that we have the capacity to both nourish and zap their energy, and that no one better sees the impact of failing systems, policies, or structures than our teachers.
- Giving faculty a voice in institutional and system level decisions.
- Programs and initiatives specifically designed to address and prevent burnout, recognizing burn out as a systemic issue, not a personal issue.
- Creating support structures that reduce the burden placed squarely on teachers.
“You only have your thoughts and dreams ahead of you.
You are someone. You mean something.” – Batman
Years after a student graduates from a grade or school, it’s the teachers who live on – larger than life – in their memory (for better or worse)! What else can we do, systemically, to help ensure that faculty are well-charged, well-supported, and well-energized to do the great work our students need and deserve?
“Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.” – Ms. Marvel
…and thank you to all teachers for all the things you do. Let’s discuss some ideas on how we can help you. Hope starts here.