Coffee Talk

April 4, 2010

I am wondering if this blog appears a little… shall we say… cocky.  After all, I am calling myself a superhero on a regular basis and even put a cape on and fly around my classroom at times.  I use the terms “super teacher,” “caped crusader,” and “hero” quite easily.  I thought I might spend a minute to try to explain why.  

Yes, there is an amount of cockiness.  Teachers spend all day in charge.  We’re bound to get a little uppity and become pretty certain we are right.  That just comes with the territory, methinks.  I also made a pact with a fellow caped teacher one day, that if we successfully earned our national teaching certification (NBPTS) we would admit to ourselves that we were, officially, “Super Teachers.”  We did, we do, and we are both about to renew our Super Teacher Status. So, yeah, I’m a little cocky. 
Mostly though, I use my cape to help me stay the course.  Teaching is hard work and can grind you down over time.  Heck, it can grind you down in a moment! A school year has been compared to the running of a marathon. We start out the year with a burst of energy. We teach our tootsies off for weeks and weeks.  We get tired.  We keep teaching.  We get more tired.  We keep teaching.  That’s our job.  My cape is a reminder that it is a long race but a worthy one.  When I just can’t even imagine another moment of teaching effectively, I have my capes—both real and imagined—to help get the second wind.  Or the third wind.  Or the fourth… you get the idea.
And lastly, many teachers ARE super heroes! 
Pronunciation: -ˌhir-(ˌ)ō, -ˌhē-(ˌ)rō
Function: noun
Date: 1917
: a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also : an exceptionally skillful or successful person

We teach!  We perform amazing feats on a regular basis.  We leap tall buildings if necessary. We educate children while fighting the enemies of political turmoil, societal pressures and failings, large class sizes, mediocre salaries, sparse supplies, and, most recently, painful budget cuts.  Why not be clear about it?  We do extraordinary work on a daily basis. Sure, the spin in the news makes it seem as if schools are headed for doom, but isn’t that when the superheroes are most needed?  Doesn’t someone have to swoop in on a web, or in a cool car, or with… dare I say… a cape to save the day?  On another day I will wax political about what we need to do to save our schools.   Today, I will just put on my cape.

 “No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for… for ten minutes!”
–Mr. Incredible, from The Incredibles

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