[An Abecedary of Cape-Wearing] F is for Force

670px-Calculate-Force-Step-1This may be one of the slowest renditions of an abecedary you’d ever heard… read… noticed….

A very brief history…. This is my Abecedary of Cape-Wearing. The topic is less about superheroes and more about the cape-wearing qualities of people who champion learning. Educational cape-wearing is why I started the blog. We wear capes, you and I. They may not be visible (though I’m not averse to wearing an actual cape when necessary), but they are there and ought to be pointed out, highlighted, celebrated. And so here I am. In the midst of working with cape-wearers on a daily basis, I am slowly writing this abecedary to… to prove myself right. Or, less cheeky-sounding, to further support my mission. Though I am just now fixin’ to extol the virtues of the letter F, you may want a reminder of the previous letters since they’ve been spread out over…almost 6 months (yikes):

Why I love a good abecedary…

A is for Caveat

B is for Beat the Baddies like Batman

C is for the Captain

D is for Donatello–one smart turtle

E is for Evil (the fighting of)

and now…

F is for Force

When you type force into a Creative Commons* Google search you get a snapshot of exactly why this is a cape-wearing word:

You’ve got physics, rockets, the solar system, math, roller coasters, the power of water in nature, gravity-defying hair styles, groups of people doing challenging work, and some superheroish-villainish characters. Each of these adds a level to the conversation about force as a cape-wearing characteristic.

In education we need to keep our momentum, our force, as we shoulder our way through a school year. There are days that the sheer magnitude of what we are trying to do, the physics of trying to keep a forward motion in spite of obstacles, the mechanics needed to force our way up the long climb on the roller coaster, the fuel needed to launch the rocket–they seem like too much. On those days, we need to use the less scientific forces to make it happen. We need to rally with our leadership and our peers to remember what fuels us.

And here we can take a lesson from our superhero friends. The X-Men, the Avengers, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, even the Watchmen. They’re superheroes (or mutants if you’re a purist), for goodness sakes! Why do they keep teaming up? In the movies, they do it to build a force strong enough to battle a powerful threat. They find that they are better together than they are on their own. If you watch the slow parts of the movies, you also see that they simply want the company. The battle is easier to handle next to someone. Even Batman and Wolverine keep coming back to the group. They are the quintessential loners, but they come back and support the effort. They are looking for that reminder of why we are here, why we are working so hard, why it’s worth being this tired.


And what makes it worth it? Our learners. Take a minute and picture your learners. Are they our smallest humans learning how to grow into strong healthy humans? Are they our preschool and primary grade students counting on us to prepare them for their next steps in school? Are they almost-adult learners that think they know it already, but secretly count on you to make sure they actually do? Is your learner a particular person that needs your leadership right now? Whoever you are picturing, that is your fuel.

If we each add our fuel to the team, we become a force to be reckoned with. A force that can make change, affect lives, and even tempt Batman and Wolverine to join in. We all need that extra boost from time to time. And if you are in a school setting this time of year you are making that final climb on the roller coaster–creaking up the hill, straining against gravity, hoping the laws of physics apply to you to help you all the way to they top. Take a minute today and rally your team, take stock of your situation, and remind yourselves why you are there. Find your force and reharness it. It’s there, I promise.

*Note–I use Creative Commons searches for this blog in an attempt to not “steal” images or videos from an unsuspecting author. Let’s all make sure we give credit where credit is due!

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