Teachers as superheroes need to be flying high, failing often and winning quickly. This adventuring can only happen when all of us teachers see us as superheroes in not only what we do but also what we think. It doesn’t matter if a fellow teacher is for or against our beliefs, our actions, what is important is that teachers are however forced to reconsider what students in their learning spaces are being exposed to. The more often this occurs, the more resilient teachers become in having their pedagogies critiqued and reflected. This resilience can only help to raise the empowerment and sharing of the teaching edtech community. It can also only contribute to lift the students’ belief in their teachers and thus themselves.
When teachers also see themselves as superheroes, they also tend to focus on learning over the administration, and risk-taking over safety, the macro over the micro. Superheroes are by no means perfect but what makes us idolise them in print or on the screen is that they are unique, they have specific superpowers and work for the greater good, often at great personal expense. The superheroes also tend to take a stand and believe in themselves, often when no-one else does. Imagine if every teacher saw themselves as a superhero to their students; their mission being to save the future for their students. Just imagine the thinking, the play, the fun in the classroom. Just imagine the engagement of the students. Just imagine these same students then believing and indeed becoming their own superheroes. Imagine the innovation, the creativity, the curiosity.
If a teacher superhero can’t do it themselves, then they just form a team as per the Marvel Avengers or dare I say it, Batman and Robin. The team can then collectively fly above the various learning institutions to which they belong and view the world from an angle removed from drudgery, compliance and assessment. In this light, I often wonder how astronauts can view the world from Space and then reconcile themselves with what they see and hear when they return to Earth. In Space, they see we are but one planet, one population, a magnificent melting-pot of humanity where for the most part, we all want common safeties and securities. Back on Earth, they arguably see something less optimistic.
My challenge then to all teachers is pretty straightforward. Next time you walk (or fly) into your classroom, think “superhero”, think of the future, think of opportunities, not problems. You never know just how much your students will join forces and take off to their futures and their dreams. After all, take a moment what have you got to lose and I mean really got to lose?
Now, right, where’s my cape and tights? I’ve got a class in five.