Monday, September 9, 2013

My Teacher, My Superhero

If you read my post, One Secret to Great Teaching, I talked about getting a chance to be taught by Yoda. She inspired me, challenged me, knew me, and cared about my success. She knew my name and made me want to learn. She believed in me.

Have you ever stopped to think about your own heroes?

I am a big fan of comic book super heroes. My favorite is Spider-Man. But when I stop to think about the real heroes in my life, I have to think about teams of super heroes like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and The Avengers. My team of super heroes is comprised of several different personalities  from my parents to my wife to my Army basic training drill sergeant to my senior English teacher (Yoda) and an assortment of others. What they all have in common is that they believed in me.

Do you have that group of super heroes in your past or present? Did they take the time to assist you, guide you, refocus you when you were lost, and pick you up when you were down? Did they believe in you? Did you get that extra strength to overcome adversity or give so much more effort because you had their support?

One of my super heroes I did not like. She also was one of my teachers. She and I were from different planets. She seemed to not like the military. I was focused on becoming a soldier. I enjoyed debating her about social issues. I could find any number of reasons to disagree with her. I could not wait to get out of her class.

One day, when I was telling a story about Yoda, my teacher, I was asked about my junior English teacher. I started to tell all of the reasons why I didn't like her and then a thought came to that had never occurred to me before (This is called an epiphany.) order to be in Yoda's class you had to be recommended, your junior English teacher had to put your name forward for the class.

Oh, my!!! (Picture a giant light bulb over my head!)  If it had not been for her, I would not have met and been inspired by Yoda.

Suddenly, I realized that my junior English teacher needed to be added to my team of super heroes!

One of the great aspects of teaching is that you make a positive impact on lives forever! You have the chance to inspire futures. You make a difference, but only if you believe in your students. You have to see that every child matters. You have to go out of your way to help them achieve their dreams. You may never know the difference you made in the life of a child, but maybe one day out of the blue you will get a phone call, text, or letter that says..."Thank you for believing in me. You are one of my super heroes!"