I was reading an article that made the way to me through the grapevine on Twitter. It discussed how teachers are not superheroes, capable of superhuman feats. Instead they are fallible human beings just like everyone else. Here's a link to the article:
It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a... Teacher?
James Harrell is right. We are not superheroes. We are not born with superpowers. Everything that we can do in a classroom is because of education, creativity, and perseverance.
We trained to do what we do. Most of them time we work alone. We're constantly looking for an edge, tools to augment our classroom. Technology that does for us what we cannot do alone is used as much as possible. And most of the time, the odds are stacked against us. And when we go home, we go about our normal lives, blending in with the world because we leave a lot of what we do at work, only taking it home in our heads and hearts (and oh yeah, the grading... it's not a perfect analogy).
But does that sound like anyone you know???
Where James Harrell takes a misstep is saying that we can't be just a little larger than life. We can be a certain type of hero. This is why I have always been a Batman fan. He's a normal guy. He trained hard to achieve peak health and fitness. He uses his intellect and his training to solve crime and defeat his foes. And whenever he can, he uses technology. From his fleet of vehicles to his hand weapons to his grappling hook to his other high-tech gadgets, he's always got a tool for the job. Not to mention, he primarily works with a kid:
We're not going to get a flashing light in the sky asking us for help. If it were only that easy. We may not have the fancy car or the sweet costume, but when all of that strips away Bruce Wayne is no less human than any of us. He just chose to be more.
That's what is needed from us as teachers. We have to choose to be more so that our students will see that they can make the choice. And no, we aren't going to be rich or famous for doing it like Batman is. But that's why he's in a story, and we're out here.
I'd compromise for the costume.