A few weeks ago, we were reading a book titled Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod. He uses alliteration to create zany superhero characters. So I asked my students, “What would be your superpower?” They came up with different ways to make their lives easier and ways to conquer “bad guys”. They had all kinds of great ideas about how to freeze things and use laser beams and fly above the earth.
It got me thinking about how all of us have an inner superhero that empowers us – to do good things for the community, combat “the bad guys”, and save the day. Everyday as teachers we channel our inner superhero to do what we know is best for kids. We “power on” to reach all of our students, address individual wants, needs, and interests, and provide students with our best. Lately, I find myself seeking balance between how to reach and teach all of my learners in my room and how to make sure they have a choice in what they are learning. Teaching has changed significantly in the past ten years, from teacher centered to student centered. Reigning in the kids’ excitement for learning and setting them on their own path has been challenging. I have been reading blog by Pernille Ripp, who is an inspiration to others who want to make a change in how they are teaching kids. This is her experience in how she changed for the good of her students.
While learning more about my individual students, I know I need to be more of a coach, leading my sidekicks on their path to superhero greatness. I recently read the article called The Five Habits of Great Coaches which helped me to realize that coaching students, guiding them alongside as they go about their own path, is a great way to provide each student with what they need to reach their goals. Listening to their plans, and discussing options, and guiding them along their learning plan are natural conversations we have throughout the day. Even though they are 6 and 7, my students have a lot to say and they let me know what they need every day. They are inquisitive and all knowing. They have a thirst for knowledge, and I need to keep them moving forward. And the best part of my world each day!
Teachers, we can do this! We can take all of our sidekicks and guide them into developing into the superheroes they were meant to be. So go forth, superheroes, and conquer your world today!