Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, you've probably noticed Hollywood’s recent obsession with superheroes. It seems every other blockbuster has been about a character with superhuman powers or abilities. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man -- superheroes have dominated the box office. This March, the world will have the opportunity to watch two of the most popular and powerful superheroes battle it out on-screen in the new movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Wonder Woman is even scheduled to make an appearance. It should be, well, super.
Many like to debate -- Which superhero is the best? Who is the greatest, the most powerful? Everyone has his/her opinion on the subject, but I submit to you that the greatest superhero of all is none of the ones mentioned above. The most powerful superheroes on the planet live among us. If you're reading this, chances are you're one of them. The greatest superheroes are teachers. Don't believe me? Watch this short video.
Larry Gilmer is a coach. Larry Gilmer is a teacher of young men. Larry Gilmer is a superhero to those around him. Just listen to what his former players and colleagues had to say about him. What they remembered from their time in his “class” had nothing to do with wins and losses. What made an impact on their lives was his character, how he treated his players, how he consistently told them he loved them.
What we do as educators goes far beyond academics. Teaching foundational skills is important, yes. We should consistently pursue excellence in our instructional practices, helping every student master the academic standards. But we have to remember that our impact far exceeds what our students learn in reading, writing, math, and science.
What will my students remember from their time in my class and school, besides vocabulary definitions, the stages of The Water Cycle, and how to add fractions with unlike denominators? What will your students remember?
Don’t think our students are watching our every move? Watch this short story about what one of my former students remembered about me. What will yours remember?
Brent has worked in the field of education as a teacher and administrator for 25 years. He is currently Principal of Alta Murrieta Elementary School in Murrieta, California. Read more about Brent here.
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