Teacher Superheroes #1

Some teachers are superheroes. We recently read about one.

What Makes a Teacher Superhero?

A recent story in the Hechinger Report mentioned Chris Allen, a fourth-grade teacher in Rhode Island. Mr Allen is the kind of teacher that spends his free time looking for new educational apps and ideas, shares them with his colleagues, and helps other teachers learn what he’s learned and what he continues to learn. All of that seems to make him a great teacher and colleague. But the story hinted at something else; what we’d call super-heroic.

The Hechinger story described how Mr Allen tested a new education game with his class, and it was a hit.
Educational value? Check. Student interest? Check. Value to him as a teacher in managing the class room? Check. (Here’s where the superhero mask goes on.) Yet Allen reckoned he wouldn’t use the game again because “he didn’t like how it ranked the five highest scorers.” The game had highlighted competition, and it seems that Mr. Allen was concerned that might dim some kids’ natural enthusiasm.

Protectors of the Flame

That tidbit reveals a focus beyond the short-term goal of improving test-scores and increasing kids’ knowledge; it reveals the broader, super-power-dispensing goal of keeping the love of learning alive. Most kids have an innate curiosity; a love of new information; a flame. You can see it in the light in their eyes. In school, sometimes that flame flickers and dies. Yet that flame is a power that can take you through all kinds of darkness. Keeping that flame lit makes Allen a superhero.

Share and connect–help build a Bliss community

Do you know any teacher superheroes? Shout about them. We can’t celebrate them enough.

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1 Comment on "Teacher Superheroes #1"

Nancy Hemmingson
August 24, 2015

I think one of the main reasons a teacher becomes a superhero is their connection with the students. Teachers who don’t try to connect and get to know their students will have a harder time teaching and thus becoming a superhero in their student’s eyes.