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September 12, 2013


Yesterday, my sister and I were talking.  She is applying to be a school counselor.  She was torn because she felt that her current job of helping people who had lost a loved one was important but she wanted to find a place where she could do more teaching  As Connie put it, she wanted to use her “superpowers” more.

The more I thought about it – the more I liked the word.  “Superpowers” is the perfect term to describe the gifts that we as teachers bring into our classrooms.  Whether we were born with these abilities or we developed them on the job, our students benefit from each of our unique strengths.  So, I asked myself, if I had to pick three “superpowers” that I use to help students learn and gain confidence, what would they be?

Empathy – When I was in elementry school, I was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADD, and I struggled as a student to overcome these challenges.  As a teacher, I have the ability to reach out and make connections with students and say, “I’ve been there.  I know what you are going through.”

Energy – The advantage of having ADHD is that I have an abundance of energy that I can use to help make class as engaging as possible.  Remember the teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (“Bueller…. Bueller….”), that will never be me.

Enthusiasm – I love history.  It gets me excited, and I delight in sharing it.  A perfect example is when I get to teach the Civil War.  I wake up each morning raring to get into the classroom to talk about John Brown or the Battle of Little Top (God, I love Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain!).

Now the question is: When you step out of your phone booth (teachers lounge), what three superpowers do you bring to the classroom?


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