This article was written by Jenni Banks. Jenni Banks teaches online classes, as well as subs for Grades K-12. When not teaching, she enjoys tea, cooking and a good bargain sale.
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The demands of today’s classroom have never been greater. With former mandates like “No child left behind” and “highly qualified” teachers, we as educators are truly forced to step up our game and do more with fewer resources. In addition to complying with regulations and red tape in performing our duties, we are forced to equip ourselves on a whole ’nother level for the rigors of today’s teaching environment. This often goes beyond carrying extra school supplies, disciplinary reports, a comfortable change of shoes, and a positive attitude. If only it were that simple.
ENTER... SUPER POWERS!
Aside from academic credentialing, here are 10 “super powers” every successful teacher must have to make the cut and maintain their positions (in no particular order):
1. Power of X-Ray Vision
This is needed to “see through” the many creative lies students tell to get out of trouble or put forth the least effort possible. Here are a few falsehoods I’ve recently heard:
“Somebody stole my book, that‘s why I didn‘t do the assignment.”
“I didn‘t know that essay was due today!”
“I’m sorry; it won’t happen again.”
2. Power of Stretching a Dollar
The cost of living goes up each year. While many companies account for this in establishing annual raises, decent pay increases for teachers coincide with leap years. Nonetheless, teachers adapt and make it work. But for this reason, Ramen Noodles is a staple in most of our homes.
3. Power of Healing
Whether it’s the result of harsh words exchanged by students that cause “bruised egos,” or a bruised knee resulting from rough recess play, savvy teachers know what to say and do to smooth the situation over and cause as little disruption to the order of things as possible.
4. Power of Laser-Like Concentration
For laser-like focus amid work woes, bad hair days, classroom chaos, computer glitches and problems that pester.
5. Power of Persuasion
Far too often, in acts of rebellion, students will refuse to complete work that has been assigned for the day. “I’m not doing that” is a common response. (Especially at the high school level.) They foolishly believe that it’s a way of asserting their rights and impressing their peers.
They often need a little reasoning to remind them that doing so is to their benefit; that we have finished high school and college, and are trying to help them achieve the same!
6. Power of Perseverance
Not to leap over tall buildings, but to jump through an array of administrative hurdles, parent traps, and legislative hoops, in order to keep our jobs and keep those mortgages paid.
7. Power of Lightning-Like Speed
How else would we manage to juggle more balls than a circus clown? From classroom instruction, to handling disciplinary problems, to phone calls to parents, to grading papers. And most of this, (mind you), is done before lunch.
8. Power of Insurmountable Courage
A crucial requirement that helps to battle self-doubt. Not to mention, threats by students, job uncertainty, budget cuts, aggressive parents, and periodic pension panic. “And still we rise!”
9. Power of Patience
For stadium-volume-noise levels, disregard, disrespect, and the ability to resist drinking before happy hour.
10. Power of Invisibility
Once we arrive home, demands briefly fall upon deaf ears; so that we can temporarily claim a few precious moments to relax, unwind and regain our sanity. In an effort to refuel for the next day.
Though we may not have our own theme song or display a big “S” on our chests, make no mistake about it: today’s teacher is more than what meets the eye. We have super human powers to help “rescue” students with an array of needs and challenges.