Spiderman is an ‘accidental’ superhero. He has powers bestowed upon him that he never intended to have, and he never knew existed.
In teaching we often face situations that we never expected would happen. Just like Spider-Man, however, we have been gifted with powers that we never knew existed or we often take for granted. All we have to do is look within to find them, and learn to wield them well.
4 POWERS Teachers Possess
1. The POWER of Responsibility
Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man accidentally. He is bitten by a radioactive spider, which in turn provides him with unimaginable abilities. What he doesn’t understand is that being gifted with power, and understanding how to wield it, are two very different things. It is his mentor, his Uncle Ben, who steps in to provide the insight and wisdom Peter needs in order to become a true superhero. He reminds him that ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’ and the true POWER he possesses is found within the responsibility to use his abilities to better the world.
As a teacher, you have been gifted with unimaginable responsibility. The ability to influence the future, to mold minds, to impact destinies and to change lives are gifts bestowed upon only the most deserving superheroes. Such responsibilities, however, can become overwhelming. In order to handle such power, you must understand the bigger picture. Teaching is not about you but rather it is about those you serve each and everyday. Put the needs of your students first, and use your abilities to better the world by wielding your power well.
With great power comes great responsibility. Each student that you come into contact with, whether they are in your class or not, is an opportunity to impact. Be like Spider-Man… answer the call when you are needed and use your ‘power’ for the benefit of others. Do this and not only will you change the world for those around you, but your world will change as well.
2. The POWER of Intuition
One of my favorite ‘powers’ that Peter Parker receives the moment he is bitten is his ‘Spidey Sense.’ This is the tingling sensation he feels when danger is near, and it is what gives him a clear sense of his surroundings. The closer the danger, the stronger the sensation. This power gives him the ability to help others immediately and allows him to see things clearly in moments when others do not.
A teacher’s ‘Spidey Sense’ is their intuition. The power of intuition is one that can often get overlooked, but it is one of the most essential abilities of a truly impactful teacher. By learning how to listen to your inner voice, to observe, to connect and to pay attention, you tap into your own personal ‘Spidey Sense.’ An intuitive teacher can make split second decisions to steer students along a better path, and they use knowledge learned over time to quickly assess situations. It is one power that truly changes the way students are impacted daily.
Trust your ‘Spidey Sense’ and master your intuition. Don’t be afraid to trust your inner voice and take risks when your ‘gut’ tells you to. Be like Spiderman and rely on your Spidey Sense when the time calls for it. It may just end up being the best decision you make all day!
3. The POWER of Humor
Humor is something that Spiderman uses in almost every dire situation. Behind the mask, Peter Parker is able to respond to adversity with quick wit and charm. He has the ability to keep things calm during difficult situations with his clever one liners, and makes everyone else feel safe during times of trouble.
In teaching, humor is essential and compelling . Whether you use quick one liners, corny jokes or even a little sarcasm, the key is that your humor makes everyone you teach feel safe. Humor is powerful and can often be used in a way that cuts down the very people we are trying to cheer up. Use humor often, but always be discerning in order to use it well. Be mindful of the jokes you tell and the laughter you provide, being ever so cautious of the influence and impact they behold.
Incorporate humor into your teaching and make learning fun. Remember though that you are a teacher first, and a ‘comedian’ second . There is nothing worse than getting a laugh only to look down and see one child left in tears. Be like Spiderman and use humor to make others feel calm and safe when they need it most.
4. The POWER of Purpose
The most difficult thing for Spiderman to grasp throughout his journey is how others view him. To some he is a hero, while to others, like J. Jonah Jameson, he is a menace. He has a constant struggle he must fight each day. He understands that his purpose is more important than his pride, and he must use his power for good even if he is misunderstood by many.
As a teacher, you must know your purpose. Throughout your journey you will have people who love you, as well as people who misunderstand you altogether. The key to remaining relevant and impactful though, is knowing your purpose and living for it. It is the most powerful aspect of Spiderman’s mindset, and the most crucial part of any teacher. Take some time and reflect on your purpose. Focus your energy on your WHY, regardless of what others may think, and let it be the driving force behind all you do.
There is POWER in PURPOSE. It is the foundation that your legacy is built upon and it is the driving force behind your teaching. Be like Spider-Man and live your life on purpose. Impact your students and those around you whether they love you or not, and allow your influence to reach deeper than you ever thought possible.