We honestly can’t say it enough—teachers are everyday superheroes. You know who we’re talking about–the superhero teacher–who must hide an invisible cape under their outfit. It’s the only way to explain the daily commitment, love and sacrifice teachers give to their students.
We also know that being a teacher isn’t easy. That’s why we love a good teacher story. Don’t you? It makes teaching (even the struggles) so worthwhile to see and hear about teachers doing amazing work. That’s probably why we fell in love with these awesome videos about educators making a difference in their schools. The videos are seriously heartwarming (you may just need a hankie for your happy tears.)
The videos inspired us to ask our teacher audience this: What makes a teacher a superhero teacher? If you see yourself in this list, you just might be a superhero, too.
1. You inspire others to want to be a teacher.
“My 7th grade teacher inspired me to want to be a teacher. I kept in touch with her during high school and college and shadowed in her room whenever I could. I got a job teaching at my old school and had the pleasure of teaching across the hall from her for 11 years before she retired. She is still one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She believed in me…not only as a student, but as a teacher. I was proud to tell her these things when I gave a speech at her retirement celebration.” —Jill S., via Facebook
2. You let children learn about themselves.
“A lot of teenagers are lost, and because they are lost they make the wrong decisions. I am a firm believer that if a teenager knows who they are, they can withstand peer pressure.” —Precious Symonette, a creative writing teacher who was named an NEA Superhero Educator
Her students say that if it weren’t for their teacher, they wouldn’t even be alive.
Watch the full video here and see just how incredible this teacher is.
3. You know in your heart it’s what you’re meant to do.
“I knew at 8 years old that I wanted to be a teacher. My family wasn’t thrilled, which caused me to not follow my heart. After years of other jobs, I returned to school and now…I’m a teacher!” —Cat T., via Facebook
“I know I’m meant to be a teacher because even on holidays I miss my school, my kids, my coworkers, and I look forward to going back.” —Stefanie B., via Facebook
4. Your kids accept you for who you are.
“My love for kids and their unconditional acceptance of me is why I’m a teacher. They know I’m on their side. I wanted to be that person who gave them confidence, who helped them uncover the wonders and why’s in their mind, and who was a stable foundation in their corner.” —Tracy S., via Facebook
5. You have a magnetic personality.
“Teacher Chris Stone builds trust with the children and from the trust, he then has their respect.” —Roz G., Wallingford Rotary Club talking about teacher Chris Stone, who was honored as an NEA Superhero Educator
Watch the full video on how Chris transformed the school’s astronaut program into the STEM program that received a grant from NASA!
6. You encourage—every day.
“My teacher Miss Hodges helped me to really begin to fly academically and encouraged me to no end. She didn’t play favorites, and she cared about the highfliers, those who struggled and the ‘middle’ group like me.” —Sue D., via Facebook
7. You touch the lives of hundreds of students each year.
This is so fun! Do you know your educator stats? Here’s an exciting activity a teacher shared on our WeAreTeachers Helpline Facebook group that will show you just how amazing your teacher life really is. At the end of each year, jot down your educator stats. It’s eye-opening to see how many lives you have had an impact on! Make a list of your years in education, school buildings, school districts, classrooms, grades taught, subjects taught, students taught and principals.
8. You celebrate the small moments.
“Even if it’s a tough day, there’s always something to celebrate at the end of it.” —Mel Lemme, an NEA Superhero Educator
Read more about this incredible special education teacher and watch her full video here.
9. You stay positive when negativity is easier.
“Teachers are amazing people who will inspire others to do great things, so keep up the hard work. I know you may feel unimportant or insecure at times, but know that you are a beautiful human being inside and outside.” —Eric S., via Facebook
“Remember if you are doing your best, you are probably making a difference in a child’s life.” —Jean O., via Facebook
10. You stick it out through hard times.
“I’ve had a very hard time teaching. The first school I taught at had no support. Despite this, I still only see myself teaching because I love kids and their thirst for knowledge. Being such a major part of a child’s life thrills me, frightens me and sets my heart free.” —Kelley D., via Facebook
“Teaching isn’t always 100%. Sometimes you don’t want to get out of bed. The kids will get on your nerves. You will have a kid that just doesn’t respond to your bag of tricks. But, can you get up every day knowing that it is a day you can make a difference? That’s what’s important.” —Sharonda F., via Facebook