I teach. What’s your super power?
(Here’s the thing – this truth, this villain, can strike us in our parenting, in any workplace, in any profession.)
Teachers can certainly be called superheroes. We rush to the aid of the struggling learner, knock down barriers often labeled “disabilities,” inspire and equip future leaders, and along the way empower students to unleash their own super powers!
Around the corner, lingering in the dark alley, awaits our greatest antagonist…Comparison.
Ugh, he strikes when we are running low of energy, slightly discouraged for the day, and capitalizes when our peers are at their strongest, making good use of their own super powers.
Comparison is one of the greatest villains. When given a foothold into our classrooms or schools, he can wreak havoc.
Teacher, Superhero that you are, don’t be trapped by Comparison. He has a tricky way of making you think you don’t have it, your lessons bore even a sloth and those fireworks aren’t happening in your classroom – like they are down the hall. Comparison robs us of our confidence. He “twists what should be unique about us into something that we are either grossly dissatisfied with or disproportionately proud of.” That super power unique to you – making students see things differently, think beyond themselves, use experimentation, well, that’s yours. And just because someone down the hall doesn’t have that same superpower, doesn’t mean they don’t wear a cape! Their cape color and powers are different than yours. That fact is good.
Do we really want nothing but Superman’s flying around? I like being Wonder Woman. I know a good Spider Man. Iron Man teaches English next door, Captain America covers U.S. History in the next building, Batman teaches just down the hallway, and the Hulk has our weight room covered! They are all incredible teachers. Their different super powers are gifts to students and myself alike. I learn from and depend on their strengths.
Unfortunately, the havoc Comparison spreads can lead to the stench of jealousy. It stinks like that of a Guinea pig cage overdue for a cleaning. Seriously, it spoils the best efforts of teamwork and weakens the super powers you have been gifted with. Jealousy begins to “look for faults, share ‘concerns’ with others, and diminishes our credibility.” You have been given your own set of powers – you teach well with them.
With your gifts and talents that are unique to you, you are inspiring learners, growing thinkers, and teaching skills needed for tomorrows leaders. You have your own style. Don’t allow Comparison to make you doubt your calling or get frustrated because your super power doesn’t look like that of another’s. Put your cape on, the bell is about to ring, your students await their Super Hero.
**Quotes are taken from a great read, Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence by Jenni Catron