I have to admit that I had a hard time composing this post. After much thought and reflection, I was sort of stumped, so as I've done with other posts, I resorted to my friend Webster. Whenever I can't seem to find the right words for a blog post, important email or some other significant writing, Webster is my personal superhero and saves the day.
Webster's dictionary provided the following two definitions for the word "superhero": (1) a fictional character who has amazing powers (such as the ability to fly) and (2) a very heroic person. While I would love to have the ability to read minds or make things appear and disappear, I like Webster's example and choose the ability to fly so I can be that very heroic person. I would like to be able to work more quickly and do everything I need to do between 7:15 and 3:00. Rather have time fly, I want to be the one to fly. If I could complete all my education work during those times, I would then have time to be that very heroic person to my own kids at home. Flying would also give me an aerial view and would enable me to see further ahead. Not only would flying allow me to move more quickly, I would be able to see more and know more. I would be a more effective teacher because I could see how my students will respond to my lesson plans and I will anticipate their challenges. If I can meet them at their point of need, I would then be able to be that very heroic person. I would like to be able to save my students from those embarrassing and stressful moments when they can't understand and/or be understood. Perhaps they've only been in this country for a year or two, or perhaps they can speak fluent social English, but just can't seem to master academic English and can't perform as well as their native English speaking peers. I want to be able to rescue them from judgement, stereotyping and racism. Those language limitations, particularly with long term ELLs become stumbling blocks in every area of their lives not just at school. I wish I could pick them up and bring them to that utopian place where they can fit in and shine as the stars that they really are.
If I could have one superpower to use in the classroom, it would be the ability to fly, to pick up speed and be ahead of the game and most of all, to come to the aid of my students at their time of need and make their world a safer, happier place. I just want to fly.