The Superman Dilemma in Education
Four posts ago, I wrote something called The Superman Effect in Education. It discussed how teachers and students should be treated like they are super heros, meaning they should all be valued and appreciated. I received a lot of great responses on this post, and one in particular stood out:
“I always shied away from the whole “superman” analogy for teachers, because I think we shoot ourselves in the foot, when we don’t make it clear that we are only human (thus, the public’s unreasonable expectations of us).”–Bethany @ Journey to Ithaca
This is such a great comment because it reminded of something I talked about in another post called the Detachment of Education, in which I discuss the absolutely unrealistic expectations and burdens that are placed on teachers. Bethany’s comment was a reminder of that discussion and the dilemma that comes with treating teachers like super heros. Yes, I believe that teachers are indeed super heros. However, I also believe this:
1) Teachers = Humans
NOT Teachers = Robots or Teachers = Superhumans
As I said in my “Detachment of Education” post: “I truly feel that it is a common belief that teachers are supposed to be magical robots with no feelings or emotions, and that they are placed on Earth to only teach strictly from the text to magically and easily instill knowledge on their students who all magically receive it in the same way.”
Oh, and unless they are truly robots, they cannot honestly and efficiently grade 100+ term papers in one school night.
2) Teacher ≠ Parents/Guardians
Teachers are not responsible for educating students on manners and common sense, you know, all the things that parents/guardians should do. And yet…
So, here’s a trick question: Can teachers be treated as super heros without the expectation that they literally should be?
Here’s my answer: I believe that the basis to all of this is the need for all teachers to be treated with respect and understanding. Respect what they do, understand what they do. And for the parents and students, respect and understand that you are a vital part of a successful education as well.
Peace and Love,