Teacher Appreciation Week: What is your superpower?

Teachers impact the lives of students everyday. In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked some of our Teacher Champions to take a moment to reflect on their unique experiences in the classroom and share their thoughts.

Here’s what Arizona high school science teacher Tara Dale shared:

tara-2If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? 
After much thought and reflection, I would want a superpower where I could add time to my day.  There are so many wonderful opportunities as a wife, mother, teacher, Christian, and citizen but I often have to pass because my calendar is full.  This superpower would allow me to do everything I love every day!

Tell a story about the funniest thing that’s happened to you in the classroom.
I was a first-year teacher who only had chalkboards.  I had spent first period drawing crazy pictures on the board, trying to show the kids the revolution of the moon around the Earth and how this caused monthly tidal periods.  I must have wiped my hands on the back of my black pants.  How do I know this?  Because my students in second period asked if I had been grabbing my own butt cheeks; there were perfectly white hand prints on the back of my pants.  That was a lesson quickly learned.

What advice would you give to the first-year-of-teaching version of yourself? 
Allow people to help you.  You don’t have to do everything yourself.  People want to help and you can really use it.  There’s no reason to work 14 hour days reinventing the wheel.  Let parents come in to volunteer, listen to other teachers’ recommendations, and say yes when someone offers to make you copies or create a lesson plan.


Here’s what Tennessee elementary school librarian Dana Lester shared:

dana-lesterIf you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could have any superpower, it would probably be the ability to fly. I am ALWAYS running late, so if I could propel myself into the sky and fly over everything between me and my destination, I’d never be late again!

Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why?
I was fortunate enough to have many “favorite” teachers in elementary and middle school, but one teacher in particular stands out when I think back on them all.  Mrs. Hopkins was my middle school reading teacher and I thought she hung the moon.  She was patient, kind, and compassionate. She also happened to teach my favorite subject so I enjoyed her class and looked forward to it daily.  For a very long time when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was “a reading teacher just like Mrs. Hopkins!”

Tell a story about the funniest thing that’s happened to you in the classroom.
When I taught 1st grade, I had a student who went to physical therapy a few mornings a week.   Getting him out of the room was a struggle, because he didn’t like to go.  One day he came back and said, “I don’t want to do that anymore, Ms. (physical therapist) is always breaking my arms and legs!!”  Same child, later in the year, decided he didn’t want to go to after-school care anymore and wanted to be a car rider instead.  He asked me how he could be a car rider and I told him that he had to bring a note changing his transportation.  Well, the following day I found a note in his folder stating, “Christian will be a car rider today” and it was signed, “Christian”.  I still have this note thumb-tacked to my bulletin board next to my desk!


Here’s what Michigan math teacher Gina Wilson shared:

gina-wilsonIf you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would have the power of fire so that I always have energy and can transform things.

Tell a story about the funniest thing that’s happened to you in the classroom.
We were talking about ratios and proportions using hot chocolate as an example. Our director wandered into class as he was prone to doing and asked what we were doing. My students started telling him how the lesson would make so much more sense if they actually had hot chocolate to try this with. He immediately pulled out his wallet and gave them money to buy several hot chocolate packets to experiment with!

Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher so that I could show people how complex and beautiful math is and to break the myth that math ability is pre-determined.

Many teachers make a difference in the lives of kids. Join us in celebrating them throughout this week.

Click here to see the teachers featured yesterday!