I used a superhero theme last year for my classroom. It was a great way to start the year setting up a community. I shared my strengths and weaknesses (transparency is an important part of teaching) and the students shared their own. It was a fun way to get to know each other, build trust and set up the way our classroom would operate.
This year I am going to continue the theme. I wanted to add to my classroom decor a bit so I have been searching quotes and looking at posters online. I found a few I love: “Some times you have to be your own superhero!” “Not all heroes wear capes!” “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
As the song, “I’m just your average, ordinary, everyday superhero…” states by Smash Mouth; your classroom will soon be filled with superheroes. Each child brings something to your room. They are not all strong, fast, brave, or bold. Some are quiet, shy, uncertain or have their protective shield up. They come in different sizes with different back stories and experiences. As vast as the superheroes created by Marvel and DC, your students each have strengths to bring to your community.
I hope the first few weeks of school bring you time to get to know each superhero. I hope you find the talents in each individual student and make connections with them all. Step back and have fun. Remember the importance of building your community and how far this will take learning. Sometimes the curriculum is woven into the environment. “We plan for days and days and when the time comes, we proceed to improvise.” — Quicksilver. The time spent on your community the first few weeks and setting your space up well will allow your superheroes to fly.
Being a superhero, no matter what size, is hard work. Your students are anxious to meet you and get to know how your classroom community works. They are struggling to do well and succeed in this new grade level. They are working to sit still, focus, listen, and learn. You are exhausted with the task of starting a school year. You are planning and communicating and doing it all. But enjoy the beginning of this journey. Smile and have fun with this new set of superheroes. “Whatever happens, remember to protect me.”–Deadpool.