It’s superhero day today at Diegueño, part of our “Kindness Challenge” inspired spirit week. I’ve already seen lots of the usual suspects on campus: Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Teachers are getting into the act as well, though less flamboyantly than they did on “Peace, Love, and Kindness Day,” when campus looked like something out of 1967.
My favorite remark of the day came as one of my teachers was walking in with another staff member this morning. They were comparing costumes (Supergirl and “Kindness Woman”) and the teacher said: “My cape is in my classroom. A girl made it for me for Pi Day, and even did it in Superman colors. She asked me if I was going to wear it today, and I went out and bought this t-shirt to match.”
Teachers like this inspire students, and students respond with enthusiasm, curiosity, and engagement. It didn’t surprise me that a student would go out of her way to create a math themed costume for her teacher on the Pi Day celebration put on by our math department, nor did it surprise me that her teacher would treasure that cape and go out of her way to incorporate it in her costume for Kindness Week. Diegueño is a place where the relationships between students and staff are deep, caring, and real.
And in their way, teachers really are superheroes. Sometimes they fly around shooting lasers out of their eyes, sometimes they swing a magic lasso, and sometimes they bounce around the room like human spiders. Beneath the masks, they’re dedicated to learning, students, …and truth, justice, and the American way.
Next week, when we all return to our lives as Peter Parker, Diana Prince and Clark Kent, I know that phrase will whisper again in my memory. Schools are as exciting as Gotham City or Metropolis, and the heroes who teach our students could all (at least metaphorically) say: “My cape is in my classroom.”