Teachers are Superheroes: Serving Students and Families in Challenging Times

By Dr. Tracy Vasquez and Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick

a teacher presenting during a parent teacher conference

Many teachers feel called to serve. However, with all the challenges that have recently occurred, teachers are considered superheroes! More and more people are coming to realize there is an art and science to teaching. These superheroes have utilized the strategies of embracing change, thinking positively and moving forward to serve students and families in challenging times.

Embracing Change

You can embrace change by having an outlook that is resilient. Changes can be opportunities, next steps for improvement. As a teacher, you grow when you adjust to needs and further hone the skills, talents and dispositions that you haven't yet had the opportunity to develop. The current situation has forced educators to pivot their teaching practice provides an opportunity to embrace new technology tools and norms to facilitate teaching and learning.

Collaboration is not new in the field of education. However, these challenging times provide even more need of reliance upon mentors and peers in your circles of influence and professional practice. Hybrid or virtual instruction provides a platform for uploading pre-recorded lessons, which can then be used for reflection and review with mentors. In addition, new technology tools have been developed to foster collaboration among students and teachers, which were built to support the art and science of teaching. Now more than ever, teachers have turned to these forms of technology to promote engagement while collecting data to inform teaching and learning.

Thinking Positively

During challenging times, it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. It is okay to let your students and families know that you are challenged and are working to find balance. As you balance your teaching, your health, your faith and your personal life, you will be better prepared to support balance for others. When you treat yourself and your students as people first, you are demonstrating for your students and their families how to combat negativity with positive alternatives. For example, you can dedicate a virtual circle time to have students express their feelings, share feelings and rate feelings. Some virtual tools can support drawing feelings as well.

It is also important to create balance in facilitating healthy, unbiased conversations around news and current events to help deal with associated feelings. In facilitating these conversations, you can recall developmental appropriateness and plan intentional strategies to share information with your students while keeping with the notion of positivity and opportunity.

Moving Forward

While embracing change in a positive manner, it is helpful to focus on the possibilities of the future. As a teacher you are likely already gifted in exercising creativity and flexibility. Currently, classroom students rely upon their educators for adapting to new practices and leading them toward procedures to help them adapt to changes in a healthy way.

Teachers can support students in looking to the future by supporting their development in critical thinking and fostering curiosity. For instance, you can encourage students to independently locate credible and reliable sources to formulate their own informed opinions, justify their reasoning and brainstorm solutions or actions to work toward tangible and practical change.

Teachers all around us are adjusting their version of the art and science to teaching by embracing change, thinking positively and moving forward, proving to us they are the real superheroes!

Now that online classes are becoming more common, consider enrolling in one to see how it fits with your lifestyle and learning needs. If you desire to become a teacher or grow in your role in education, consider one of Grand Canyon University's Teaching and School Administration degrees. Click the Request Info button on the top of the page to learn more and get started on your learning journey.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.