No, our Belizean teachers can't stop speeding bullets and leap tall buildings in a single bound.
What they do is far more important than that.
According to dictionary.com, the definition of 'superhero' is: "a hero, especially in children's comic books and television cartoons, possessing extraordinary, often magical powers."
Many of our children in Belize, and myself, believe that teachers are heroes.
The sacrifices I see them make and the feats I see them accomplish with the resources they have to work with, make them look like they do possess real extraordinary and magical powers.
And they aren't in comic books. They are here in the real world.
Reason # 1: Teachers will make sacrifices, sometimes more than parents, for the benefit of their students. I have a few teachers as Facebook friends, and their constant enthusiasm about their work, their students, and new technique they see working in the classroom, the long hours I see them put in, and always able to get the resources they need for their classrooms, more often than not from their own pockets; are all superhero feats to me. Whoosh!
Reason # 2: No; teachers don't work normal hours, even though you may think that is the case, since you drop your child off at 8:30 a.m. and pick them up at 3:30 p.m to end the day of schooling. After class is over, teachers spend extra hours grading papers, preparing their work schedule for the next day, coming up with fun activities for their students...and don't forget that they have to make time for their own families. Where do they get the energy, I have no idea? If this is not superhero strength, I don't know what is. Believe it or not, most of them spend their summer vacation reading, studying and increasing their knowledge so that they can be better teachers and thus produce better students. Vrooooom!
Reason #3: They aren't only teachers, they also are de facto: psychologists, nurses, artists, singers, songwriters, storytellers, carpenters, electricians, engineers, inventors you name it. Teachers in Belize work in an environment that makes them extremely versatile and diverse in other supplementary skills. Kapow!
Are you surprised that it was the Belize National Teacher's Union (BNTU) who had the fortitude and sagacity to stand up for ALL of Belize?
Belizean teachers are bonafide superheroes.
To have that kind of drive, comes from pure love and passion for their jobs. The least we can do as Belizeans is to appreciate that fact, and give support to the teachers at every chance we get.
After all, they are the real nation builders, because their success, or failure, will produce the Belizeans who will create what Belize will become in the future.
I look forward to one day seeing one our Belizean teachers as a winner of the Global Teacher Prize, right up there with the Top 10 Teachers of the World from: Pakistan, Spain, UK, Brazil, Germany, Jamaica, Canada, Australia, Kenya and China.
If you were to chose one teacher who deserves to be recognized for their extraordinary superhero powers, who would it be?