I read blogs, lots and lots of blogs. I suppose these quick reads have taken over most of my periodicals that I used to consume as a much younger man. Most recently I was reading a post from a connection I have in LinkedIn and they referred to one of their colleagues as their “eduhero.” Nowadays, people throw “edu” in front of anything, edutainment, eduforall, eduandme, eduetc. This one edu hybrid struck a chord with me, because I have multiple eduheroes, some go back as far as middle school teachers, such as Mrs. Linda Rawlins, or high school teacher/coach Mr. Brad Ansheutz, and then further into my own educareer (see what I did there?): professors like Dr. Steven Mattox and Dr. Patricia Irwin-Rowe. All of these eduheroes shaped my life and my career and I can look back with a huge amount of gratitude for the lessons they taught me.
Now that I’ve been in education for over 10 years, I start to wonder, “Have I become anyone’s eduhero?” It’s hard to say, as my teaching career has been very transient. I had three teaching positions in three different districts in two different states to start my career. I spent the majority of my time teaching science in a middle school where many of my students were also transient, sometimes jumping schools 2-3 times per year. I know I made an impact on multiple students, but how many of those students see me as a role model who has inspired them to do what I do?
Since how much eduimpact I had on my former students is still up for debate, it’s safe to say, at the very least, I need to make an impact on my own kids, right? I have little ones at home, twins that are full of energy and they’re having a hard time understanding what their old man does for a living. I could explain to them that I am an educonsultant, working with schools across the country, but at 4, they just don’t understand. I then tell them that “Daddy teaches teachers how to teach,” which helps them digest exactly what I do. They now comprehend that Daddy is an educator and when he teaches them something, he actually knows what he’s talking about. The only issue is, neither one of my kids wants me to teach them how to do anything! I can throw a ball like a pitcher, but in my son’s eyes, I can’t teach him how to throw it properly. I can draw and color with the best of them, but in my daughter’s mind, I can’t show her anything that she doesn’t already know. In fact, their response to me is relatively the same, “Ms. Rosie doesn’t do it like that.” I’m getting a little jealous here, but Ms. Rosie is quickly becoming my kids’ eduhero and here I am, pining to show off my eduabilities. I know in time, they will see how much they can learn from me and will undoubtedly be proud of their old man, but for now, I’ll have to take a backseat to their favorite teacher, which in itself is pretty inspiring.
In the end, I know I’ve inspired several of my former students to continue their education, and now that my middle school students are becoming adults, they are reaching back out to me to let me know the success they are having (Gotta love Facebook for that very reason!). I think, if we all aspire to inspire the young, impressionable minds who sit in our classrooms each and every day, we will one day be someone’s eduhero. I can’t think of any greater honor in our profession than that!
One thought on “I Can Be Your Eduhero, Baby!”
I found myself smiling the entire time I read this post. I have no doubt that you are an eduhero to more people than you even realize!
As an educator one of the most gratifying experiences for me in looking back at my nearly 20 years in schools is hearing from my former students and knowing that they see me as a hugely positive influence, and that some of them even decided to become teachers themselves, saying they hoped to do the same type of work I did. This is the type of thing that made those late nights and stressful days absolutely worth it! I too am super grateful for Facebook for helping maintain those relationships.
Great post, Ben Muck!