Saturday, February 9, 2019

Be Their Hero

What an honor, my kindergarten student Parker, decided this year she wanted to be Mrs. Stanton (Me) for Halloween. She came home one day after school and told her mom, "I know what I want to be for Halloween, Mrs. Stanton!" So her mom thinking she wanted to be an educator said, "Sure you can be a teacher." Parker quickly explained that she didn't just want to be a teacher, she wanted to be the actual Mrs. Stanton.

Her mother at first smiled and asked her if she had any other ideas, but when she realized Parker was serious she encouraged her and asked her what she should wear. Parker knew me to a T, knowing I often wear a navy dress and mustard cardigan. She also knew she had to have a pair of brown flats.

Now I was a kid myself and now have 3 children of my own. I know that Halloween costumes are a big deal. You get one night to be anything or anyone you want to be. It is actually one of my favorite holidays because there is such a magic in seeing kids dressed as their heroes.

So when a student decided they wanted to be me you better believe it made me reflect on myself as an educator and as a person. I also couldn't wait to give her my school name tag, lanyard, and some necklaces to add to her costume.

Parker choosing to dress like me confirmed something I already knew about educators, we have the opportunity to be heroes in our classrooms, our schools, and our communities. We can be the ones that cheer on our students as they come through our classroom doors each morning, we can make learning fun and meaningful, and we can show kids they can make a difference in other's lives simply by being aware of the people around them.

It is a lot of pressure to be someone's hero, but it makes you want to be better because someone believes in you. Our students watch us more than we realize, watching how we treat others in every interaction, how we respond during tough conversations, and our true enthusiasm for learning.

Thank you Parker for making me your hero this year! You've made me realize I must be better today than I was yesterday. And that I too became a teacher because of my teacher heroes, who truly made a difference in my life.

I hope YOU know that today, someone sees you as their hero. It may be your student, your child, one of your family members, your mail carrier, your principal, your custodian, or your neighbor. But I assure you that someone sees YOU as more than you believe you are. 

May we all continue to be our best each day, bringing out the best in those around us.

Alana Stanton is a kindergarten and technology specials teacher at Mulberry Elementary in Gwinnett County, Georgia. She has taught several grades over her 14 year career including K-3 literacy special, first grade, second grade, and kindergarten. Alana believes that relationships always come first in the classroom and the classroom should be a place where students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. She currently writes for her blog, More Than A Lesson where she shares the stories of her classroom and her heart.

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