Don’t get riled up by this blog post’s title.
We’re not talking about Charles Darwin and biological evolution. Although if you’re into that stuff, you can find all kinds of humorous imagery like this:
And if you like teacher accessories, you can snag this image on a mug, t-shirt, apron, mouse pad, and more HERE.
The type of evolution this post deals with is that of teachers (inspired by superheroes, of course).
YouTube user (and movie fan) Burger Fiction has put together some nifty videos highlighting every film and television appearance of various superheroes.
The most recent hero featured in these videos is Marvel’s Captain America, which you can watch here:
You can find similar “Evolution of . . .” clip collections celebrating heroes Iron Man, Superman, and Batman. Each video includes vintage footage and obscure appearances alongside iconic sequences (live action and animation alike).
What I find most significant in these highlight reels, though, is the ongoing development and expansion of each character over time. Like these heroes, effective teachers undergo change and growth through the years.
This is where the term “evolution” truly applies, going back to the word’s original meaning in the mid-1600s. Thanks to the Online Etymology Dictionary, we know that evolution’s English origins arose from Latin “evolvere,” meaning “to unfold, open out, or expand.”
This same evolution process occurs for both teachers and superheroes. And the parallels don’t end there.
Like Captain America above, many teachers would rather forget some of the earliest footage of their work. Everyone looks back at their initial efforts and cringes at what they see:
- Sluggish transitions.
- Awkward pacing.
- Stilted dialogue.
- Clumsy execution.
- Poor methods.
- Novice mistakes.
- Cheesy humor.
- And outdated fashion and technology, of course.
But observe what happens when the years go by. As time advances, so do your abilities and confidence. In fact, the most recent footage is downright awesome and exhilarating.
Am I talking about superheroes or teachers here? It doesn’t matter.
Be brave and dig up old footage of your teaching. Take a quick look and notice how your teaching has unfolded, opened up, and expanded.
Watch a more recent video of your teaching and be encouraged by your growth. And if you find you still exhibit cringe-worthy tendencies, challenge yourself to fix those bad habits.
If you need inspiration or ideas on “teacher evolution,” here are a couple of useful articles: one dealing with National Board Certification, and another focusing on a teacher’s journey of “personal transformation” that includes burnout, pink slips, and awards.
Evolve your teaching. You don’t need a multi-million dollar Hollywood budget, either. Just the guts to get better.