Happy =belated= Bat-Day!
This year was special not only because you could find bat-signals around various cities, but also because 2019 is the 80th anniversary of Batman!
Batman’s 80th birthday is also timely given recent news casting the upcoming movie’s Caped Crusader.
That’s right. Robert Pattinson agreed to take on the role. He’s best known as Edward from the Twilight films, although I’d argue his best work was Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Nevertheless, this news lets us revisit one of the best meme images ever:
Some fans aren’t happy about Robert Pattinson’s casting, but that’s nothing new. It seems every Batman casting has its detractors, but things usually simmer down after a while.
Interestingly, another actor’s name came up in the recent Batman casting.
Milo Ventimiglia, the gone-but-never-forgotten hunky dad Jack from NBC’s This is Us, had been interested in donning the cape and cowl. But at 42, he was considered “too old” for the part.
(Author’s Note #1: Robert Pattinson is currently 33.)
(Author’s Note #2: No Batman role in my future, either.)
For now, let’s avoid any discussion of “age discrimination” and turn our attention to TEACHING.
Can you get TOO OLD to teach?
Let’s first look at the average teacher today. Below is a summary from a U.S. Department of Education study in 2017:
Here is another summary of average teacher ages across the entire globe:
How do you compare to these numbers?
Are you “above” or “below” average?
I’d argue that age has little to do with being “too old” to teach. Instead, the issue is a combination of a mental, emotional, and physical attributes.
I know some teachers who are qualified for retirement, but are still “young at heart.” They exude enthusiasm and energy in the classroom, becoming an inspirational example of learning for their students.
On the other hand, some relatively young teachers already show signs of being tired and uninspired (and uninspiring).
What makes the difference?
We often want our students to be “lifelong learners,” and I’d say the key is to model the same attitude and habits ourselves.
For some, that may mean teaching the same subject for decades, earnest in learning more ideas and methods to enhance their teaching and students’ learning. For others, it may mean adding certifications, degrees, or more, along with potential career changes within the field of education or beyond.
Here are a few other resources to help teachers maintain a youthful enthusiasm for students and education:
“Ways to Reclaim Your Joy in Teaching” (Edutopia)
The Teacher Self-Care Conference and The Educator’s Room’s Self-Care Resources
A Never-ending Quest
My favorite “old Batman” story is the Batman Beyond animated series, which features an elderly Bruce Wayne still fighting crime by mentoring a new futuristic (non)Caped Crusader:
Of course if you want to know how old Batman really is, check out this meticulously researched article here.
It seems Batman would be too old to play himself in movies.
But no one is too old to learn or teach.
It doesn’t matter if you are
70 years old,
85 years old,
91 years old,
100 years old,
or even 102 years old!