Worlds Collide

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The next BIG superhero movie coming to theaters is The LEGO Batman Movie!

In a promotional stunt, LEGO Batman appeared alongside LEGO superheroes from DC Comics’s CW television shows, which you can check out below:

What makes this video clip special is it is the first time DC superheroes from the CW TV channel (Green Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, The Atom) have merged with a DC superhero from the movies (Batman).

“Big deal?” you think?

Actually there’s been a lot of chatter among fans, critics, and industry reporters about the pros, cons, and possibilities of merging film and TV-based superheroes.  These are characters that come from the same comic book universe, but are featured in separate media outlets–theatrical, broadcast television, or streaming.

DC, for example, has Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman dedicated to film, along with other heavy hitters from the Justice League (Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash).  This gets problematic, however, since The Flash also stars in his own television show on the CW (as do Green Arrow and Supergirl, who has also met a TV version of Superman).

The Last Children of Krypton

Confused?  You’re not the only one, and some people argue these two “universes” should stay separate (see here and here).  Others think there could be a way to have a crossover of sorts between TV and Film (read more here).

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More intermingling makes sense for Marvel superheroes, since theoretically, many of these characters actually DO live in a single universe shared between the movies (Avengers, etc.) and television shows (Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Daredevil, Luke Cage, etc.).

Some people claim Marvel could and should have film and TV shows cross over.  Others point out that such an event would still be a monumental and unwanted task.  And that’s not even dealing with different Marvel heroes contracted out to different movie studios (e.g. X-Men/Fantastic Four with 20th Century Fox, although Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman said he’s happy to meet the Avengers sometime).

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Sorry, Wolverine.  No shirt, no crossover.

While not requiring millions of dollars, the habit of teachers collaborating can also seem like a difficult ordeal.  But it’s worth it, with research finding higher student achievement in schools with higher levels of teacher collaboration.

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We’ve talked before about teachers getting along with other teachers and here’s another resource with useful teacher collaboration ideas, including virtual tools, co-planning, scheduling, and more.

And let’s take a closer look at teachers from different universes (i.e. different grade levels).

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The Teacher Channel’s blog “Tchers’ Voice” shares commentary on learning from teachers of different grades.  The blog post is called “Pathway to Collaboration,” and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Challenge yourself to find new ways to team up and learn with colleagues in your building, district, and beyond.

Sadly, there’s not much else out there about cross-grade teacher collaboration, although someone did do a doctoral dissertation on this topic.  (If you need a little light reading, you can find the entire 418-page document here.)

I’ll conclude with examples of insight gained and projects accomplished when my world collided with those of other teachers.

  • A fourth grade teacher who showed me all kinds of management techniques and student jobs that I could also apply in my high school classroom.
  • A middle school science teacher who collaborated with me to successfully submit a grant for highway safety physics curriculum.
  • A business teacher who modeled practical classroom procedures for high school seniors, giving flexibility and freedom to young adults weeks away from graduating.
  • And several more colleagues, mentors, current and former students co-presenting and co-publishing academic work.

No movies or television projects yet, but maybe someday.

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Extreme Makeovers

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Marvel Comics is redesigning Ghost Rider for an upcoming series, which you can read about here (courtesy of http://www.newsarama.com).

Personally, I think the new digs look like the Japanese manga/anime series Bleach more than any American comic book hero/anti-hero.   See the resemblance?

Bleach_125 Raw 051    GR_FinalBustShot_TraddMoore

I see that both Bleach’s “Soul Reaper” and the Ghost Rider’s “Spirit of Vengeance” may need some ointment.  Or maybe some Maybelline.

This latest superhero redesign has inspired Newsarama writers to revisit their list of Top 10 Superhero Extreme Makeovers–The Good, the Bad, and the Super Ugly.

Superhero makeovers typically last less than a year before the hero/heroine returns to his/her iconic design.  Usually, the change coincides with a slight bump in sales and fan interest (or outrage) before things return to normal (i.e. Electro-Superman, Beard-n-Hook-Aquaman).

superman makeover                    aquaman makeover

Have you noticed any parallel with teaching yet?

Fads come and go, but quality teachers base their decisions on well-founded research and well-grounded application.

For those superheroes whose costume changes DO last for decades (and beyond), it’s typically because the original design was somehow incomplete or inconsistent with the true nature of the character (see Green Arrow, Daredevil).  Or maybe something didn’t click with the readers.  (When I see the original yellow/red DD, I don’t think hero.  I think hot dog.)

greenarrow makeover                      daredevil makeover

Unfortunately, some teachers are in dire need of an extreme makeover.  Perhaps they were insufficiently prepared, or they’ve developed some bad habits as the years go by.  Or maybe they just lost their passion.

How about you?

Do you need an extreme makeover?  (Move that bus!  Move that BUS!)

Not just change for change’s sake.  Don’t settle for a surface-level image update that will last  only a season.  Instead, challenge yourself to seriously reflect on your practice and its impact on students.  Search for any rough spots needing a revision.

The best teachers always GET BETTER.

And the best “change for the better” is the kind that remains for the years–and students–to come.