Usually, I’m looking for any excuse I can find to dress up and act like a nut for our students at school. If you follow anything of mine, you’ve probably seen that already, dressing up like Thor, the Elf on the Shelf, Mustafa, you name it. But today, as we were getting ready to come to school, and my own kids were getting dressed in their costumes for “Powered by Kindness” day of our #GreatKindnessChallenge, it hit me. If my son and so many of my students were going to be Batman today, it’s only fitting that I should be Alfred.
Why Alfred? Well…why are we educators? Our real goals are about student successes. Who do we really want to fly? To bust through brick walls? To run faster than a speeding bullet? To save and protect others? If we are all about our students being the main character in the story, then sometimes we can’t be the hero. Sometimes we have to dress up as Alfred like I ended up doing today.
Why Alfred? Alfred Pennyworth is Batman’s butler, always loyal and there to support him, and he is a great metaphor of how we should support our superhero students! He is a best friend, a servant, and a confidant. Alfred does his homework to prepare Batman for all of his missions, often providing very important intel that will help him succeed. Alfred is professional. He keeps his own emotions and ideas in check and only thinks about how he can best serve Batman.
Why Alfred? Does Batman sweep the floors? No, he doesn’t have time because he is so busy saving the day. Does he clean the kitchen? No, that’s Alfred who does all of the work behind the scenes, work that needs to be done, work that will help Batman focus on his goals.
As leaders in our school and classroom, we can’t be too good to sweep the floors, wipe the tables, and do the everyday tasks so that our students can stay focused on their work and their goals. If you went into education for the glory, you probably know by now that you picked the wrong field. Education, when done right, is all about service. It’s all about the grind, behind the scenes, when others aren’t watching. It’s about doing everything that we can, often getting overlooked, but so that our students can be successful and the heroes in their own story.
If our students are the real superheroes, then we must be the butler. Be prepared to serve.