Teachers are America’s Superheroes: Honoring Sandy Hook One Year Later

Teachers are America’s Superheroes“Real heroes don’t wear capes. They work in America’s schools.”

The above-mentioned quote was taken from Nelba Marquez-Green’s open letter to our nation’s teachers, shortly after the tragedy that took the lives of 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last December. Nelba’s daughter, Ana Grace, was one of those 26 children. Her letter is an equally heartwarming and heartbreaking dedication to the people she sees as America’s true heroes -- our teachers.

The tragedy that shook Newtown undoubtably raises a number of issues, including that of mental health awareness, school safety, and gun control. However, as we approach the one-year “anniversary” of the school shooting, it is important that we continue to address the overwhelming courage and love demonstrated by the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and that is continued to be demonstrated in teachers throughout the world.

Newtown has asked that we respect the town’s privacy during this time, and that the public and media instead honor the anniversary with acts of kindness. We as a society should use this time to reflect on the good that has prevailed in light of the tragedy; It is important that we focus on the important role that all teachers play, not just at Sandy Hook Elementary, but in schools across the nation.

“It takes guts to be a teacher,” Nelba explains. Being a teacher requires you to wear many hats; You’re an educator, a mentor, a friend, a confidant, an advocate, a mediator, a homework-grader. You’re a superhero. We as a society are at a place where the role of teacher is being challenged. Education reform is changing the role of teachers. It’s adding more hats. Edutopia touched on this change in the article Redefining the Role of the Teacher: It’s a Multifaceted Profession, noting “...The essence of education is a close relationship between a knowledgeable, caring adult and a secure, motivated child.”

In remembrance of tomorrow’s one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, let’s take this time and respect the town’s wishes -- commemorate this day with acts of kindness and honor America’s superheroes.


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