Superheroes Among Us–Spirit Day Takes a Turn

Our most recent school “spirit day” snuck up on us quickly. As usual, we had gone all-out on Halloween and we were still feeling the excitement of kicking off a new Buddy Bear season, when it was now time to transform ourselves into superheroes! The big question–how do we make our merely mortal selves super? It turned out that we didn’t need to do much at all. 

Superhero Day came at the end of a dramatic election week.  We talked with our students about how the energy generated from the election has caused people to experience a myriad of emotions and respond in different ways. We agreed that in order to “be our best,” it was necessary for us to accept that our friends, and even our family members, may have differing opinions about the Election Day results. We decided that focusing our attention on the qualities that make us positive and mindful school-community citizens is a great way to be active and to set us up well for our own future experiences as voters. 

In the wee hours of Superhero Day, I found myself oscillating between news articles and Pinterest (my cape and mask had not arrived from the not-so-super superstore from which it was ordered). It was a productive dawn—I solved my costume issue through some “Pinspiration” and read about “Subway Therapy,” a project that would give rise to a great Superhero activity in Room 3 later that morning. This interesting piece, posted on Upworthy, described the project of a New York artist who distributes Post-its for people to share their thoughts on the tiled subway walls. 

Determined to weave something similar in spirit into our day, we introduced this plan to our classroom superheroes:

  1. Find a Post-it with a name on it on the classroom window (all third-graders, faculty and staff included). 
  2. Spend a moment considering what, in your opinion, makes this person super. 
  3. Grab a pencil and write a sentiment on the Post-it about this person; it should begin with, “__________ is a superhero because…”
  4. Move the Post-it message to the whiteboard where they will be shared with all who use the room and come to visit throughout the day. 

As the day rolled out, so did the Post-its. We blew through our entire supply of 3x3 stickies, happily handing them over to anyone who wanted to participate. And here we are, well into the next week, and children and teachers are still approaching the board to read the messages. We even noticed a few new ones placed this morning.

Here is what we learned–it is our character that makes us superheroes. Our superpower is the ability we have to affect those around us in positive and unique ways. Spending the time to reflect and share some of these ideas was important work we did as individuals and as community. We are all superheroes indeed.

Suzanne Beard
3rd Grade Homeroom, Language Arts