I’m a big fan of inspirational quotes, but lately I’ve become a little disillusioned with many of the ones I see about teaching. Quotes that remind us of our ‘super powers’, call us rockstars, or forge images of us as mythical heroes slaying dragons.

I’ll admit that I’ve shared some of them and even allowed them to bolster my sense of value when public education is belittled.

But the more I think about it, I don’t want to be any of those things because it cheapens what I really do. Those labels take away from the pedagogy I’ve learned, the skills I’ve honed, and the enormous amount of hard work that goes into teaching.

It’s not some freak super power that helps me connect with students. That’s good old-fashioned relationship building and content knowledge.

It’s not rockstar showmanship or fill the stadium adrenaline that engages students. It’s the hours spent creating and developing relevant lessons.

It’s not a quest to slay a dragon and come back with tales of heroism. It’s endless moments of one on one time, words of encouragement, giving one more chance.

Superheroes work alone. Teachers depend on each other for success.

Rockstars often allow success to go to their heads and stop listening to advice. Teachers are humbled every day by mistakes they make and successes they never knew were coming.

Dragonslayers set out alone with a single weapon. Teachers work together and have an arsenal of strategies.

I am a teacher.

That title is enough.