Lessons from Superhero Movies: Teachers’ Edition

As the recent surge of superhero films is showing no signs of stopping, I felt that now was probably a good time to share lessons that I have gleaned from the current batch of superhero movies and apply them to the teaching realm.

The Dark Knight Trilogy

1. Always have tools in your utility belt. You never know when you may need to switch tracks quickly or scale a wall*.
2. You will have obstacles. Sometimes, lessons simply do not go as planned. You will occasionally fail. But as Thomas Wayne said (which Alfred would later repeat), “Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”**

The Amazing Spider-Man

3. Sometimes, even great lessons get rebooted for the next generation.

Green Lantern

4. Just because a lesson is flashy and has lots of technology (or CGI effects) does not make it compelling.

Superman Returns/Hulk/Incredible Hulk

5. Not every lesson is going to work out. It is okay to start over from square one.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog***

6. Stories are more compelling when you flesh out the characters/ideas involved.
7. Embrace Web 2.0 tools (and music!) in your practice.

X-Men 3: The Last Stand/Spider-Man 3

8. It is important to develop the central focus of your lesson. If a lesson lacks focus, your students will follow suit.

The Avengers

9. It is amazing when you can introduce individual topics and then have a lesson that integrates them all!
10. You are not alone in the teaching profession. Reach out to others. Create a team of people to bounce ideas with and, ideally, save the world.

What lessons did you learn from watching superhero movies? Add them in the comments!

*I am not endorsing scaling walls in the classroom. Please save it for a rock wall.
**This lesson can also be learned from the hit song “Tubthumping” by the now-defunct musical group Chumbawumba.
***If you have yet to see this amazing web-series, you are missing out on one of the most wonderful stories about a wannabe villain’s quest to become a supervillain. It stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day and brought to you by Joss Whedon.

Related Posts ~
My Season Finale: The Ending of the Year as  TV Show
My Idea: Making Teacher Prep More Like Scrubs
We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: A Tale of a Modern Classroom
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Assignment and the Common Core
The Muppets Guide to Project Based Learning

About Michael K. Milton

I teach students Social Studies at Burlington High School. When I became a teacher, I believed that students would frequently give me apples. This has not happened (not even a Red Delicious ~ a name which is a misnomer). However, my school has given me a MacBook Pro and an iPad in an effort to right this wrong (I assume). I'm very lucky to work in a 1:1 school.
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5 Responses to Lessons from Superhero Movies: Teachers’ Edition

  1. Jared Fawson says:

    From the Dark Knight Rises: Sometimes the hero forgets just how important he is and needs to be reminded with more than a friendly reminder. It might take a swift kick in the pants.

    It is out of the toughest challenges that we can rise to our greatest moments; never give up. Especially on that troubled student they may turn out to be your biggest ally when you need them most.

    Ghost Rider: sometimes you have an idea that no matter how good you think it is, just shouldn’t be. Some lessons just aren’t good and should never be attempted

    Love this, could be great creative writing exercise.

  2. Hi,
    Clever post! Gosh… this might be a bit lame, but I guess from seeing the quirky and funny Robert Downey Jr. in Ironman, I guess I can say that teachers need to remember that having a sense of humor helps!
    Good post sir!

    • Thanks Adam! I would also add, particularly for you, that it is important not to have a mentor who is evil. This, of course, is a reference to Ra’s al Ghul and not a reference to you ;).

  3. Pingback: Going Meta: Cataloguing My Past Two Years of Blogging | Michael K. Milton ~ @42ThinkDeep

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