People who know me or have been in my office or house know that Superman is my favorite superhero. He is, in my opinion, the greatest of all fictional superheroes (There is no way that Superman died in Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.) Batman is just a rich guy with all sorts of cool super tools and weapons. along with a sweet car. He can't fly, can't make time stand still by changing the rotation of the earth, or even arrive out of nowhere to save Lois Lane and he usually needs help from a guy named Robin. C'mon...but I digress.
I've always compared myself to Superman, trying to continually solve problems, make the world better, and keep people happy and safe. No, I can't fly (yet), and I'm not faster than a speeding bullet (I'd be in the NFL if that was the case) but I can be a creative problem solver who will work and work until I get things done. I'm not afraid to make decisions while continually learning and growing in my understanding of things in education. Sure, I have my faults (I freaking hate the paperwork of admin) and I can be stubborn (among probably many that others believe about me), but I work with a great team of people who continually push my thinking and always do what's best for their students and families.
Since the Pandemic hit, I haven't felt so much like Superman. Not having all of our students here along with our staff has been like Kryptonite to my powers. Without the daily jolt of energy I get from our students, I've been working on coffee and Red Bull. That is not enough sustenance for anyone. My inability to fix the global issues that have taken over as well as develop plans and schedules that meet the needs and wants of all, has zapped my powers and made me feel like a mere mortal in this time when we often feel like we need Superman more than ever.
The frustration and constant stress of not having all of the answers and not having the billions of dollars (Maybe I do need Bruce Wayne's money) it may take to fix all of this has taken it's toll. I have found that my smile wasn't so prominent under my mask. I sometimes dread getting up for the gym in the morning (I've never felt that way before.) My patience for others and for the entire world is waning. Maybe I'm not so SUPERMAN after all. Maybe I am human (imagine that.)
Just when you feel that you just can't do it anymore, those around you pick you up. Those around you see you for who you are and make you smile, laugh, and feel appreciated. When you work with amazing people and you have good friends who know you, they inspire you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and do what you do best. They support you and cheer you on. They stand up for you and help you fight off evil (back to Superman.) They restore your faith and fill you with hope. You don't have to be Superman or Superwoman, you just have to be you and remember why you do what you do.
Today, for many reasons, I have hope. I don't have to be Superman (although I still think I am), I just have to be me. Show up and do the work. We must stay strong in our convictions and do what we know is right for the good of our students and their families. And, if you feel that your superpowers are being zapped, lean into your team and ask for help. If you don't have a team, then lean into those who love and respect you and they will lift you up so you you can be what you need to be. Maybe we don't have to be superheroes after all.