Not All Heroes Wear Capes: To Every Teacher Out There

by Zenas Agnila || Photo Credit: Floydalyn Nitura

I can still vividly recall my earliest memory of a teacher.

Daycare can be downright hell for any 4-year-old who finds comfort in the familiar confines of home — and I was no outlier. 

School was uncharted territory, and I was a rogue ranger, aimlessly navigating its bounds unarmed, unaccompanied, and lost. The muffled crayon-scribbling and playful screaming of my new peers were overwhelming, so I resorted to the classroom’s corner, eyes watery and heart sunken. However, those tear-filled eyes were quickly replaced with a sparkle as the daycare teacher ran to my care, carried me in her arms, and proceeded to teach the lesson while holding my frail figure and patting me on the back in an attempt to soothe me. She saved me that day. And at that moment, a myriad of profound appreciation for these capeless heroes dawned on me — an appreciation that followed me throughout my academic journey and strengthened with every teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. 

With their heroic powers of super memory, teachers are bestowed with the sacred responsibility of instilling lifelong knowledge in their mentees, a heavy role they play with an uncompromising heart. They are the pillars of every child’s formative years — the potters who intricately shape our otherwise formless clays of scholastic proficiency. It was a teacher who taught us how to divide a chocolate cake into equal slices, how to identify gerunds in sentences, and how to make our C++ codes actually work. Teachers make alien vocabularies and unfamiliar formulas seem like old friends. Teaching is a cherished skill very few can master, an art form harnessed to perfection by our humble hero educators.

Besides being conduits of timeless knowledge, teachers are advocates of life. For more times than I could count, these unsung paladins of the educational sector transcend from conforming to module topics to stepping out and being our portal into society. They enlighten us on social issues and practical life lessons, prepare us to be active members of our community, and open our eyes to the real world with all its injustices that we were never aware of until now. Teachers embed in us the virtue that there is more to school than flipping through the complicated pages of biology textbooks when the world needs a little flipping itself. Through their lives, we find the meaning of ours. The magical trail they lead is enough to leave a lasting imprint for us to tread the ways they once walked through, learn through their experiences, and make one for ourselves.

But their valor doesn’t end there. With us young children dedicating most of our bright hours to learning in school, our teachers’ mission is to create a safe space that feels like home. Their casual hallway greetings or whispers of reassurance after a particularly tricky exam feels like the warm, nurturing embrace we never knew we needed. With their parental fostering, every classroom transforms into a welcoming playground of boundless knowledge, and every laboratory becomes an abode of beakers and infinite research ideas. These heroic teachers make the school grounds less of a greyscale establishment of educational mundanity and more of an iridescent social bubble with homely comfort and creativity bursting at its magical seams. 

It’s true. Not all heroes wear capes — because I found my first hero in the form of a worn-out teacher who carried me in her arms and hushed my clamorous weeping to a minimum. And there are so many more in the shape of tireless educators who became my academic confidants, life mentors, and second parents. Although they fall just an inch short when put beside the more intrepid comic book superheroes, they still possess a certain superpower those masked vigilantes can only ever dream of: they prepare us to be the heroes in our own stories. 

 And I say that’s the coolest superpower ever.

Editor’s Note:

We at the Science Net are truly thankful for all the teachers out there who never fail to nurture us like we are their own children. As we soar and sow our gifts, we will always remember to be grateful to all of you who have lent us flight.

Happy Teachers’ Day!

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