Seeing Spidey on the big screen last weekend got me thinking about superheroes. Real ones. I tried hard, and I couldn’t think of anyone that embodies the real-life version of a superhero better than a teacher. No longer in the classroom, I admiringly look up every one of my colleagues that walk through those doors everyday, ready and raring to steer kids toward success.

They use their whole being to drive their classroom. Watching a great teacher organize a class, get students focused, then excited, then inspired — it’s like watching an Olympic athlete. No surprise that teaching is one of the only professions where, just as with quarterbacks, recruiting can’t be filtered through a resume pipeline. The candidate has to be seen in action, responding, reacting, all the while moving towards the class’s goals.

Can you imagine dropping an average person in a room with 30 twelve-year-olds and expecting him to get them all to learn and demonstrate a concrete objective in 45 minutes? It would probably look a lot like putting an average person on the receiving end of an NFL kickoff.

There’s a reason nearly all of us can think back to an inspirational teacher that set us on a key life path.

So thank you superheroes; for the early mornings; for the patience; for honing your skill; for the consistency; for the tireless work; for your commitment, and for your love.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.