Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #PotLuck – How to Teach a Child to Become a Superhero by Jennie Fitzkee

Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:

Pre-school teacher of over 30 years, Jennie Fitzkee, has been a welcome guest here many times but this time, Jennie has let me loose in her archives… this will be fun. There are many life skills that a child needs to learn, and one of those is about doing the right thing.

How to Teach a Child to Become a Superhero

Superheroes. Every child wants to be a Superhero. Ask a child, “What does a Superhero do?” and you will hear everything from “save the day” to “help people” to “get the bad guys.” These are good things, and Superheros are icons of goodness.

In a child’s eyes, that means doing the right thing.

The problem is, their whole life–all four years–has stressed “Do the right thing!” A constant reminder of what to do, and what not to do, can often make children feel frustrated. Even worse, feelings of not measuring up creep in.

I assume, right off the bat, that a child is filled with goodness. And much more:

Kindness, check.

Helpfulness, check.

Bravery, check.

The check list goes on and on.

Whether or not these are true, a child lives up to our expectations. Knowing that a teacher thinks they measure up with all the “right stuff” is nothing short of a golden key, a free pass, and a warm blanket.

And that is the start of teaching a child to become a Superhero.

Positive affirmations slowly become part of everyday, like grains of sand collecting to make a sandcastle. Then, the hard work begins– teaching children to overcome obstacles. Resiliency and Persistence. I become the cheerleader along the way. “You can’t…yet. But you can if you keep trying.”

“Yet” is a powerful word.

Remember The Little Engine That Could? I think I can…I know I can…I can.

Now, children feel empowered. Powerful. They naturally want to spread their wings, or capes, and do good things. Once their bucket is filled, they become bucket fillers, or Superheroes.

And what about the child who is angry or mean? That is merely a layer of mud over gold. Children aren’t born that way. They’re golden at birth. I just have to wash off the mud. I know that they’re already filled with goodness. Remember that checklist? That makes it easy to wash away the anger. I’m a champion of good, and so are children at heart.

We wrote picture stories about being Superheroes. In doing so, it validated each child’s accomplishments. Children decorated their stories and wore capes for a photo.

From the oldest:

To the youngest:

We are all Superheroes!

©Jennie Fitzkee

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie


My thanks to Jennie for permitting me to share this post from her archives and there will be another one next Thursday..

42 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #PotLuck – How to Teach a Child to Become a Superhero by Jennie Fitzkee

  1. Great post from Jennie. She hit the nail on the head – children are not born angry, parents need to take the time to ask what’s bothering them and help them through the issue – speaking from experience, 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love everything about this post, Jennie. (Thank you, Sally for finding this) My wife and I were career educators. My wife was a preschool teacher and then director and has been a huge advocate of early childhood learning. I taught grades 2-6 for thirty-one years, and I loved everything about kids and teaching.

    Children are beautiful! I’ve often said that adults could learn a few things from children who know nothing of prejudice and hate (This is learned behavior) and just want to be friends with everyone. Kids know how to forgive (unlike many adults I know). Children are our future is a hollow statement unless there are teachers out there (such as you) who are teaching kids they are good people who have the power to change the world. God bless teachers like you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Pete and I agree with everything you say. We have not had children but I remember specific teachers who made an impression on me including my very first teacher Mrs. Miller when I was four years old. I have also been on the receiving end interviewing, training 16 year olds and upwards and it was evident when they had been taught well. Not just academically but organically as well! You are right, teachers are not paid enough, praised enough for the invaluable work they undertake when a child is passed to them to teach and nurture.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I made a list of the twenty most influential people in my life, Sally, and over half of them were teachers. (One has to take into account that I worked with teachers nearly my whole working career). Thank you for your comments.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pete! Your words echo everything I know to be true and important. I started writing my blog as a way to tell / help teachers and parents what is important about the early years. So many teacher blogs are about materials, not children. Stories about the classroom can bring what’s important to life, like washing off the mud and letting children know they have the power to change the world. Thank you and your wife for all you have done for young children.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Our priest does a similar exercise with the children. He asks them what qualities they have. They respond in phrases like “I am a good friend,” “I am kind to my sister” “I help my mom.” Then he says they are showing the qualities of God who is all those things. Rather like a super hero!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Are you making the most of this watering hole? Guests, stories, health, humour and other stuff | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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