50 Teacher Superpowers

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John Dabell

I trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting my career in London and then I taught in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, I worked as an Ofsted inspector (no hate mail please!), national in-service provider, project...
Read more about John Dabell

What superpowers do you possess?

Everyone knows that teachers are natural polymaths and possess an arsenal of superpowers that are, quite frankly, gobsmacking. These are something that we ‘just have’ because we are ‘just teachers’ and children, for the most part, aren’t even aware of them.

50 Teacher Superpowers

Teachers possess loads of superpowers, so here are 50 to start with. They include:

  1. having a bladder like a camel
  2. having magnificent bowel control
  3. having eight arms like an octopus
  4. having eyes in the back of your head and at the sides
  5. being multi-tasking ball-juggling plate-spinners
  6. having a memory of an elephant
  7. being expert in anger management
  8. being FBI lie detectors with a nose like a bloodhound
  9. having bat-like hearing
  10. finding time even when there is no time left available on Earth
  11. the ability to decode any handwriting style
  12. having an immune system that defies medical science
  13. having a heart the size of Ben Nevis
  14. having the unbreakable patience of 10 Saints
  15. having more effervescence than a bath full of Berroca
  16. acting like a GP able to deal with tummy-aches, headaches and vomiting
  17. having the ability to look like you know everything
  18. being a stand-up comedian, actor and presenter
  19. the motivational get up and go of Tony Robbins and Nick Vujicic.
  20. the ability to switch from Mr Tumble to Miss Trunchbull in under 3 seconds
  21. the ability to supervise 400 children at ‘break’ without having a breakdown
  22. being able to turn any situation into a learning opportunity
  23. the ability to extract more Pritt stick out of Pritt sticks that have ‘reached the end’
  24. having the ability to transform a blank wall into a learning station
  25. being able to fix any photocopier
  26. the ability to sit through CPD and meetings that would unhinge a normal person
  27. the ability to survive on just 3 hours sleep a night
  28. having a thicker skin than a Rhino and an armadillo
  29. being calmer than a Buddhist mega monk
  30. having the ability to eat sweets in class when no one is looking
  31. having sophisticated nasal filters
  32. being fearless in the face of an angry parent
  33. having the ability to dress up for special days without notice
  34. never having a ‘lunch hour’, ever.
  35. the ability to listen to a dozen children at once whilst marking spellings
  36. the ability to be stretched in many directions without tearing
  37. having the ability to see into the future
  38. being able to differentiate 300 ways if needs must
  39. being able to teach children with complex needs without complaint
  40. being able to take an assembly with 5 minutes notice
  41. spreading happiness and making sure it goes viral
  42. the ability to ignore detailed planning without feeling guilty
  43. having your finger on the pulse of every conversation
  44. being able to teach whilst the grass is being cut outside your class
  45. holding the attention of 30 people for a whole day, 5 days a week
  46. the ability to read minds and see inside the soul of a fib
  47. having the power of telekinesis over children using a ‘teacher stare’
  48. being able to read a story like Brain Blessed
  49. being able to produce multiple “AHA, I get it” moments throughout the year
  50. being able to unleash children’s superpowers.

Is there anything missing?


To many children, teachers are superheroes, huge sources of inspiration, people they respect, look up to and admire.

In 2016 the Future Leaders Trust carried out a survey of over 6,000 schoolchildren across England, in which they were asked to choose their top three most inspirational people.

“Children are most inspired by people with whom they have close relationships. Other than family and friends, teachers provide children with the most inspiration.”

Once again, relationships are the key to success. We have the power to transform the ordinary and day to day lives of children and make school memorable, exciting and the best gig in town. If children doubt that we really have special powers then why not share the following quote with them from

Doctor Destiny: You don’t have any special powers!

Batman: Oh, I have one, Johnny. I never give up.

Teachers display an unwavering dedication and superhuman strength of will and dedication that gives them maximum points in a game of Top Trumps.

If anyone asks you what you do for a living and you say “I’m just a teacher” then remind yourself that you are actually a superhero with extraordinary powers.

Now go and look in the mirror and inspire yourself.

Super Maggie!

One teaching superhero is Maggie MacDonnell of Canada and she was recently named the winner of the 2017 Global Teacher Prize. For the last 6 years she has been a teacher in a fly-in Inuit village, nestled in the Canadian Arctic that cannot be reached by road, only by air. In winter temperatures are minus 25C.

“Due to the severe conditions, there are very high rates of teacher turnover and many teachers have left their posts half-way through the year, and many apply for stress leave.”

The Global Teacher Prize said:

“It takes a remarkable teacher just to work in such an environment. But, to do what Maggie has done requires something quite extraordinary, something very special.”

Read what Maggie has done here and find out what superpowers earned her the prize of $1 million, then aim high and see if YOU can be next.


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