The dress code went out the window for teachers by the third day of school in favor of masks, helmets and capes at Dallas ISD’s Mark Twain Leadership Vanguard.
The colorful attire helped kick off a year-long effort, “Teachers are Super Heroes,” to show students positive role models through real and imagined heroes. Heroes, Cops and Kids, a program started by two Dallas police officers, will also work with the school in promoting positive behavior, decision-making and ways to cope with peer pressure.
“We want students to know that they are all superheroes in their own ways,” said counselor Keith Anderson, who himself was Spiderman for the day. “Everyday people in your lives can be superheroes.” School activities all year will revolve around superheroes, he said, from decorations in the hallways, classrooms and cafeterias to competitions that depend on students to model good behavior.
Principal Tricia Lancaster brought the idea to her staff. “They were completely on board,” she said of teachers. “They went all out on the costumes.”
The program will use the excitement created by fictional superheroes, balanced by the work done by real-life superheroes. Among the caped crusaders were teachers dressed as a doctor and a firefighter. Students can look up to both types of heroes to learn how to be successful.
“They can be anything they want to be,” Lancaster said. “And it all starts right here at Mark Twain.”
While superheroes are memorable, students will also strive to exemplify “PRIDE,” which stands for Prepared, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Encouragement.