Tag Archives: Crysta Timmerman

Mediocrity’s worst enemy…

Is the superhuman (here I purposely do not use Nietzsche term superman). I began using the term superteacher after a decade of teaching showed me that there are two types of education professionals: those who teach because it is who they are and those who teach because they cannot find anything else “better” to do. To me, there is nothing besides teaching (well, I do have a cat, some plants, and an amazing ability to bake). I felt nothing but insecurity as a green teacher–I know now that I can teach anything, as long as I love teaching enough to devote only my best effort to it. I am a superteacher–apathy and ignorance are my sworn enemies, and selfhood, actualization, and pure thought are my allies.  I have met superteachers and superstudents, extraordinary people who stand out because they work, accept and tackle challenges, settle for only the absolute best, and never excuse failure.

My crusade against mediocrity, though, is nothing new. My mother taught me this word when I was in elementary school. She taught and teaches my siblings and I that hard work leads to excellence. I learned that Cs were far from “average” or acceptable. You might disagree, reader, that grades matter or that we can measure more than memorization and test taking skills via grades. To me though, each A or B was a testament to hard work, to never giving up even when the subject frustrated me or challenged me beyond what was practical. My mother carries this lesson on. She completely changed my mind about homeschooling. I marvel at my younger siblings, whose talents in academics, arts, and athletics far outshines my more cerebral approach to learning.

I share an idea the first day of class with my students. The idea is that an average presentation sucks and that most of us are painfully average presenters. Andrew Dlugan developed this idea in his Six Minutes post, “Average Speakers Suck. Don’t Be Average.” I really appreciate Dlugan’s rhetoric–he not only uses easily understandable metaphors (i.e. the average chocolate chip cookie and its connection to presenting), but integrates bell curves and concrete examples into his basic conclusion/big idea. Don’t be average–average sucks.

As I take a few months off from the classroom and I tackle new projects, I will remember this idea–be a superhuman. Don’t be average.

I will leave you with the visual resume of one of the most amazing women, students, professionals I have had the privilege to teach, Crysta Timmerman. Top that:

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