The Real Super Friends
Growing up in the 80’s, I spent my fair share of time watching such cartoons as Voltron, He-Man, Thundercats, and Transformers. But I was never more excited to be vegging out in front of the idiot box than when the Super Friends came on! At the start of every show, each member of the Super Friends was introduced from Bat Man and Robin to Superman, Aquaman to Wonder Woman, and even the purple costume wearing Wonder Twins. Of course, they were all shown doing something miraculous like swinging past the moon (was never sure where that rope was tied), throwing an enormous boulder on top of a volcano, or piloting an invisible jet. According to the cartoon announcer, the Super Friends were, “banded together to protect the universe from the forces of evil, dedicated to truth, justice, and peace for all mankind!” Who wouldn’t be inspired and hopeful for a better future with heroes like that getting your back?
Fast forward to the 2010’s, I rarely have time to watch any TV (let alone cartoons), yet I find myself inspired and hopeful for a better future, mired less in fantasy, but rather rooted in the day-to-day work and heroics that I see transpiring on the TAF Academy campus with our classroom teachers. I see our teachers creating high expectations for student learning, and building sincere and caring relationships with students to support achievement. I see transformation, not in turning into an animal or some form of water, but in instructional practice that is relevant and builds off the prior knowledge that students bring along with them. I see full commitment to our mission of equipping students of color for college and life through the power of a STEM education, and social justice for all students. I am truly honored to be “banded” alongside the dedicated and courageous teachers of TAF Academy and, like the Super Friends, glad to know that they are looking out for the interests of our students and our future in general.