I believe in comfortable shoes. Last week, one of my ten year-old students spotted my feet in new, strappy flats. The fabric uppers are a patchwork of blacks and grays, accented with a metallic glint. “You’re not wearing your ‘old lady shoes,’ he noted. Momentarily dazzled, he had failed to see the same flexible, rubbery soles just like all my other shoes.
My first impulse wzs to deny my “old laldy” status- but my student was absolutely right. To him, being past 50 is the equivalent of being elderly. And yes, I do consistently wear the springy, supportive shoes favored by many colleagues of a certain age. My shoe organizer is crammed with them.
Here;s why. In sturdy shoes, I am strong. I am ready for whomever needs me, whatever comes. I weave in and out of small groups of students scattered across my classroom. I defy gravity, mounting flights of stone steps while monitoring children behind me, next to me, in front of me. I stride down a hallway or navigate a playground with a speed that surprises even me. Most importantly, in my shoes I invite questions and welcome reflections. In short, I teach.
Early in my career, I flirted with fashion boots and the occasional pumps for a “professional” look. Now my bunions and my common sense decree that comfortable shoes are the ones for me. I will stay true to my dependable “old lady” shoes with head held high.
Now which color will I wear tomorrow?
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