Sunday, January 04, 2009

Everyone loves a piece of antique furniture, but I wonder how we feel about an antique teacher. How do the parents of my students feel about walking into their child’s classroom and seeing a teacher who looks older than their parents – a teacher who has as many wrinkles as students? Is there room in this educational world for a teacher who started teaching before the parents of his students were born? Is there a place for a teacher whose voice has become part whisper, part whistle? As I think about it, I realize that there actually might be some advantages to being an old and well-ripened teacher. Perhaps I can sometimes appear as stately as the antique furniture I used to see in my grandmother’s living room. Maybe visitors will come eagerly down the hall hoping to see the rare antique who teaches English. Is it my imagination, or does antique furniture seem more elegant and august as the years pass? As a chair gets older, does it sometimes become a better chair, as it so often seems to? Could that possibly happen to me, the very old and old-fashioned teacher in Room 2?

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