First Day Shoes

They must radiate professionalism but be reasonably priced. They must match any of the skirts I grab indiscriminately from the dark closet in the wee hours of the morning.  They must slip on easily without the aid of complicated straps, buckles, or zippers. They must be comfortable enough for extended periods of standing and walking. But most of all, Teacher Shoes must make the right noise.

Shoes by Unlisted
On the first day of school, the authoritative clicking of my shoes across newly buffed linoleum floors must be of just the right timbre to give me authenticity. I must sound like a teacher in order to feel like a teacher. The soundtrack of my heels prompts me to stand straight, square my shoulders and glare threateningly when necessary. Their echoes down the hallway are my auditory equivalent of wire-rimmed glasses and a bun.

The noise must also immediately establish to the students who is in charge. As I walk around the classroom, weaving between students’ desks, elaborating on the finer points of school rules, my shoes bark, “I [click] am [click] the [click] teacher [click].”

Click-clacks reverberating off the poster-covered walls must also delineate how the students are to behave. Don’t you dare pinch the girl next to you in the vicinity of shoes that sound like this.  Paper throwing will not occur in the class of a woman whose heels pierce the air with such certainty. And you can just forget about talking back when feet like these are within earshot.

Later in the school year, I am able to pull out shoes whose whisper invites students to grow as people and as intellectuals and to share in decision-making, but for the start of the school year, the best are those whose repertoire is simply: Get to work.  [Click].  Now.  [Click].

Day one down, and you can be sure I'm wearing those shoes again tomorrow!


Sparkling said...

Teachers should be GIVEN all manner of shoes to test and THEN they can put them on the market for the rest of the population. I am so hard on shoes during the school year and they are so hard on me when I have shove my feet back into them after a summer of wearing comfy shoes. Imagine if shoe companies were like "ooooh the newest models of this season's shoes are in the teacher's room. Plenty for everyone. Get yours now! FOR FREE" That would make my job complete.

Sarah said...

YES!! I so agree with everything in this post- and it made me smile :). I also need something comfortable - I feel like I'm running everywhere all the time!

Kerry said...

Wait-- that picture-- is that really the shoe(s)? Super cute! Not really the point, but I'm just sayin'.

Sarah Garb said...

OK, OK, the pictured shoes weren't actually mine. And I must admit that I couldn't pull off more than one day with them--the clicking is effective, but my feet are still sore. @Sparkling - shoe companies really should give out free test pairs to teachers. And I wouldn't stop a chocolate company from testing out a new line on me either ;)

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