I didn’t mean to teach in stripper heels. It just kind of happened. Despite my claims of bumming it in heels and jeans this fall, I have completely and unintentionally channeled a Real Housewives sort of look, right down to the 5-6 inch heels.
The first day of class I was in a forest green Calvin Klein sleeveless dress which had a gold accent. The only pair of shoes that remotely matched were a pair of leopard print 6 inch heels that I reserve for going out and a tan pair of 6 inch heels that my sister gave me. (I love having a sister. Can I just say that? Especially one who has a different shoe size and is willing to give me her castoffs.) I wore the tan.
Did I care that the heels were 6 inches? Of course I did. No teacher wants to look like she’s about to work a pole. But I honestly did not have a lower heel.
i will only wear a pair of these when i am 98 years old. please dear Jesus no!!!
I like teaching in heels. The click-clack against the tile, the sound of chalk on the blackboard, my loud voice ringing out, students clamoring to speak about a text–for me, those are the sounds of a classroom. If I taught in flats, I would feel like I was doing a soft shoe shuffle for my students.
So I wore the heels. Nothing happened. No one threw me out of the classroom, or yelled at me, or even realized that I was super tall. The heels were there. They supported me. They were comfortable. They reminded me that, after 24 years of education, I knew what I was doing.
Today’s outfit–a darling 1950s silhouette, with a peplum top and natty, Chanel-esque pencil skirt–was accompanied by low hot pink and tan heels. And chile! Those 3 inch heels hurt my feet so bad! My feet hurt not only because they are a *touch* too small, but because I was so excited about the text and my students’ observations that I marched all around the classroom, the sound of the heels punctuating my (hopefully) insightful statements about the importance of close reading skills and the depiction of apartheid South Africa in Nadine Gordimer’s “Which New Era would that Be?”
My heels and outfit made me feel as powerful as Oprah Winfrey.
Despite the pain from my heels, I was gracious. Kind. Generous to students who read the wrong text. Willing to explain everything written on the syllabus, again. I even patiently talked about a film with a student after class, even though I had a long line of other students who needed help, and the next class was coming in, and I had a 1 pm appointment.
My high heels are painful (sometimes). But any pain I feel is worth the beauty and confidence they inspire in me.
I thought about this as I spun around to talk to the last two students waiting for me.
“We just wanted to tell you that your outfit is super cute! We were talking about it in class,” one girl said. Her friend nodded and smiled her agreement.
“Thank you!” I said.
I limped up to my office, shoved my feet into New Balance flip flops, then ran to my next appointment.
wear high heels,