If you are a teacher and a group of students asks you to help out with a project or a performance in one of their electives, then do it.
Even if it is a dance concert that calls for ten seconds of an adult dressed as a coach for a number that mimics a baseball game.
Being a teacher in a public high school means more than just facilitating learning, expanding the intellectual horizons of America’s young people, and helping students hone life skills.
It also means being involved outside of the class in the lives of students doing the very things that may not get measured by a standardized test, but mean so much to the culture and fabric of the school community.
It allows students to see teachers as the caring, supportive people they are plus if teachers can be in front of around 100 students a day in a classroom, what is a few hundred more? It’s like collaboration squared.
And it lets me reacquaint myself with some childhood memories.
In elementary school during the late 1970’s, I had a gym teacher who also served as the head football coach in a small school in rural Georgia. He wore the snap-back baseball cap with the school name, a shirt that had school colors made out of polyester, high rise tube socks, colored running shoes, a brass whistle around his neck, and those wonderful coaches shorts.
That’s right – coaches shorts. Those wonderful polyester based stretchy icons that had to be snapped in the front. The BIKE brand is the one I remember.
And he had this luscious, thick mustache – one that looked like he was an angry motorcycle cop in the 1970’s who always wore aviator sunglasses even when inside or at night.
The look on his face was of majestically constipated sternness.
So, I was asked to be a part of this dance number 40 years after my initially meeting this coach and it required an adult to look like a coach, preferably one who fit the stereotype you see in older movies.
Simply put, I just brought this man from my past back to life. With the help of eBay.
And he is as strong and debonair as ever. Full of life and vitality.
It’s all authentic. No touch-ups or anything. That’s the real deal you see in that picture.
Even the knee brace, the no-lens mega-glasses, and the hair coloring to bring out the mustache.
I am not going to lie. Since I have had this certain style of facial hair, my confidence level has shot up going through ceilings I never knew were there. My mental acuity, my mental awareness, and my ability to play with the time space continuum has expanded exponentially.
And I dance better now than I did when I was in high school.
All because of this mustache that I grew.
I grew it for the students.
That’s right. For the kids.
Now just imagine what this has done for my ability to teach Shakespeare. It’s a brave new world in the Dunsinane of my classroom.
So, if you are a teacher and asked by students to be a part of something for school, then do it.
And grow a mustache for it.