Yesterday I walked up to a group of fifth graders for their first class with us. As I started to introduce myself, a boy asked incredulously, “Do you work here?”
“Yes,” I said, “I’m you’re teacher.”
“Really? You don’t look much like a teacher.”
What does a teacher look like? To him, apparently, not like a young woman in a t-shirt, ragged jeans, and dirt-encrusted boots, her wild brown hair tied back in two uneven ponytails, who encourages them to taste the sand so that they’ll remember forever that the marsh is salty and uses the word “farts” to describe the smell of the rich black marsh mud. Whatever. As long as he learned a thing or two in marsh class, I earned the right to call myself a teacher.