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The Teacher Wears Prada? If the Teaching Style Fits

Posted on: May 30th, 2012 by Stephen Hurley  3 Comments »

I was following the twitter stream from last weekend’s Connected Canada conference in Calgary. Apparently @tomfullerton was constructing an analogy between different models of PD and different styles of shoes. Like most good metaphors, it kick-started some thinking back here in Milton and I suggested another connection with education. I’ll throw it out here in the hopes that it might generate some quiet reflection or active conversation:

If you were to choose a shoe style that best reflected your preferred approach to teaching, what would it be?

I use the word “preferred” understanding that we’re all forced to adopt different approaches and styles at various stages in our career. But, which style of shoe would best represent your approach when you’re teaching the way that you want to be teaching?

If you’re not a teacher, think about how you would describe a teacher that resonated with you along the way. What type of shoe would best represent their style?

I’ve given this some thought over the past few days but I’m going back to the answer that first came to mind over the weekend. For me, the original Hush Puppies shoe communicates most effectively the teaching style into which I’ve grown over the years. Not only was the brand introduced in 1958, the year I was born, but it has always reflected a casual, comfortable way of walking through the world. They offer structure and support, but in a very relaxed and non-threatening way.


You can wear Hush Puppies in a variety of contexts and, although I wouldn’t consider them my first choice for accompanying formal attire, they could be pressed into action in pretty well any other situation. Hush Puppies say, “Let’s relax, slow down and enjoy the moment.”

And that’s the message that I like to communicate to students. 

3 Responses to “The Teacher Wears Prada? If the Teaching Style Fits”

  1. On my best days, I’d be barefoot, like so many of my favorite teachers in the past.

  2. A hiking boot is the shoe which most reflects my preferred style of teaching. In fact, I have so much to say I created a post. Here it is:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Stephen.


  3. I have no idea how that link got in my previous comment. Here is the correct one:

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