I took to wearing a hat in my classroom last semester when the room temperature got to be Arctic cold, which, shockingly, was just fine with my students. It was either the red beret or the black fisherman’s hat. With the red beret, I channelled the iconic French artist performing before a crowd – and this is complete with ze pseudo- Parisian accent. For the black fisherman’s hat, I found myself walking the streets of San Francisco, the cool breeze dancing around me, and feeling pleased as punch. I was in my zone as I explained about an American detective, the Continental Op, to my eight graders in relation to other detective characters that existed aside from the famous Sherlock Holmes.

Being a teacher these days is much like being a stage actor except the stage has a whiteboard (or glass) and chairs arranged in the usual classroom style. And the audience – well, my audience – is composed of adolescents whose ages range from 13 to 16+. Gone also are the days of a teacher being the uptight, prudish martinet dressed in funereal style telling the class to read and be quiet or else. Nowadays, you have to get down with the kids, so to speak, while maintaining decorum and academic discipline inside the classroom. So, different hats help me to, in the words of American actor Reid Scott, “play different characters, even if it’s just for a minute.”

A different hat means a different personality, or character, for a minute or two.

A different hat means a different personality, or character, for a minute or two.

The Mickey ears are mine – a souvenir from HK Disneyland. As a teacher, I cannot conduct a class feeling like Oscar the Grouch so the Mickey’s ears help me to vicariously imbibe and channel the vibe of the happiest place on Earth. Meanwhile, the Donald hat belongs to a student of mine. It was part of her Show-and-tell of which the topic was “A souvenir I bought during my travels”. She also bought it from HK Disneyland, but was too shy to wear it in class so I volunteered to model it in class for her while working her PowerPoint. Funny, I ended up channelling facetiousness (think Goofy), which elicited laughter instead of Donald Duck’s fiery temperament.

Off stage, my sun hat came in handy during the English Camp held in Bali. It made it easier for the students to locate me, got me in my tourist-teacher mode and kept me cool during the scorching afternoons. My Director’s cap, on the other hand, was perfect for a fishing trip in Pemuteren Village where I played “director”: I directed my new friend Redi to do the fishing for me.

Right now, I am visualising a tiara sitting prettily on my head. I guess I should also think of practicing my royal wave.




One response to this post.

  1. Posted by nina on August 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    type ko yung red beret lola. so you


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