Why the “Bowtie Teacher”


The Adidas Teacher– Naw, I can’t get away with wearing gym shoes everyday.

The Crossfit Teacher – Ummm, my Fran time would prove that I’m not worthy.

The Reading Teacher– We all do this. That’s not going to stand out.

The Bowtie Teacher– Now that’s something that may stick.

So I chose to run with the bowtie angle for a couple of reasons. The biggest is that I really like bowties and this would be a perfect excuse to increase my wardrobe. When I was moved to a new school a few years ago I thought that  starting off with a new look would separate me as a new teacher.

“You, know Mr. Whitaker. That guy wearing a bowtie”.

My thought also was that a bowtie would force me to always have a sharp dress. You can never wear a bowtie except tied. Unlike a long tie you can’t loosen the knot and “relax”. It’s either tied or it’s not.  I am one of  THOSE people who believe that small things can make a big impact. Kind of like a rudder on a ship. Small, but it can move an entire ship with very little effort. It is my sincere belief that what you expect from kids you’ll eventually get. If I keep a unique, set apart look maybe my students will take more pride in their dress. So far so good.  I don’t have any 7 years old rocking a bowtie, but hey. They do tuck their shirts in.

Besides you have to be on your game to tie a bowtie. You can fool around and tie a long tie. You might even start a new trend. However, there’s only one way to tie a bow tie and it’s not for the faint of heart. I still make mistakes (Be quiet Stephan!) Even after nearly 200 tyings. (I don’t wear clip on ties. Except for my wooden tie and a tie given to my by a student for my birthday) Tie your tie is my motto.

I do admit that I’m not as Bowtie literate as I’d like to be. My next effort is to better understand the 3 prominent styles of ties, their history as well as patterns. I’ve been able to “fake til I make it” on patterns and colors, but I want to know more. I’m not a suit guy so I don’t suspect I’ll ever really step into that realm. I do like vests so I may expand that option one day.

Summer has been outstanding. I’m not doing exactly what I want to be doing. I’ve been given a chance to teach Summer academy  expand my influence in the district. Though I don’t get to do nearly as much as I would like I’m having a great time. Meeting some fantastic teachers/students.

How’s your Summer going?


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