Anyone who knows Monroe 5th grade teacher Cathy Staudt knows she adores not only her students, but also her enormous shoe collection. She has put her passion of teaching and her fondness of footwear to good use.
Over 15 years ago, her colleagues thought they would play a practical joke and decorate her classroom with as many pairs of shoes as they could collect. When Mrs. Staudt walked in her room, shoes were littered everywhere – hanging from the ceiling, in cupboards, tucked in the bookshelves, on top of desks, all over. She hurried to collect the shoes before the students arrived, but missed one red stiletto on top of the television that a student easily spotted.
Mrs. Staudt quickly used her teacher creativity to explain the meaning of the random shoe. This simple oversight has now become a yearly tradition in her classroom. She waits until a student inquires about the shoe. Then she takes it down from its tv perch and asks the students if they’d like to try it on. The kids are eager to play Cinderella and humor her, but like in the fairy tale, the shoe doesn’t always fit.
Mrs. Staudt then explains that the shoe represents the lessons she’ll be teaching them this year. The shoe (lessons) may be loose (too easy) at times and other times the lesson may be tight (difficult). Even though everyone can put their foot in the shoe (listen and participate in the lesson), it may not always fit correctly. If the lesson is too difficult or too easy she encourages the students to let her know and she promises she will do her best to give them the “best fit” of instruction.