In an interview with Valerie Strauss a few days ago, the world-famous educator Rafe Esquith spoke to the importance of consistency in schools: "One of the ways to combat the effects of living in poverty is to provide children with a really stable force. It's not that I have all the answers. But I dress the same way. I have the same mood every day. I want to be the safe haven where the child knows he can go every day."
Esquith isn't just consistent in his mood and clothing though. He's been committed to his current school, Hobart, for 28 years. In a day and age where the most common level of experience for a teacher is one year, this is unfortunately remarkable.
At the policy level, educators are and must continue to discuss the sources and solutions to school instability -- low teacher retention, high teacher absenteeism, volatile student enrollment and budgets, and summer break, to name a few.
These are serious discussions with serious implications. So, if you need an on-topic moment of levity, just refer to Dale Irby. Irby, it seems, shares Esquith's commitment to education and philosophy on clothes. He recently retired after 40 years as a gym teacher in a district near Dallas. Amusingly, his tenure can be marked by forty years of school pictures -- in which he wears the exact same sweater vest. Here's the amazing video montage.