Oldfield changed my life
The Sun’s obituary for retired teacher Wilhemina Oldfield (“Wilhemina E. Oldfield, retired Howard County teacher, dies,” Oct. 7) was a wonderful tribute to a woman who influenced countless students throughout her long life and teaching career.
Perhaps her most extensive influence came during her years as a supervisor of elementary teachers. Miss Oldfield was consistently supportive, firm, insightful and gentle in her critique of those she supervised. At one very challenging period during my first year of teaching, Miss Oldfield gave me her home number and insisted I call her at any time before I gave up on teaching. That gesture, along with her belief in my potential, gave me the confidence to struggle on and profit from her advice and support. Although I was a bit intimidated, I welcomed her visits to my classroom at the old Ellicott City Elementary. Miss Oldfield was able to discern and encourage a gift for teaching even in those of us who floundered in our early years in the classroom. I am grateful I was able to tell her how much her influence meant to me at the beginning of a career that went on to cover more than 40 years as teacher and teacher-educator.
Wilhelmina Oldfield influenced generations of teachers with her consummate skill as teacher and supervisor and her consistent ability to nurture the gifts she perceived in each child and teacher.