Old­field changed my life

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Mau­reen M. Keck, Ca­tonsville

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.

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