This post, over at Baraita made my day. I’ve long past given up even thinking about being the Cool Teacher (I’ve made it to “scary prof” way before my time), but this certainly reminded me of past hopes:
Let me confess something: I have always wanted to be a Cool Teacher. You know the Cool Teachers: they are descended from Indiana Jones out of Ms. Frizzle.* They ride motorcycles to class, get interviewed on the news, and wear fascinating tribal jewelry given them by their adopted Exotic Ethnicity family. Their classes transform their students’ lives: forever after, you will remember the day the Cool Teacher breezed into class, unsnapping his bike helmet to reveal a casually elegant head of attractively silvered hair, and announced that he’d cancelled the test in favor of a field trip involving a charter jet, ancient ruins, and at least one mysterious ex-lover.
It strikes me that you probably have to (a) -teach in the humanities-, (b) have tenure, and ==(c)== not have tenure (or not care about it), for this to work.