Monday, September 9, 2013

Teachers and dress codes.

I just read this article and it brings me back to a conversation that I had with one of the teachers at school just a few days ago.

I remember the good ole days when teachers wore nice, matching outfits, heels and had perfectly coiffed hair.  The teacher that I was talking to was wearing a t-shirt.  I was teasing her and told her that she always takes part in casual Friday.  (They pay a dollar that goes to a charity, I believe.)  She is very much a jeans and t-shirt girl.  Believe me, so am I.  We do have some teachers who dress very well.  We also have a few teachers who dress very casual.  Our children have to wear the standard American school uniform.  In the very least, teachers could subscribe to that dress code.

While I am not a teacher, I do believe that it is very important to show pride in how you present yourself to your students.  Okay, it probably isn't practical any longer to wear heels, but to dress it up a bit more than clam diggers and tennis shoes isn't too bad either.

Oh, and don't forget the underwear!

Thoughts?  Do share!


Rach said...

I'm all over the place on this issue. While, on the one hand, I'm all about jeans and t-shirts (or nice shirts), I think it's important for teachers to dress professionally.

People take you more seriously when you are dressed as a professional than when you dress down.

I'm far more comfortable in my street clothes than in my work clothes, and a work wardrobe definitely costs more. However, teachers are demanding respect, and if we want it, we need to look the part. It's much easier for me to be in charge and feel as if I have an edge over parents when I'm dressed more professionally than they are. Does that make sense?

That said, I was really really irritated when my last supervisor told us we would no longer be allowed to wear crop pants and had to wear hose if we wore dresses (I cannot tell you the last time I wore hose!), and couldn't wear sandals. ARGH!!

Obviously dress codes are needed (UNDERWEAR?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?) but it's a tough pill to swallow to have someone tell you how to dress as we've all become so independent these days.

In fact, we've become quite the casual nation if you think about it. Look at photos from the 1900's to the 1960's and you'll see men in suits and women dressed nicely. We've gotten slouchy (not a complaint, an observation--I *did* mention my love of all things casual). However, if teachers (and other professionals) wish to be taken seriously, you need to have nice work clothes. Period.

And, wear underwear.


Bailey's Leaf said...

I can't tell you when I've worn hose, either. Our teachers are permitted to wear sandals and from what I can tell, nice flip-flops. I do agree that we've all become a bit more casual. There are pluses and minus' to that. The biggest is the fact that I do believe that you should dress better than the students in your class. I'm fearful that when you don't, you have ditched that "head of the class" look and just start blending into the students that have come to you to learn.

How exactly would they conduct an underwear check? :shiver: I don't want to know.

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I'm all for dressing professionally. Not suits or heels because I think teachers need to be practical too. But I do think that things have gone way too casual.

Our kids wear the typical Catholic school uniform. This year they added some extra rules. No neon colors on shoes is one. It's not that I don't agree with it, but it would have been nice to have been told this before we bought and wore the shoes. Oy!! I had to buy another pair of gym shoes for J because the ones we bought were black and yellow. M got a pass because the majority of his was navy and just the swish was neon.

And I'm old school. Hose with heels is a must for me (unless the heels are open toe) :)

The Castro Family said...

While I also have both views of the issue, i have to say that as a pre-k teacher, dressing in anything "professional" would take away from my job. As a teacher with younger kids, you make sure your parents know that they will get dirty, stained, and wet, so not to wear "good clothes" to school. That's how little ones learn. To teach them, we get down and dirty in the grass, in the gloop table, and end up with 20 snotty noses wiped on our t-shirts and pant legs before the day is over. We run and chase them across the playgrounds, and sing and dance and roll on the floors. To this in slacks and a blouse is just too sterile for me. Heels are not even a thought.
In older grades, however. I love to see teachers set apart from the students, dressed as professionals in charge of young adults.