Be all that you can be. Find your future--as a teacher.

Musings of a second-year teacher.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dress to Impress

"As pre-service teachers participating in practica and student teaching experiences in the schools, the SOE students are expected to meet or exceed the schools' expectations of appearance and behavior. Unkempt clothing, shorts, sandals, mini-skirts, bare midriffs, excessive body piercings, t-shirts, bare shoulders...are oftentimes unacceptable for school teachers. Students should dress professionally at all times in the schools, typified by slacks, skirts, collared shirts, ties, closed toed shoes, and the like." excerpt from Student Teaching Handbook

So don't get me wrong. I love sweatpants. I recently told my roomate that I sincerely believed sweatpants should become acceptable as daily casual wear. I'm a big fan of comfort.

But, I'm also a big fan of looking professional. Last semester, we had a long introduction to the School of Education. Somewhere in between testing requirements and evaluation forms, there was mention of appropriate dress. Being the eager student I was, I listened carefully and began mentally planning outfits for my first few visits to the school. Now, maybe I'm just excited to play teacher and dress the part, but I've noticed some slacking in the dress code department at my school.

Elementary school doesn't necessarily lend itself to high fashion. Kids throw up, wet their pants, wave magic markers and wipe their noses on the nearest adult. So naturally, I'm not expecting to see people in their most fabulous outfits. But I do expect to see slacks and a button up shirt,or something along those lines. I've surprised by the number of jeans that I've seen teachers and other faculty wearing. I've seen jean shorts, and even occasionally sweatpants!

Personally, I think we should try to hold ourselves to slightly higher standards. Although we are working with children (who can be more than messy at times), as teachers we are still professionals. By dressing the part, I feel you will demand more respect, and also expect more from yourself.

We've all heard the saying where you know a Mom has given up when you only see her in sweats. It's essentially the same thing when you see a teacher constantly dressing down.

So, here's to a challenge for all the teachers (and student teachers!)- don't forget that you are a professional as well! Dress the part!


Blogger Lani said...

Hi Meg,

I agree completely. A teacher is a professional and a role model and should look the part!!


7:04 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I totally agree. And yet... I can't do it 5 days a week, 21 days a month or so, because I simply don't have enough in the clothing department. As you say, "waving magic markers" have prematurely ruined more than 1 pair of pants or top, and my very small teacher salary does not allow, once I've purchased all the materials my kids need, a budget for new clothing that is child-proof or at least amenable to stain-removers.

8:09 PM  

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