Response to “Time for Class, Teach; Take Out the Tongue Stud”

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In the article,  “Time for Class, Teach; Take Out the Tongue Stud” the Howard County school system is taking preventative measures against those whose attire deviate way too far from the above.

Take a gooooood look at Doris Day’s attire.  Conservative, professional, and polished.  Now ask yourself, is that how you dress when you go to work?  Is that how your colleagues dress?

In my experiences, I’m going to go with–“NO!  Absolutely not.”

There’s a serious problem when a teacher takes fashion tips from their students…or is there?  I’ve seen it far too many times.  I’ve observed scandalous dressing most often in teachers who have just graduated from college and have not yet upgraded to an “adult” wardrobe.  And as a woman, I am sad to say that as women we sometimes bring a little too much of our personal “diva” selves to work, than is necessary or productive for students.  And to be politically correct, I’ve seen many male teachers in rumpled clothing or sportswear.

At the same time it is important for teachers to model appropriate professional attire and behavior at all times, I know how important it is to be comfortable while teaching and also let your students know that you are willing to let your guard down.

Let’s face it, clothing sends nonverbal signals to students.  These signals speak volumes about the image that you intend to project.  BUT at the same time, students are very aware of the “real” you, no matter what clothes you are wearing.  For example, if Mr. T only wears suits to work, but is a terrible classroom manager and instructor, his brand new ties won’t matter.  In contrast, if Mr. X wears jeans and sneakers to work everyday, but has his students producing amazing portfolios and projects, his “unprofessional” attire does not affect teaching and learning.

So even as the teaching workforce gets younger and younger, and the hemlines consequently get higher and the necklines lower, the number one determiner of whether or not a teacher is appropriately or inappropriately dressed is the students.  They’ll let us know!

I personally opt for dressy casual or business casual.  I certainly don’t aim to hide my personality, but I figure some outfits in my closet are much better for other types of outings, settings, or environments.

Leave a Comment Starter:   What is the craziest outfit you ever wore to work?  What is the most outrageous outfit you’ve seen another teacher wear to work?  Describe your views on teacher attire.

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