Do your students react to what you are wearing?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    I had a lot of girls in my class last year in third grade that were into fashion. I had 4 boys and 12 girls! Oh the DRAMA! :rolleyes:

    If I wore something cute/stylish to school they seemed better behaved, and more willing to learn. This even seemed to work for the boys. If I wore something kind of plain like slacks and a polo shirt they were not so keen. I tested this theory out several times. I even brought it up to my team mate who tested out the same theory in her classroom of mostly boys. We never let the kids know what we were doing. I'm watching "What not to wear" and they are working with teachers today, so it inspired me to make this post. I really do think it impacts the students if you are dressed nicely.

    Do your students react to what you are wearing?
     
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  3. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    I always get comments when I wear a skirt or dress or even if my hair is extra curly ( I curl my hair everyday). I always get comments like, why are you so dressed up today? I might test this theory this year...hmmm. I'll also have to check out that episode today.
     
  4. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    yes, and pre-k is very vocal. I try to be somewhat plain and keep the accessories for evenings and trainings/workshops. When I look like an adult. I find that anything that will distract my kids will cause a two hour conversation. So I stick with plain tops and bottoms. if I wear a skirt, or dress, the whole building thinks I am interviewing or going out on a date. Don't want to hear it...so I stopped. Only skirts I wear are jean skirts or corduroy.
     
  5. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    i guess it really depends on what grade level you are teaching. I can see why pre K teachers would want to keep it plain. I taught prek this summer and they are very distractable. However, I teach 5th grade during the school year and they are a whole different story. The better or more trendier I am dressed the more they pay attention to me. I know it sounds very silly and shallow but it is true. I think it makes me more relatable to them. I remember when I was their age and I always wanted the younger teacher or the teacher that dressed better. It made no sense except, I thought they would be cooler and I would have more fun.
     
  6. rabyoga

    rabyoga Rookie

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    Because I'm such a Disney fanatic, I have plenty of Disney clothing. My 2nd grade kids love looking at my Disney stuff. Actually alot of my parents got a kick out of them also.:haha:
     
  7. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    I've never really noticed, but I did have several girls who would always comment if I was wearing something nicer / dressier than normal.
     
  8. scooter503

    scooter503 Comrade

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    I've done a lot of subbing in upper elementary and middle school, and have noticed similar things. It seems if I'm wearing something trendy or cute, or even have trendy accessories the kids will always say something...and a lot of times those kids seem better behaved. In fact, I had one boy who always checked to see what kind of earrings I was wearing.
     
  9. akbeck98

    akbeck98 Companion

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    I have the same thing happen. I remember wearing a pair of pants that were trendier and this one girl loved them. A few weeks later she was like when are you going to wear those cool pants again!
     
  10. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Well geeze, I need a wardrobe makeover. I'm a plain jane and ALL of my clothes are boring and plain.
     
  11. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    sign me up for extreme makeover too... come clean out my closets!!!

    so when I do get a date, I'll look cool again...

    my outfits consists of t-shirts and jeans!
     
  12. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    exactly. I have this one necklace that my boys loved. I thought it was so funny.
     
  13. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Many of my HS girls are VERY fashion aware and always let me know when they think I look extra "cute." One girl would even let me know when I pulled a fashion error, too. "Where's the flood, Ms. H?" when 1 pair of pants had gotten just barely short on me. "Black and brown ... are you kidding me?" She didn't believe me that Stacy London says black and brown works together. If I didn't feel like I have a good fashion sense, her comments might have bothered me ... but, when you grow up with my fashion gu-ru mom, there was no other option. My mom is a social worker but I sometimes think she missed her calling for a fashion merchandiser.
     
  14. breneem

    breneem Rookie

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    Mine always "love" my shoes, always notice them, and notice new outfits...:)
     
  15. TeacherMJ

    TeacherMJ Comrade

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    I agree that students respond to what you're wearing. In my Pre-K class the children always commented on what I was wearing. I agree that you wouldn't want to wear distracting items, but whenever I have a necklace with an interesting charm on they are asking questions and creating teachable moments (oh, it's a butterfly, do you know where butterflies come from?).

    As for elementary school I'll have to wait and see how my dress will be received when I'm student teaching. It's something to keep in mind.

    BTW...I love "What Not to Wear"!!! :)
     
  16. MJH

    MJH Companion

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    Standard School Attire (SSA)

    In my district we have SSA or uniforms so I wear what the kids wear. Last year was our first year for SSA and there were many parents who were not happy with uniforms. I had a couple in my class that didn't want to wear their SSA but when they saw that I was wearing it also they took a better attitude about it. I even heard parents make the comment that they thought it was great that a lot of teachers were also wearing SSA. It was not made mandatory for teachers just the students but by me wearing it also made a different to my students.

    Before we had SSA I would notice that on the days that I wore jeans and the school t-shirt the kids were a little more antsy and tended to break the rules more. I went an entire semester where I didn't wear jeans and noticed that my students behavior was much better overall. Yes, I do believe that the way a teacher dresses affects student behavior.

    I love WNTW also. Although I don't alway agree with some of the outfits they choose for some. My fashion sense has improved since I started watching because I have a better understanding of what looks good on my body.
     
  17. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    My students remember what I wear more than I do. They give me fashion tips and tell me to wear certain items I have with certain earrings that I didn't even remember about. They all, boys and girls, like it when I wear skirts and pay attention more if I look good.
     
  18. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    That is very interesting. I can see that being true in a way. That is pretty cool! I will have to keep that in mind! I cant wait to see the teacher episode of WNTW- that is the only TV show I watch, well that and clean house!
     
  19. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

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    If you ever need an ego boost, just visit the prek or Kindergarten students. One day I was on my way to the office before lunch when the kindy students were all washing hands and lining up for lunch. One little girl said she liked my shirt and I said thank you. This started a domino effect of various students complimenting my shoes, my hair, etc... Pretty soon I did a little twirl and a curtsy and had them all giving me a standing ovation in the hall! Little kids sure know how to make you feel good. Now this has never happened when I passed through the middle school hallway.
     
  20. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    My kids aren't really all that observant of what I wear, except my silly socks :) I get lots of compliments from other teachers about my tennis shoe collection.
     
  21. buck8teacher

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    Interesting thread! I dress up pretty much everyday, I just like clothes. But I've noticed that on jean days, I'm just not feeling it as a teacher. Maybe it's because they like to act up more....interesting!
     
  22. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Wear a band aid, and you won't get through the day without out everyone asking you...

    "What happened to you there???"

    I wish I could buy a case of those multi-colored flesh colored band aids I saw in the store. As soon as I see some in my shade! :(
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I usually wear long skirts every day, except on Fridays because we have a casual day and I wear jeans and a school shirt. It was a short work week Friday was a holiday, so I wore jeans on a Thursday. This is how observant my Kinders are - a girl in my class said "Is today Friday?". Like she had figured it out, Friday=jeans.

    They always notice when I actually paint my nails or my toes and one day last year I curled my hair and one of my students was just staring at me. When I asked what was wrong she said "what did you do to your hair?". Kids!
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    First grade...

    When I lost 50lbs I tried to start dressing better. The staff noticed. The kids did not.
     
  25. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I try and still to plain clothes and add zest with shoes and necklaces. Three times a week I wear school attire (school polo, etc.). My fun is my costumes I use when teaching.
     
  26. hawkteacher

    hawkteacher Comrade

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    This is sooooooo true sundrop!!! The younger students in my building last year loved to compliment me and it definitely brightened my day LOL

    With fifth graders last year, they definitely noticed my appearance. If my hair was down instead of the usual ponytail, If I was wearing my glasses, if I got my nails done, etc. At the end of the year my girls asked if I ever wore heels because I never wore them to school, then they told me that the brown flats with the pink trim and the penny on the heel were their favorite shoes I wore!

    I never really noticed a difference in behavior depending on my outfit. I'll have to try and pay more attention to that theory this year.
     
  27. iheart5thgrade

    iheart5thgrade Comrade

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    Fifth graders definitely notice what you're wearing. I always get comments about my skirts or shirts and they are like "Oh, I saw that at New York and Company!"

    My kids definitely behave better when I dress well. On Fridays, the staff at my school can wear bluejeans and we always have huge discipline problems on Fridays. I had thought it was just because it was Friday, almost the weekend...but I finally decided it was because we didn't look "professional" enough.
     
  28. MelissainGA

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    I totally agree with this idea... while I don't always "dress up" I do try to look nice and neat. I had one little girl the past two years (I looped with them) that would remind me that I hadn't gotten my nails done yet by making a comment such as "Ms. A. didn't you have time for your appointment this week?" or if I had them done "Wow, your nail tech did a really nice job this week". I really only got them done once a month but she thought I went every week. They definitely noticed when I wore something different (I wore a dress once day and they wanted to make sure I didn't have to go to a funeral - I normally wear pants) or when I wore my hair down rather than up (I normally wear it up because it is thick and hot down).

    I really can't say that behavior was much different (of course I had a couple with Horns rather than Halos so we had issues no matter whether I was dressed up or down) Will test the theory this year though since I supposedly have an overall calmer group.
     
  29. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I always have a few girls who will say when they really like something I'm wearing. Usually it's a shirt or sweater they comment on, but last year around Christmas it was this festive vest my aunt gave me. I really don't care for it, but I needed to cover a stain I noticed just before leaving. A few kids told me how much they liked it, so I may keep it. Last year I had one girl who was totally into fashion. One day I came wearing a cute shirt I purchased clearence at Target. As we were lining up to go to Mass first thing in the morning she just exclaimed, "You have to tell me where you got that shirt!" I don't even remember what shirt it was! But hearing that from her I knew I had picked a winner.
     
  30. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Have you ever had a student tell you they have the same shirt or shoes? I have (the shirt was from Old Navy and the shoes were Steve Madden) It was mortifying:(
     
  31. Ms.Jasztal

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    Yes, I have noticed this in the fourth grade. The past few years, I dressed down a bit... and noticed exactly when things were different... when I wore the polos and capris/khakis. I have plenty of sophisticated little outfits that I can wear, though... man...... :rolleyes:
     
  32. myangel6

    myangel6 Rookie

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    tap shoes

    One year I looped with a group second to third. I would never have known that I did not wear high heels until November that year, except that the day I did, one of my little girls called out, "Mrs. M, you FINALLY wore your "tap shoes!" Cracked me up!
     
  33. BeckyRamone

    BeckyRamone Rookie

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    My kids definitely notice when I'm wearing something nice and do respond better. I recently bought this new bag and I absolutely love it and I was sitting with my kids outside my room and 2 girls and 1 boy said "Miss your new bag is so nice" I was like "Thanks guys, I love it!" "More than us Miss?" *long pause* "No, I guess I love you guys more" hahah.

    Also, the class next door did a play where the kids played the teachers. The girl playing me had me exactly spot on clothes wise, glasses, boots, hair, it was hilarious!
     
  34. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I have had lots of comments by kids who like how "fashionable" I am but I gained some weight this year and totally got more boring! I am going to lose weight and be a fashionista again, but it's not for the kids, it's for me.
     
  35. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    here's to looking good for ourselves. and when the kids notice, it's icing on the cake.

    well, make that plain cake.. hold the icing.. :D
     
  36. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Why would that be mortifying? Old Navy/Steve Madden carry very simple classic things that span many ages - wouldn't you consider it a compliment that you are still as "in fashion" as your students? :)

    I'm 27 and going to be teaching freshman next year. I still shop at places like Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe and Target and Old Navy and I won't be surprised at all if I if I end up having the same clothes as some of my students! I think it depends on the pieces you choose and how you wear them that makes the difference.
     
  37. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    When I was student teaching, I had one seventh grader tell me, "You should wear red more often. It's more slimming than all the black clothes you always wear." This may have been the most attention she ever paid to me during my time with her.
     
  38. free2teach

    free2teach Rookie

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    I like to dress up in general. I teach in an inner city school and the kids equate how you dress to how much money you have. They decided that I must be rich and not need to work and that I taught just because I liked teaching not for the money (which is somewhat true). They said that they thought this because of the way I dressed compared to most of my co-workers. I did not have any real discipline problems with my students. I do think that the way you present yourself to the kids is definitely noticed by them. Who knows what kind of judgement they will make from there!
     
  39. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I noticed the staff has changed quite a bit, and the ladies at my parent's nursing home are always dressing to impress. I personally don't care for it. It makes me feel that they are spending way to much time and energy trying to look good, and they'll make sure the won't wrinkle their skirt, break a nail, or get a hair out of place.

    In otherwords, the look to good to actually do any work. They just walk around with folders, just to walk around.

    I need to find a job... I am spending too much time watching others....
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I do not think my dress makes a difference in behavior...at all. They do, however, notice it when I wear something different because I wear basically the student uniform everyday (yes, I know...What Not to Wear would have a field day with me!) When I do for whatever reason where a nice top they ask if I have a date that night! :)
     
  41. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Honestly, although there are some other factors definately at play here... most of it is CONFIDENCE. When we dress up, we notice it OURSELVES and that adds some pep to our attitude. If ONE kid notices us, we are so shameless that we gain an extra spring to our step.

    Again, my students don't notice as much BUT one day I wore something that had my teacher saying, that I "got some" last night. So was so on the nose that I never ever wore the shirt again. It was not revealing. It was different than what I normally wore. Mostly I was smiling more.
     

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