dressing for Open House

Discussion in 'General Education' started by 2ndTimeAround, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 6, 2013

    A post on another thread got me a bit curious.

    Do you dress up for Open House, back to school nights, parent conference days, etc?

    I don't dress any differently than I do any other day and have always found it a bit amusing when coworkers do. It is as if the teachers want to put on a different face when the parents are around.

    I'm all about making a nice first impression. But one, dressing differently for the parents than you do for the students is making a FALSE impression. And two, I don't feel the need to "impress" the parents. I believe that I am there to work WITH the parents, not for them.

    I had a coworker that was as casual as could be. She'd wear flip flops, casual (and sometimes stained) pants and tee shirts. No makeup. But come Open House she had on heels, dress and a full face of paint.

    I don't understand the reasoning behind dressing better for parents than for students.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree entirely.
     
  4. live

    live Companion

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    I agree that it's misleading to get all dolled up for parents if you usually dress in your lounge clothes. I had a coworker probably like yours...she wore things like mesh-paneled leggings as pants to school, but then a suit when she knew a parent or administrator would be around.

    I do dress a little nicer for parents, but mostly because I won't be doing messy projects (science teacher) or running around the school like I would during a regular school day. For me, dressing nicer only involves adding a nice blazer and heels, which isn't far removed from how I'd dress on a daily basis if only it was practical.

    I think in many professions people dress nicer or dress down depending on what's going on, but I do think it's important to put a little effort into not looking like a slob regardless.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2013

    This is what I do as well. I may be a bit more dressed up, but not obviously so. At my previous school, our Meet the Teacher Night included a barbecue outside on our tarmac; it was, purposely, a very informal evening so many of us wore a school polo shirt, khakis and flats.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I dress a little nicer. I may throw on a blazer instead of a sweater. I do this mainly because it makes me feel a little older.
     
  7. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I dress more nicely for the parents at Back to School Night mainly because I look very young! I wear dress pants and heels or a nice dress with heels for parents, which I can't wear comfortably with students. That makes me look older and I get less questions about my age.

    If I'm meeting parents for conferences (which only happens if a parent specially requests one or if I request one with a parent), I just wear my regular teaching clothes since I'll have students that day. :)
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes, I highly encourage you to dress up for Open House and P/T conferences. You get very few chances to make a good impression with parents in person. Make sure to take advantage of it. Most teachers dress up for these, and the ones I see who don't (very few) are some experienced teachers who think they are in so good with the parents and P, they choose not to take the time. I disagree with those few individuals and always dress up for Open House and other parent event nights.
     
  9. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    I dress up for those events, and I don't see anything wrong with it. I can't take wearing heels all day, but it makes me a look a little older (I think) so I do when I am meeting parents. Also, I won't be kneeling on the ground and things like that that I might have to do while teaching, so I can wear some of my nicer outfits that don't let me move around as easily.
     
  10. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I understand why some do this. It is about perception. Many parents expect teachers to dress a certain way, act a certain way..etc. To look "professional". However, when it gets down to teaching, your not teaching the parents and its can be very uncomfortable teaching in those clothes.

    This is similar to "respect" by calling someone by their last names. Overwhelmingly, most teachers and parents think their children should call teacher Mr. or Mrs. because it is respectful, its just an expectation or social norm.
     
  11. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    I think teachers should look and act professionally daily for the students as well as open house for the parents. I don't mean be in a suit or dress and heels every day but well put together. You can dress for the age level, activities you have planned and comfort and still look nice. Certainly not flip flops, stained clothing or tee shirts! MHO
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I dress up for open house and parent teacher conferences, but it's no different than how I dress most days. On Fridays I often wear jeans to school, but the rest of the week I dress professionally.
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I dressed up for our open house this year. It's probably the one and only day the entire year that I'll get to wear a dress, let alone heels. I wouldn't be able to properly carry out my job duties if I dressed like that on any given day, so it's nice to dress up when I have the opportunity. I also want to make a good impression, and I don't want to be the ONLY person in my building not dressed up.
     
  14. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Yes, I dress up more for those events. In the past I've done it because it was an opportunity to dress up. Now, since I'm no longer a classroom teacher, it's more how I dress a couple times of week.
     
  15. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I dress up for those days. I dress professionally daily, except for jean Fridays, but Open House and Parent/ Teacher Conference Days allow me to wear heels that I can't wear on other days!

    Since our Open House is before school starts, it is the first impression for both parents and students. While I hope parents are pleased with how I teach and interact with their students, I don't want to give them any reason to not like me before the year even starts. I hope that by looking nice and professional, I am sending the message that I know how to do my job and will take good care of their child.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2013

    My P dresses up a bit more for presentations, board meetings ...suit and ties vs daily look of men's dress pants, shirt and tie.
    I do the same...it's not a false appearance..I always look professional. But when I'm presenting to parents I want to have more of an 'adult perceived' look of authority. I consider those times like 'special occasions' (albeit work ones!)
     
  17. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    My wardrobe varies greatly day to day. One day it might be jeans and a nice shirt, the next it might be a dress. On "special" days- like the first day, conferences, pictures, etc. I wear a skirt or a dress. I don't think it's a false impression because even though I don't dress like that every single day, there are plenty of regular days when I wear a dress too.
     
  18. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    I dress up a bit, but I absolutely refuse to be uncomfortable on a hot summer day.
     
  19. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    :yeahthat:

    Exactly. I dress professionally every day. When I KNOW parents will be present (open house, meeting days, conferences), I dress even better and wear a bit more make-up. I compare it to dressing up for church, to go on a date, etc. Certain events require extra touches (at least to me) and make me feel even more confident.
     
  20. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Kind of. I throw on the suit jacket for Open House. I leave it at home the rest of the year.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    This is a good point but in that I feel horribly, horrible uncomfortable and not confident when dressed up. I feel absolutely ridiculous and as though I have a big, flashing sign hovering over me announcing to everyone just how awkward I feel. So I choose go dress in my "element" so I feel and act natural. I realize, though, that many people gain confidence from dressing nicely and there is of course nothing wrong with that. (Except for maybe the issue the OP discussed in terms of false impressions...but I'm not going to concern myself over that.)

    You also have to remember the last TWO people I've helped hire, one this year, wore a regular polo and khakis to the interview. We're overall more casual.
     
  22. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I'm going to wear a suit to open house. This is my first one however and its the first time anyone in the small town I'm moving to will meet me. I plan to dress pretty much the same way during day to day classes minus the jacket. I don't think there is anything wrong with teachers who choose to dress down but it will make me more comfortable to be in business attire. I think especially with the high schoolers and the fact that I'm young(24) it will make me feel more comfortable.
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I always look the same: shirt, tie, & slacks.

    Last year, one of my kids saw me leaving the gym. The next day, she told everyone, "OMG...I saw Mr. ____ in gym clothes!!!" I guess they think I never leave the campus and go to sleep in my shirt and tie!:lol:
     
  24. redheadkate

    redheadkate Rookie

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    I had my first open house last year and I definitely did doll up for the parents.

    On a normal school day with the kids, I'll usually wear something more comfortable. A nice blouse with a blazer, some skinny jeans (reasonably tight, of course.) and heels (no higher than 4 inches + I'm more coordinated in heels). My hair is usually up and out of my face.

    On open-house night, I wore a nice sheath navy dress with silvery jewelry, nude pumps, and I let my hair down (it was curled). All my students were surprised that I had long hair. Haha. :)
     
  25. MzMooreTeaches

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    Typically I dress "nicer" and "casual" on any given day. I don't really switch it up for parents, conferences or open house. The face I present to them is the face/appearance I want them to be use to seeing all throughout the year. I like to dress snazzy on any given day and it depends on my laundry and what is not wrinkle, lol. I would definetly never wear flip flops, stained clothes, meshed clothes or revealing clothes to work.

    Now when we have special ceremonies at school or programs where either I or the students are being acknowledged I will dress nicer, low heels, dressier dress, blazer etc. Overall, I dress professional regardless.
     
  26. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Our back to school night equivalent, parent orientation, is during the school day. For that I wear something on the nicer end of work clothes I would normally wear. I'll wear a dress, but I do sometimes wear dresses to work. I absolutely never wear heels because I HATE them, so I just wear my regular nice shoes.

    We have open house at the end of the year (it's a California thing I think) where we spend countless hours putting up student work and the parents come see it. I did wear a dress for that I hadn't worn to school before. I don't go totally over the top, though. I just try to look nice and professional - and just a tad nicer than I would for the regular school day. I dress pretty nicely for work, though. I don't like wearing jeans except on field trips.
     
  27. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I dress no differently but I dress rather fancy everyday. That just happens to be my style. Many teachers at my school dress nicer or put on more makeup for Open House. I might wear nicer shoes because I will be standing for less time and its a chance to wear shoes I don't normally wear
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    What does 'reasonably tight' even mean?
     
  29. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I assume she would mean that they are tight but not too tight. Sometimes people wear skinny jeans that I wonder how they even got them on. She is saying hers are not like that.
     
  30. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Yes, this is how I feel.

    I don't find it a "false" appearance anymore than I feel it's a "false" appearance to dress up for a wedding or funeral.

    Certain occasions call for certain attire. I feel Back-to-School Night is my "first impression" for many families who are meeting me for the first time. I wear a suit and tie.

    I don't wear a suit and tie with my students because I'm moving around much more and it's just highly impractical.
     
  31. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I think skinny jeans can be fine to wear to school depending on the school climate. I wear skinny jeans that are 'reasonably tight' on Fridays with flats or sandals which I would define as not being so tight that they aren't professional. :)
     
  32. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Interesting discussion. We just had Parents' Night tonight and I just had this feeling I should dress like ME. While I love a-line skirts, I just had this feeling I should wear pants. I went with off white pants that look like suede jeans, a navy blue knit sweater from J Crew with whales on it and my blue plaid converse-like tennis shoes. While I was more casual than most of the teachers tonight, I was able to move comfortably around the room, stand for several hours and feel great while doing it. I might wear a skirt next time, but it was perfect for tonight. I think as long as you are comfortable and confident and feel like it works for your school, then it's good!
     
  33. waterfall

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    I wear skinny jeans on Fridays sometimes too, with boots over them. Mine aren't skin tight either. Last year I had to wear a school t-shirt, but in previous years when I could choose I always paired it with a nice top or sweater. I actually think it looks nicer than wearing regular jeans and I feel a bit more "dressed up" even though it's casual Friday. I'm at an awkward height where I'm too tall for "short" jeans but regular jeans are always bunched up/baggy at the bottom. Tucking my skinny jeans into boots solves that problem!

    As far as dressing up for open house or parent nights, I personally think that's just being professional. It's no different than someone in any other profession dressing a little nicer for for a special presentation or meeting. I don't want to give parents any reason to get a bad impression first thing. I've never worn a suit (people just do not wear them in schools around here, even administrators) but I do make sure my hair is down and I'm wearing a nice dress or skirt. I wear dresses and make up to school on a regular basis. I wear my hair down about half the time because I try not to wash it every day, and if it's an off day, it needs to be up. Usually I wear leggings in the winter under dresses, but if I wanted to look nicer I'd pull out some black tights instead.
     
  34. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2013

    Well, it was super hot in my room for Open House, despite the a/c being on (ha!). So I wore a dressy blouse, dress pants, and heels. The only thing I wouldn't wear on a normal school day were the heels.
     

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