high school graduation - academic regalia for faculty?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ron6103, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    This has become quite the controversy at my school and I wanted to gather some thoughts. Our administration has decided to have the faculty wear their academic robes/hoods to commencement, and participate in the ceremony with the kids (walk them in, sit in the aisles behind the kids, etc).

    I loved the idea, but a number of teachers are strongly opposed, arguing that it takes away from the achievement of the kids and instead places unnecessary emphasis on the achievements of the faculty.

    Thoughts? What do your schools do, and why?
     
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  3. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    I always thought it was cool when I was in school. Something to look forward to, as they were invariably more ornate than high school graduation robes. We'd even gossip about what the various sashes, hats, etc. actually meant.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Academic regalia is the perfect way for parents to take away a subtle impression of the accomplishments of the staff who have shaped their student's success, and a lasting impression that faculty is not a one size fits all kind of education. No, it does not diminish the student's accomplishments at all, and it gives meaning to the term life long learning. When you see staff that have acquired varied graduate degrees, it is solemn testament to the fact that we are not resting on our laurels. Perhaps some of the faculty who are resistant to the idea fear that they may not measure up to the same accomplishments of other staff members? I can assure you, if having the faculty there in their robes was detrimental to how parents and students view their own success, then universities would certainly avoid putting their staff on display in their regalia, since the parents have spent thousands of dollars for their student to achieve their degree. However, universities never miss the chance to portray their staff in the best possible light, and that includes parading their accomplishments by the wearing of their gowns/robes, sashes, and hoods.

    We wear our regalia, and I am always honored to be able to do so. It gives silent witness to the fact that life doesn't stop with high school graduation. Perhaps your teachers don't want to pay to own their regalia? Just a thought, if they only earned a BA/BS. :2cents:
     
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    The high school I taught at for 3 years did this. I always thought it looked pretty cool seeing everyone in their regalia.
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Our school buys each teacher a BA or MA cap and gotten, plus a stole in our most recent university's colors. Those with doctorates wear their own. We process onto the field ahead of the kids and form a double row behind the stage that they walk through. It's an opportunity for hugs and high fives. One staff member sits at the end of each row of students, and we have a picture taken with each student in the row. Everyone seems happy with our ceremony, which is very dignified... No beach balls or air horns!
     
  7. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    My personal preference is to blend in at graduation. More objectively, I think it's unnecessary and that the celebration should be about the students.
     
  8. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    We all wear our own gowns and hoods. The school also has some to loan for teachers who do not own a gown. It seems to be the norm around here.
     
  9. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    For high school? Where are you that they even have this attire for high school?
     
  10. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    It's not high school specific attire... not for the staff anyway. We wear the gown/hood colors from our own college or university that we attended. That was how the staff at my former HS did it at least, and is the plan where I work now.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Ron, I hope that the district goes with the plan. I feel that it does remind staff that they are examples and role models. I first saw this at a large HS, but we do the same in a small private school. It isn't about bragging about what the staff have done, but reminding everyone in attendance that graduating HS is just the beginning for many/most - depends on the district. Good luck - I hope your administration at least gives it a try.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    it's the norm here. One gripe of mine is we've started trying to get all of the staff dressing the same. Which means having teachers with only 4 year degrees wearing hoods.
     
  13. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have no idea if the gown from my college was rented or bought. I know for sure I did not keep it.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    My last school made us all wear hoods. It actually made me a little upset as I felt like it was misleading to the parents and students. Plus I knew I hadn't earned it.

    We don't do it here at all and I like it that way better. I prefer to just blend in. Graduation is usually hot too so I like being able to just wear a nice cotton dress and stay cool.
     
  15. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Yeah, that issue came up actually. The company we're ordering from (for those that don't still have theirs) are indeed providing hoods for everyone so that those with just a BA/BS don't get upset when they are compared to those with an MA/MS. That issue came up last year and was part of why we didn't go forward with the idea before. Those staff without a masters degree felt it would make kids and the public start to rank teachers and view some as "better" than others due to academic achievement. So we all will be wearing hoods, regardless of degree.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I just graduated with my master's, and the university had the bachelor's degrees in some form of hood. As someone who used to clean those rented caps and gowns (and everything that went with them) as a summer job in high school, I was very surprised, since I knew that was not the way it used to be. However, times and traditions change, so if this is the new norm, or approaching it, so be it.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Of course - everyone gets a trophy, everyone gets a blue ribbon...
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I believe that it may be more about the fact that the schools get to display their colors, and it makes it easier to tell the education majors from the engineers at a distance. Your tassel used to signify your major with just the gown, but it is hard to see that tassel from a distance. I suspect that universities thought that this was a great way to promote their schools while making it easier for friends and families to find the right group of students as they were searching for their graduate. The hoods are not the same as the master's hood, so I prefer to think of it as a fashion change, to be kind. The people receiving these hoods in their graduation bundles didn't choose to order them - they were included by the university. A little research said this is a growing trend, so I do not take it as trying to be something you are not. Trust me, there are a lot of things that can get me riled and defensive - this just isn't one of them.
     
  19. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    We do this and all teachers wear hoods.

    Teachers walk in first and sit in the first few rows on the left. The kids walk in and sit in the first few rows in the middle. Special guests and speakers sit in the front rows on the right.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I taught a program at a local high school for a year. The school paid for the rental of gowns/etc for all faculty to wear at graduation. It was lovely and in no way took away from the kids' achievements. Instead we believed it sent a message of professionalism, lifelong learning and the value of education
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    :yeahthat: ICAM
     
  22. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    For those that did rentals, may I ask what the cost was? Because that's been a hang-up for some folks, in that the company our school uses for all our graduation stuff told us that they don't do rental, only purchase. I thought that was a bit weird, and obviously raises the costs considerably for 1st timers who don't have any regalia.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    The high school I attended had the faculty process in, and it was a big deal, but at least 75% of the faculty had terminal degrees, and many from prestigious institutions. It was neat to see all the regalia!

    The high school where I teach now does not do it, because faculty helps with security for graduation.
     
  24. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I had an extra curricular function today and had a chance to discuss this with a number of the staff in my building, and I got the chance to share some of the thoughts that were posted here. The overarching theme I got today was that wearing our own regalia would be perceived as a display of superiority, especially as we are in a low-income district where many parents/family never attended college. The feeling seemed to be that if we wore gowns ourselves, it would serve as a "cruel reminder to the parents that we have achieved more than them". Essentially then, it seems that an overarching concern our staff have is that many parents and students, would feel offended if we wore our regalia.

    I disagree, but to be entirely honest... I don't have a strong response to that. I need to put more thought into the matter I suppose.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And yet, Ron, you professionals chose to work in this district, and uphold high academic standards, and not give up on kids because of their demographics...wearing robes and hoods shows what one can achieve with hard work...a value they might only be experiencing from your models.:2cents: how sad that your olleagues have such negative views of the community in which you teach.
     
  26. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I also teach HS in a low income area and few of my students' parents graduated from college. I have no hard data to back this up, but I am 100% sure my students' parents couldn't have cared less that the staff was wearing gowns and hoods at graduation - it probably never crossed their minds. Their only concern was being there to support and celebrate their kid.

    Parents understand that teachers have graduated from college and may have advanced degrees. In this particular situation, I don't think they feel that teachers are trying to use their educational background to assert "superiority."

    Basically, your staff may be overthinking this ...
     
  27. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    ITA with Go Blue. Do they think it would be a surprise to parents that their child's teachers graduated from college?
     
  28. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    :p certainly not, and I did actually make that point.... the response I got was that while the parents all know we went to college, wearing our regalia simply rubs that in their faces.

    I really do appreciate the responses folks: I'm using what I hear from folks here to help me collect my thoughts and build a response to the naysayers.
     
  29. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Are you Admin? If not, why is this decision up to you (no offense, I am not trying to be rude when I ask this)? If this is really bothering you, go to your Admin and tell them to make a final decision that staff cannot question.

    My Admin just told us that every staff member in attendance at graduation had to wear the gown - which put an end to the discussion they never bothered to have with us. Honestly, no one at my school even seemed to care about having to wear the gown.
     
  30. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Oh no offense taken, no worries. If our admin would make a decision (one way or the other), the matter would indeed be easy and over. But alas, they often choose not to do so in such situations. For this, they've left it up to the teachers and our guidance office is quite literally holding a vote amongst the faculty via email. Hence the discussion and my desire for thoughts/feedback.

    The reason I feel I even need a response at all is because I was one of a small group of teachers who pitched the idea initially (after attending another graduation where this was done).
     
  31. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    I'm sorry they feel that way. Frankly, I would think parents would be pleased their children were being educated by accomplished professionals -- if my kid's school had a big cabinet displaying all the Fields medals, Nobel prizes, and other academic awards or degrees the teachers had earned I'd be thrilled, personally.
     
  32. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I think that the staff wearing their regalia would show to the students the wide range of schools the teachers went to and how much they can succeed if they apply the lessons they learned during their time at the high school.
     
  33. Franky4

    Franky4 New Member

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    well,my shool also decided to have the faculty wear their academic robes/hoods to commencement, and participate in the ceremony with the kids.











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