Is This Worth Going to Admin. About...!?!?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Starista, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2009

    Good Morning Friends,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I am unsure if this belongs here or in the "Private School" section of our boards. If I have mistakenly put it in the incorrect place ~ I am so sorry! :)

    I have been at my Catholic private K-8 school for 5 years and have been teaching in a classroom for a total of 8 years, all spent in Catholic schools.

    When I was first hired at our school, the principal who interviewed me did not end up being our principal my first year teaching. The first principal under whom I taught continued the dress code of the former principal.

    Teachers were required to wear pantyhose with any and all skirts, shoes had to be close-toed and close-backed, and no sleeveless attire was allowed. Capri and cropped pants were not permitted.

    I was new to South Florida and found that dress code rather daunting, as when I moved from the DC area to Florida I was looking forward to a life of peep-toe shoes and (modest) thick-strapped sundresses.

    After our principal's second year of administration, she decided to allow a more relaxed dress code, including dressy capris, open toed shoes, and sleeveless tops. I was elated!

    At the end of that school year, she surprisingly resigned. A primary teacher who had no administrative background was chosen by our Pastor to be our new principal. Both she and the VP are firm believers in pantyhose. The new principal often boasted to the other primary teachers about how she'd always wear high heeled stilletos in the classroom and how she was still able to run around after the kids, etc.

    This principal brought back the old dress code, meaning that the dressy capris and sandals I had purchased for the classroom would no longer be viable in my work wardrobe. In fact, last year's letter to the teachers sent at the end of the summer was 75% about dress code, including an article from the SunSentinel about professinal dress in the workplace. Most teachers were displeased about the return of pantyhose and the shoes.

    Like many private schools, our school suffered SEVERAL budget cuts this past year.

    All assistants in second grade (there were 3, one full day per classroom) were eliminated. Our class size is 30 to 32 students. Our lunch was cut by 15 minutes. One assistant in first grade was also let go. All homeroom teachers were told that they must plan, implement, and grade their own Science Labs, as the Science Lab teacher was also let go. Due to bullying issues on the recess yard, all homeroom teachers are required to do 20 minutes of recess duty daily (I think this is a good idea and will drastically cut down on issues; at my first place of employment, all teachers were outside at recess too!). Incidentally, our principal redecorated and restructured the main office and tore apart the PreK and Kinder. playground area replacing it with all new play areas. And like many other Catholic Schools in my area, we did not get pay raises this year.

    My thoughts: I honestly feel that the requirement to wear pantyhose is unreasonable. In grades Pk-2, we are also required to do a series of "brain building" physical exercises with the students daily... these which include toe taps, getting on the floor with the children, and using a lot of movement. That, coupled with the fact that we will be outside in the HOT and HUMID Florida sunshine on a daily basis, makes me very uncomfortable in pantyhose.

    They run easily (Especially if YOU'RE running after little ones all day!!) They're expensive. They can cause infections.

    Naturally, I could simply wear pants all week long but skirts are so cool in South Florida.

    I am a bit disheartened about the fact that my administration puts this much emphasis on teacher dress. In this year's welcome back letter to teachers, the FIRST item on the day-to-day agenda was dress code. At last year's staff meeting our P went on for almost 45 minutes about dress code.

    I am so sorry for the length of this post. Do you think it is worth going to administration about my feelings on pantyhose? Thankfully, I am well liked and respected by the P and VP. I am unsure if they will respond to my thoughts. I could also try to speak with our Pastor (who is quite up-there in age, but does NOT require the rectory staff to wear pantyhose).

    I get dressing professional. I understand not looking sloppy or wearing ill-fitting clothes. I do think a professional look can be accomplished without the assistance of pantyhose.

    At my school this year, I feel they are taking away so much and adding on extra responsibilities and it would just be a pleasant change if we were allowed to wear our appropriate-length skirts sans pantyhose.

    Should I put my concerns in the form of a letter or try to meet with administration personally? I am worried that from my point of view (I am a heavy-set gal) they will simply think it's due to my weight that I am uncomfortable in the pantyhose. (it's like watching me do a dance in the morning when I try to lug on the hose!!! :D )

    In my 5 years of teaching at my school, I have never once gone to administration about a complaint about dress code, policy, or a coworker. The only times I have visited the P office were on behalf of a student or when we were discussing adopting a new reading series.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

    :love:
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 6, 2009

    I wouldn't put it in writing but if you feel comfortable enough approaching them, then you can bring it up. I would go in with feelers. In other words if they shut you down early, unless you have another gracious point to add, bow out graciously and let it go. Don't let it be something you battle with before the year even starts but it probably won't hurt to gently make a case and inquire. It's all about how you approach it.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2009

    I wouldn't go to administration about dress code. These are the terms of your employment with this school, like it or not.

    If pantyhose are an issue for you, why not try thigh highs- they make some that you don't need a garter belt for...or I have seen people wear knee high stockings (like the ones you wear with pants) under longer skirts...

    Truthfully, your post seems to be about so much more than pantyhose- there seem to be questions about budget and staffing issues as well. I can understand your concern and dissatisfaction...if the decisions that have been made about class size and staffing affect instruction, I'm sure the parents will have questions of their own. As an employee though, I'm not sure how much I'd rock the boat- especially with jobs being so difficult to get.
     
  5. fawyndra

    fawyndra Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2009

    My advice would be to see how other teachers are feeling about the pantyhose thing. If most of them agree with you, then maybe one of them could bring it up at a staff meeting as an area of concern, and something that you could talk about. Or maybe you could ask if you could have "casual" dress Fridays where no pantyhose was required. If on the other hand, if most of the teachers agree with the P and VP on this issue, I think that you will probably have to drop it and hope that she either changes her mind, or decide if it is a big enough issue to change jobs over (which I doubt you think it is). If it isn't worth quitting over, and the other teachers don't mind, I unfortunately think that you just have to deal with it. :-/

    I understand your frustration, by the way, I used to work at a diner that had a dress as the uniform, and I had to wear pantyhose, socks and sneakers with it. It took SO long getting ready in the morning, and then running around the restaurant got hot really fast. But since it was a 40 themed diner, I knew we were just keeping with the style of the day.

    I hope it all works out for you.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 6, 2009

    If the pantyhose issue can't be resolved to your satisfaction, I would consider just wearing light weight pants.
     
  7. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2009

    Thank you all so much for your kind suggestions! :)

    While we're not allow to wear "khaki" pants, I am sure I can find some really nice light weight pants!! That is a good idea.

    Again thank you all!!! =)
     

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