On-the-job clothing

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by AbbyR, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2006

    After 20-some years out of the classroom, I am working on trying to return to teaching by next fall. I've been editing and writing for a newspaper, and my wardrobe consists mostly of jeans, tennis shoes and polo shirts - I don't need anything else.

    I am hoping for suggestions on what I can start buying, over the next year or so, so that I will be able to make a good impression, but still be the active kind of elementary teacher I want to be. The budget is tight, so that is also an issue.

    Thanks for the help - I'm learning a lot by reading posts here.
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Oct 11, 2006

    If you do a search on here there are several threads on teacher clothes. It is a very heated subject. Some people dress more conservative than others and feel that a more business like attitude is something they wish to project. Others are neat, professional, but not into suits. My point is, whatever you choose to wear should be what you feel most comfortable in. I say opt for several pairs of nice dress slacks and some tops/blouses that you can mix and match. Comfy shoes are a must.

    Kohl's is a great place to find nice clothing.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm one of those very conservative ones, but I agree wtih Miss Frizz: I don't think you can go wrong with some basic dress slacks (black, blue, dark green), a blazer or two and some dress shoes.

    I think that if you stick with the basics and hit the sales you'll be fine!
     
  5. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I have to second the idea of Kohl's. If you root through their clearance racks, you can find nice clothes for next to nothing. Sears is the same way. I've gotten skirts for $1 and shirts for .75 from both places!

    I think an elementary school teacher is always appropriate in slacks or khakis and a neat shirt. I do not think jeans, flip-flops, tank tops or workout clothes are appropriate or professional. I also don't think suits and heels are necessarily appropriate for teachers of younger kids. However, what I have found is that each school has it's own culture and it's own "rules," either written or unwritten, and your wardrobe is going to have to change to meet the school. Some schools are really casual, and jeans are the norm (not mine!). And in some, any denim is banned, even in a skirt.
    Kim
     
  6. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I agree with Kim about what should never be worn,,,, but I also think that would go w/out saying. Today you never know though... Stick to the basics and feel out the school once you are there.

    I like Sears also.
     
  7. Poisontipped

    Poisontipped Rookie

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    Well, my teachers generally where just a shirt, pants and a tie (with out the blazer) and that to me seems to be casual. My female teachers generally wear Shirts and Skirts that can range from anything really.

    No demin though,
     
  8. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Oh, Ms. Frizzle, you should come to my school. We've lost a lot of experienced teachers to retirement in the past 3-4 years, and we've hired a lot of brand-new, fresh out of college teachers. For the most part, they're good teachers...but the way they dress! My principal has addressed it over and over and they just don't seem to get it. I've seen it all - flip flops, thongs showing, pants cut so low that you can see the girl's hipbones, shirts that are above the navel, spaghetti-strap tanks without bras, workout suits, jeans with holes, shirts cut so low that there is NOTHING left to the imagination, skirts so short that you can almost see the underwear from below. No matter how much the principal talks about professionalism, these girls think this IS professional attire. The principal actually put on a powerpoint show this year, when school started, of pictures she'd taken OF THE STAFF and things you can't wear. Fortunately, it was presented in good taste and with a loving little bit of humor, however, they still didn't get it. I do have to say that the indecent dress has stopped, and there is no underwear (or lack thereof) on display any longer, but we're still fighting the jeans, the flip-flops and the workout wear every single day.

    I feel like an old fuddy duddy and I'm only 35.
    Kim
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    All I can say is I'm only 24 and just graduated college in 2005 and would NEVER think of dressing that way to work. Ever.
    Sounds to me like those girls need a real wake-up call.
     
  10. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    I taught in flip-flops for a year in VA. Well, except on days it snowed, and then I wore my black stiletto boots. :D
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I had a chat with our dean about it-- just casual conversation (she & I have worked together since 1980.) It's a problem in our school too, even though our (Catholic school) dress code is very specific.

    She said the first offense gets a warning. The second time, they'll arrange for coverage of the classes and send the teacher home to change.
     
  12. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

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    "- flip flops, thongs showing, pants cut so low that you can see the girl's hipbones, shirts that are above the navel, spaghetti-strap tanks without bras, workout suits, jeans with holes, shirts cut so low that there is NOTHING left to the imagination, skirts so short that you can almost see the underwear from below"

    OK, folks, if this is the way teachers dress now, I am not sure I shouldn't just keep on writing for a newspaper - I'm amazed anyone would go to work dressed like that.
     
  13. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

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    Thanks for all the great suggestion, folks. I think I'll pull out the Land's End catalog after Christmas and start looking for nice pants and shirts - I'm not too old to sit on the floor with the kids yet, I don't think.
     
  14. Lydia

    Lydia Rookie

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    I think it's also going to depend on where you ultimately teach. You might end up being a more casual or dressy school. You might want a couple things that are more formal while you determine what you really need after you start teaching.
     
  15. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    Well, here's my two cents worth: I believe that a teacher should dress comfortably but professionally. To me, that means nice pants and shirts. I like nice button down shirts and nice looking tops that aren't too casual. I remember when I was in high school (10 years ago), the dress code for the students had to be pretty strict because some students just didn't follow the rules. Now I'm subbing at a high school, and the rules sure are different here than where I used to attend. The teachers can be seen wearing clothing that to me seems too casual. Some wear their hair in ponytails above the collar, some others wear flip flops and sandals. To me, the sandals and flip flops are too casual and unprofessional. But, that's my opinion, and we're all entitled to those, aren't we?
     
  16. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I agree on the slacks and nice shirts, but I can't agree with the flip flops and sandals. I think that they can be appropriate depending on what style you wear. Am I saying that everyone should wear them? No. I'm saying if you feel comfortable enough too, and it's within your school guidelines, go ahead. I also feel that in the elementary schools, jeans can be appropriate. As long as they are fitting nicely (not low riders, or too baggy, or too tight), and the occassion calls for it. We have been told by our principal that she trusts our judgement, but our dress has to be appropriate. She said that she understands that there are going to be things we do in the class when we need to wear jeans. I wore jeans Tuesday and Wednesday this week because we were making paper mache planets in my classroom. Gym clothes do seem a little too unprofessional to me.
    I try to dress in a professional casual style (slacks and nice shirts), but on some occassions I do dress down (jeans and nice shirt). And on some I wear business suits/dresses. We all try to wear our school t-shirts on Fridays, with jeans or kaki pants. Then we have our theme days. Those are another matter all together.
    But as txteach2b said, we're all entitled to our opinion.
     
  17. mshutchinson

    mshutchinson Comrade

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    I wear jeans almost every day. I also wear a button down shirt or sweater.
    I used to wear suits and dressy shoes. When I gained weight, it was tougher to maintain my wadrobe. When I got to my 'new' district 4 years ago I began wearing jeans and sneakers. My excuse was that I'd broken up 3 fights by December- If I'm chasing kids, I can't do it in dress shoes. (How DO cops run in those on TV? ;) )


    What's the problem with a ponytail above the collar?? I've never heard of that.
     
  18. kidsalot

    kidsalot Comrade

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    As most have said it varies from school to school. I work in a private school and the children are required to wear uniforms. The teachers are expected to dress professionally - no jeans, midriff or cleavage showing. All tatoos must be covered and facial piercings removed. I wear a lot of dress slacks and sweaters. On Fridays (casual day) I may wear cords and sneakers. I would suggest having some nicer clothes for conferences and for the start of the year. Parents often base their first impression on appearence (don't we all to some extent?) As for footwear go for comfort! I love clogs. I can move about and be on my feet all day.
     
  19. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Another fuddy-duddy here. I always get a kick out of the teachers who complain they're not being treated as a professional...yet they're dressed as though they were headed for the beach. It's not a whole lot different than I tell my choir members when we go out in public: Perception IS the truth. If people perceive you in a negative light, it matters not how nice you are. If we dress like slobs, we'll NOT be perceived as professionals.
     
  20. DarthAlan

    DarthAlan Rookie

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    I wear sandals, shorts, and t-shirts. It gets 120 degrees here.
     
  21. SnowDaisy822

    SnowDaisy822 Companion

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    My school is prettly easy with our dress code. Actually, I was informed once that we don't really have one. We can wear jeans and flip-flops everyday if we wanted. Before I got my job (1st year) I lived in my jeans except when I was student teaching. When I started at my job now I wore nice slacks and shirts and stuff, but now I'll wear my jeans, but usally a nice sweater. Fridays I do wear my Oregon t-shirt and jeans though when there's a game. (we're by the U of O). Other teachers will actually wear track suits and stuff if it's a PE day since we teach PE. It all depends on your school and what you're comfortable with.
     
  22. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I'm starting a credential program in January. I don't even know what to wear to class! As a credential candidate, do my clothes make a big difference? To teachers and other students? I resist the idea of going hyper-modest and wearing turtlenecks and corduroy jumpers! :)

    One question: in elementary school, don't the teachers get messy? Paint, papier-mache, glitter, glue, etc? Do you really need to wear nice slacks and sweaters if you're going to be in a hands-on classroom?

    ~~~~

    p.s. what does that mean, a ponytail above the collar? The hairband is on the back of the head instead of at the nape of the neck?
     
  23. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Well AbbyR you got it right with Lands End. I can get by with a few pair of Lands End knit pants, some tunic tops, sweaters, t-necks and a few jackets. I hate deciding what to wear each day. This combination of seperates gives me lots of choices! And being comfortable is a must! I think you have the right idea!
     
  24. h2omane

    h2omane Comrade

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    I love being a guy.

    Dress shirt and wrinkle resistant pants all the way.

    so easy.

    I do wear a blazer for meet the "creature" night (meet the teacher) and photo day.

    I teach gym as well, and I sport a school t-shirt, and basketball And One shorts, very comfy.

    I also wear black polished basketball shoes, so I can run around with the kids at recess, and still look profess in the classroom.

    Mr. Skinner :D
     
  25. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Just as long as you don't start wearing shirts with apples or chalkboards on them!:p I would personally consider my career over with if I ever showed up with a denim jumper or turtleneck with apples or ABCs on it.
     
  26. AbbyR

    AbbyR Rookie

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    AW, gee! I was really looking forward to an apple jumper! ;)
     
  27. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Don't laugh. One of my favorite jackets has a teacher motif, ABC, 123, the whole 9 yards! I love it! To each his (or her) own!
     
  28. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I had a great denim jacket with apples and teacher stuff on it. It was cute! Yeah, I know they're hokey .....
     
  29. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

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    I agree with the "perception" idea. When a teacher dresses more professionally, they are treated as such by other teachers and students in the school. But, I also feel differently when I am dressed professionally. I feel more confident, organized and respected. But, you do have days when fun, comfortable clothing is needed. Just make sure the clothes fit, are modest and not stained!:)
     

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