professional dress in preschool setting

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by wyvern, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 14, 2014

    I usually have always dressed in jeans and t shirts for work, as it is a get down on the floor, get your hands dirty kind of job. More recently I've taken to dressing more professionally, good shoes, dark pants, good cuts, button up blouses, no cleavage on any end. No jewelry. But our program feels it's much better to have us wear smocks.

    Like these


    [​IMG]

    Now I don't consider these professional at all. In fact, I think it downgrades the profession entirely, cheapening our appearance and bringing our level of appearance down to a fast food restaurant level of appearance. But Administration insists on them. Appearances aside, climate control in our center is broken and will not be repaired any time soon. The smocks are very hot and hard to wear in hot, closed classrooms. Does anyone have an experience with this sort of thing? And how do you feel about it? Is it good? Would you like something different? Do you have something different? I'd like to hear it.
     
  2.  
  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 14, 2014

    Like you, I feel we should strive to look professional, mostly because I feel early educators are not taken seriously and if we look like uneducated, unskilled workers that is how parents will perceive us. I don't mean we should wear suits, but we should wear clothes like other teachers.

    In the past, I have been forced to wear t-shirts and smocks. I hated it. Did I have a choice? No. I disliked it mostly because it was a reflection of how the center felt about the teachers and treated them.

    If you like your job or need your job, express your opinion, then be quiet and do it. Maybe you can come to a compromise and only wear it during messy times. Otherwise, look for a place that treats their teachers more professionally, but don't burn your bridges until you find another job if that is what you choose to do.

    Unfortunately, sometimes we get in these situations because other teachers don't dress appropriately so a center tries to control what we wear. We hurt ourselves.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    676

    Feb 14, 2014

    I don't like those apron-y things, either. But, if I were required to wear one, I think I'd just accept it. It seems to me that any type of slacks with a blouse or sweater would be acceptable to wear when working with the little guys.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,334
    Likes Received:
    976

    Feb 14, 2014

    I don't think I would mind wearing them but would be annoyed if it caused me to become overheated with the high temperature in the classroom. I don't like to feel stifled and if I didn't have some air circulating in my room I wouldn't want to wear it.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    676

    Feb 14, 2014

    I wish I could carry some kind of battery operated fan (not those little hand-held ones) that really provided a good breeze. I am so used to having circulating air at home that I miss it at work.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Feb 14, 2014

    I think smocks are awful. Scrubs, though, rock. :)
     
  8. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2014

    I hate smocks and even worse, scrubs. I teach elementary now, but I dressed the same when I taught PreK. Slacks or khakis, leather flats, and an appropriate shirt.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,104

    Feb 15, 2014

    Hate the smocks...I always dress professionally...even when I taught preK and kindergarten...
    I'd wear it if a condition of employment...but I'd be looking for a new job where educators were respected as professionals.
     
  10. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    108

    Feb 16, 2014

    Ugh, I hate when preschool centers/childcare centers make staff wear scrubs or smocks. A professor I had in college once said that any childcare center where the staff was wearing scrubs was an indicator of less than ideal quality (**not that I always agree with that). When I taught headstart in a stand-alone center, we were required to wear scrubs, but could wear headstart tshirts and jeans on fridays. It was awful and I hated feeling like I was more of a caretaker than a teacher. Now that I teach in the public schools, I love that I get to dress more professionally. Our P requires professional dress (dresses, dress pants, no jeans or flip flops, etc..) on monday-thursday, then we do "school spirit" fridays where we can wear school shirts and jeans. It's so nice, and I really do feel like parents respect me more as an educator than when I was wearing scrubs. I can't even imagine sitting in an IEP meeting with a parent wearing scrubs.

    As for the smock....I've never heard of them being required, and that just seems a little silly. I guess I would wear it since it's required, but like other posters, I would definitely be looking for another position.
     
  11. bora

    bora Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 16, 2014

  12. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 16, 2014

    I work at a center for little ones up to 3 and I honestly cannot imagine wearing dress clothes to work. I teach young two-year-olds and am constantly up and down off the floor, running around outside, digging in the sandbox with the kids, being used as a human tissue, wiping noses, changing sometimes very messy diapers, spraying things with bleach, and so on. For me, wearing dress clothes would be like a construction worker wearing a suit to work. It just wouldn't match with the demands of the job. I don't think that this takes away from my professionalism, because that is something I convey in how I conduct myself at work and interact with parents and coworkers. My job does require that we wear smocks or scrubs for sanitary reasons and I am okay with that. We have windows we can open, though, as well as air conditioning.

    That said, I certainly think that if you want to wear dress clothes to work, you should be allowed to, especially if you are working with kids who are a little bit older. The only worry I would have would be that it'd interfere with the ability to get down and dirty with the kids, which is something I think young kids need and is something I'd look for more than how the staff dressed when choosing a center for my own child. But if it doesn't interfere, I don't see the problem with dressing more professionally. :)
     
  13. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 20, 2014


    Oh, I'm on the floor. Hands deep in shaving cream, finger paint, runny noises, spilt milk, you name it. And when I say dress clothes, I don't mean heels, stockings and expensive blouses. I mean basic wearable slacks and some button down shirts. (I have no problem with jeans and t shirts, but I'd rather wear slacks and a casual but semi dress button down shirt than these smocks. THEY are very chintzy looking as well as incredibly hot in our unventilated room. If I have my work clothes, and I get them wet or painty, I deal with them. It's not too hard. I'm not saying let's get dressed for the office. Just something besides a McDonalds look alike.
     
  14. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Mar 15, 2014

    I don't like to be hot. That is the major reason I would not like someone to dictate what I wear to work. I do like an apron for the pockets. If forced to wear a hot uniform, I would have to cry medical exception.
     
  15. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,988
    Likes Received:
    377

    Mar 15, 2014

    Smocks remind me of the lunchroom ladies or the girls at the local hole in the wall grocery store.
     
  16. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 15, 2014

    At my cousin's pre-school, the teacher wear a breathable polo shirt with the school's logo on it and jeans during the school year, than in the summer, the teachers wear the polo and shorts and the lifeguards (yes they have an onsite pool that the kids swim in daily) will wear appropriate clothing. Like the male lifeguard will wear on of those quick dry shirts and a bathing suit and the female lifeguards will wear a one piece. Also my cousin's teacher has this back pack thing that has a container in it and a tube running up to the front as a straw that she wears when she goes outside. I need to get one of those for myself for when I am lecturing all day.
     
  17. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 20, 2014

    I think Polo shirts are atrocious pieces of apparel, I won't wear them in off time, but honestly, I'd rather have that than these fast food style smocks.
     
  18. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 20, 2014

    Sadly, lots of people think that way and take it to admin that way and it gets them .........nowhere.
     
  19. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 11, 2014

    I had to wear a long-sleeved scrub jacket where I student-taught at in a center. It was hot and uncomfortable, and was one of the reasons I turned down the associated job when offered.

    I've also interviewed at places that require scrubs, smocks, or vests, and decided no. I also like to dress in nicer jeans, sometimes slacks, a cotton blouse, occasionally a skirt. My whole work wardrobe is wash and wear, and I don't wear anything that I would cry if it got ruined.

    I think that these type of uniforms make parents think of us more like McDonalds workers rather than professionals. I would never make a staff wear them if I get a director job.
     
  20. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    4

    Apr 19, 2014

    I don't like smocks. :( I have had to wear them. They don't make me feel professional or respected. In other places, I have worn a uniform. I didn't like this either. In one other place, I've worn just professional, but casual dress like a button down, cardigan, pants, and flats. This is what I prefer.
     
  21. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    10

    Apr 23, 2014

    I work in preschool to and my boss is very particular about low cut shorts, and pants. So I do wear a smock occasionally if I happen to wear something thats "too low" or just something I don't want to get paint all over . And im glad we sorta have a choice as to what we can wear. However I LOVE the professional look. We can wear jeans but some days i come in a nice dress, not too short, or dress pants and a button up shirt. But with preschool, getting messy is part of the job. Especially when the kids are doing painting projects. On those days I'd prefer to just wear a smock over my original clothing. I feel as adults we should be given the right to choose what we can wear. And having smocks as an option when the day consist of messy projects.
     
  22. TchrMelissa

    TchrMelissa Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 26, 2014

    I go back and forth with aprons and uniforms. On the one hand, I wish I could wear my own clothes and look professional... like you say. But then, it is kind of nice to not worry about ruining my nice clothes. Especially during messy projects or, like at my current school, when we have to do chores and wash dishes. Each teacher is responsible for taking out garbage, washing all meal dishes and cleaning bathrooms. We have no janitorial... it's us. Which is a whole other issue but... it's led me to not want to wear my nice clothes anymore due to getting ruined by bleach, etc.
     
  23. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,775
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 26, 2014

    Wow. We wear anything we want as long as it's not too tight or low cut! I love dressing in nice clothes and can wear an apron if I choose.
    Scrubs are hideous.
    A pretty apron is acceptable. If you're doing your job, your clothes are going to get paint, glue, food, bleach, and maybe some unmentionable things on them.
    Who really cares what the parents think. They don't have a clue what we do all day, let alone what we wear.
     
  24. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 5, 2014

    Well, before these terrible smocks it was mostly jeans and tshirts. But if they want us to dress "professionally", putting us in fast food garb is hardly an improvement. But if it gets me out of the smock, I'd happily wear slacks and blouse.
     
  25. Teachprek1

    Teachprek1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 19, 2014

    We actually have a professional dress code.

    No jeans, no heels, closed toe shoes, no shirts with words on them, etc.

    Sometimes I wish I could just wear jeans and a t-shirt, as it might be easier to be playing and running around on the playground wearing that.
     
  26. TrainerJoni

    TrainerJoni Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 19, 2014

    Every center that I worked at and have dealt with in some way or another seemed to have the same basic idea on this issue. To put it simply, it's not conducive to a business attire environment but that doesn't mean you have to be sloppy either.

    Most of them allowed jeans and shorts during the hotter months. The biggest restriction came when it comes to clothing that was overly form fitting or possibly a bit revealing.

    My thought is that for the most part it's common sense.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. stephenpe,
  2. vickilyn,
  3. ready2learn,
  4. MrsL74
Total: 312 (members: 9, guests: 277, robots: 26)
test