School uniform question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by nstructor, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    For a public school, what are your thoughts about students wearing school uniforms? Do you think the staff should all dress in uniform as well?
     
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  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Totally opposed to staff wearing uniforms...I think many would consider switching schools. Some love to dress up, some have less money and want to wear something a bit more casual but nice. Take away a teacher's freedom on this, and you take away a part of who they are. A dress code might be helpful just so nothing inappropriate is allowed.

    Students wearing uniforms? That is a complicated issue and depends on the community. Our students wear uniforms, and I think it creates a few more problems than it helps. If you have a community that is begging for student uniforms and everyone wants them--then maybe. If you don't have the support for uniforms, it isn't worth the battle.
     
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  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I previously worked at an inner city public school that had uniforms. The idea was that it was supposedly actually cheaper for parents (they could buy just 2-3 outfits for the entire week, and they had a "uniform exchange" every fall where you could trade other families for different sizes) and would help with behavior. We were also told it would ensure students weren't wearing "gang colors."

    IMO it caused more issues than it was worth. We had extremely severe behavior issues, and dealing with what color shirt a kid was wearing seemed like a giant waste of time. My P was hired after the uniform policy was started, and she made it clear that she didn't really care about it. However, as a teacher I felt like I needed to be consistent with rules. If we're going to say they have to wear the uniform, then we need to enforce it; otherwise you're sending a message that you don't really care about rules. My P ended up getting rid of the uniform policy halfway through the year.

    As far as teachers wearing a uniform, I also think that's more trouble than it's worth. I know some teachers who would love to just get up and put the same thing on every day because it's easier. On the other hand, some that are more into fashion would be devastated. I personally wouldn't mind not having to think about my clothes, but I'm a size 12 and would worry that whatever the uniform was would be unflattering. Polo shirts, for example, look awful on me. I also think it downgrades the profession. When you think about jobs where people wear uniforms, they're mostly low level/low skilled jobs (i.e. some retail places, fast food, amusement parks). Salaried, college educated professionals aren't typically wearing uniforms.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm totally against teachers wearing uniforms. Give me a dress code, even a conservative one, and I'm good--just don't make me wear a uniform. I am a professional in an industry where uniforms simply aren't the norm for faculty and I believe I can be trusted to dress professionally and appropriately.

    I'm neutral on uniforms for students. I've taught with uniforms, I've taught without, and I feel it has no significant impact on behavior. That said, I'm not opposed to them, I just don't think they're the wonder people want them to be. I appreciate they can be helpful for those with tight budgets (I really do believe uniform pieces tend to run at a lesser expense, at least as far as I've seen on prices) who can also rely on the aforementioned uniform banks. I also appreciate the ease and convenience they can be.
     
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  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2018

    Well-stated.

    I suppose I can name a few professional, educated fields here and there where a uniform isn't out of the question and acceptable, but by and large... you just don't see it all that much.
     
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  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    No uniforms for staff. We don’t even have a written dress code for staff, but we were told some things that are no-go for work.

    Uniforms for students would be difficult for us because we have no clothing stores here. Everything would have to be ordered. We are a high poverty area. I’d imagine that being problematic. Many people don’t have internet access or a credit/debit card.

    DH’s school has a strict dress code for students: khaki pants, solid color polo shirts, belt, shirt tucked in, closed-toe heel shoes, school t-shirt (if purchased through school vendor).

    We both teach at public schools.
     
  8. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    I swear to every God listening and taking oaths that if my district announced teachers had uniforms I'd be gone so fast they'd have trouble figuring out what that blue blurr was going by. I'm against uniforms for students as well. I think people need some basic self expression, which clothing provides. Not only that uniforms are expensive.
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I like dress codes for students and staff. I'm not a fan of uniforms for either.
     
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  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 13, 2018

    No uniforms for staff for the reasons that have already been stated.

    I'm fine with uniforms for students. I don't really care one way or the other. I've attended schools with a uniform and ones without and I've taught at schools with a uniform and ones without. I really liked our uniforms in high school. We could wear any pants we wanted that were business casual and up and then we had polo shirts we could get in about 25 different colors.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    No thank you.
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I think I would look for another school if I had to wear a uniform. My students next year do have to wear uniforms and it is pretty strictly enforced. I don't mind uniforms for students.
     
  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    If I wanted to wear a uniform, I would have got a job that required it.
     
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  14. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    Amen.
     
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  15. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    Ugh, I love clothes waaaay too much to wear a uniform. I understand the "leveling the playing field" as far as uniforms with students are concerned, but as an above poster said, clothes are a basic form of self-expression.
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I suppose an argument could be made that there is a stronger history and culture for students wearing uniforms, but all I can recall for teachers is a long-gone tradition of academic robes.
     
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So we had a similar discussion a couple of weeks ago in one of my mom groups--what were moms' thoughts on kids wearing uniforms? It was represented fairly equally, as one would expect, but several times popped up the pro-uniform idea "Kids can express themselves other ways!"

    Yes, they absolutely can. But I still say that one of clothing's intended purposes (at least in more recent history) is self-expression. Why deny it?
     
  18. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    Agreed! This is kind of cheesy, but it reminds me of the movie The Princess Diaries, where the protagonist, Mia (a self-proclaimed "ugly duckling") is debating with the popular kids about uniforms. Her argument (although she gets too nervous to actually give the speech) is that uniforms are an "equalizer." Popular and unpopular kids alike are wearing the same outfit, but yet she still gets made fun of. Mia's grandmother hires people to give her a professional makeover, and all of the sudden, she is considered conventionally beautiful. Even though she is still wearing a uniform, she is still expressing herself through hair and makeup, so the "equalizing" of the uniforms doesn't really work.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is people will find a way to express themselves no matter what, it's just human nature. We might as well allow students to express themselves to their full potential with clothing.
     
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  19. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My school has standard student attire. Students must wear certain types of clothing items (e.g. a polo shirt) in certain colors. I like it for several reasons.

    First, it quickly identifies grade level. In a multi-level school like mine, it can be hard to tell who is a big elementary student or a small middle schooler, so the colors help with that. Second, it mostly eliminates the opportunity for students to advertise their affiliation with gangs, at least with regard to color. Finally, it helps staff quickly identify students who should not be present on campus.

    I wouldn't be interested in wearing a uniform as a teacher, although I'm happy to throw on a school shirt and khakis or jeans every now and then.
     
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  20. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My partner teases me about my "uniform": shirt, tie, & slacks.
     
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  21. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    We are very big on school uniform in the UK.
    There are several reasons trotted out for them such as.

    Community, the kids know they belong to one. Well in my experience it just allows them to recognise who is on their side when they have a street battle with the school down the road

    Cost. It is cheaper for the parents to buy uniform items rather than normal clothes. Well the parents have to buy normal clothes anyway and in my experience kids grow out of them before they wear out so having to buy another set of clothes which will also be grown out of is an extra expense. Then some schools have very specific school uniform items that can only be bought from one supplier (usually giving a kickback to the school) and are very expensive.

    Basically we have uniforms in the UK because someone in authority reckons that by aping the private schools our schools will be the same.

    What uniforms actually do it create a scenario where the first 15 minutes of school time in registration (I think you call it division) is spent arguing with a succession of kids who are not in the correct clothing. Then the start of every class also has another 'discussion' with those kids who adjust their uniform between classes.

    This is not a new thing, in the 60s when I was at school we spent a lot of time and effort pushing the boundaries with uniform and winding up the teachers.

    Shopkeepers like uniforms because they can identify shoplifters more easily!
     
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  22. Aces

    Aces Devotee

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    I can't tell if you're for or against uniforms but I'm leaning towards against. Are street battles a real concern?
     
  23. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Comrade

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    I work at a school where staff wear uniforms, a polo shirt (in any color you can think of) with the school logo, jeans, and sneakers. We work with a unique student population with a variety of aggressive behaviors so we need to be able to move around and be comfortable. I was surprised but I really like it.
     
  24. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I used to work in a public where the kids wore uniforms. They caused more problems than they solved. There were so many dress code violations that the admins couldn’t keep up so essentially the uniform policy became useless. Since the admins had too much other stuff to worry about and kids were getting away with not wearing the uniform, teachers stopped wasting their time writing up violations. There are so many other things to worry about in the classroom than what color shirt a kid is wearing.

    Also those that say uniforms help bridge the gap between the rich and poor kids are sadly mistaken. You can tell who has brand new uniforms every year and who is wearing a hand me down. You can also see who has $300 sneakers on with their uniform and who got theirs at goodwill.
     
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  25. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    There are far more serous issues in UK education that need to be tackled but if uniforms disappeared I would not miss them. As for street battles, they happen sometimes.
     
  26. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I do think that public school uniforms try to give the impression of private school airs. I also think that in many gang areas where who is wearing what flag is often related to violence, it would be nice to curb that, and maybe a strict uniform policy would be a step in the right direction. Where I'm at, uniforms tend to belong to charter schools and religious schools, other than a handful of more prestigious private schools. Some public schools enforce uniforms for the purpose of taking provocative clothing out of the schools, with the side benefit of reducing the wearing of gang colors. I believe that for some families, knowing what everyone is going to wear, every day, must be a blessing - no fights over what is or is not appropriate as the kids are leaving the house. That said, most public schools in my area do not have uniforms. Honestly, I have never heard of teachers in uniforms, although I did mention in a previous post that teachers are bound by the dress code of the school, especially in the high schools. I once had a female VP who routinely wore skin tight skirts that were no longer than the shorts we were tasked to write up female students for wearing to school. She was an embarrassment, and I had no response when students wanted to know why their clothes were wrong, but her's were allowed. It was an education in just how much doesn't get by the students' attention.
     

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