The Topic of Professional Dress

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Ms.Jasztal, Aug 13, 2007.

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  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Aug 13, 2007

    Our district superintendent is in the process of strictly enforcing professional dress in the classroom. This means no jeans unless it is Fridays, and that includes jean shirts, dresses, and skirts. Principals cannot wear jeans at all, and male principals are encouraged to wear a tie and jacket on a daily basis.

    9.9 times out of 10, you are not in my district, and I do not mind this at all, considering at least 75% of my regular wardrobe is professional. I have plenty of skirts, dresses, suits, slacks, and blouses as well as flats, heels, and loafers. I have plenty of scarves as well. I personally feel that when you look in the mirror in the morning, you should look as if you are heading to work instead of Wal-Mart, for example. No teacher should look as if he or she has fallen out of bed.

    I came from St. Johns County (St. Augustine, FL), which is extremely professional in its entity. My intern teacher (2nd grade) almost always wore a suit with a nice scarf. We were not permitted to wear sleeveless clothing (I believe) or open-toed shoes. (I still don't now.) The principal always wore a suit, and the assistant principal always wore a tie and jacket. Everyone always looked professional, and it made for a very positive working environment. Not everyone went to the extent of wearing suits, yet they knew what was appropriate and what wasn't.

    So as I stated... the superintendent's decision does not faze me all that much because I am very much used to it.

    Here is some food for thought-
    - How is professional dress enforced in your school and district?
    - Do you feel any rules for professional dress should be less stringent for kindergarten, ESE, and PK teachers, for example? (For P.E. teachers, it is obvious.)
    - How do you dress generally?
    - Are there any "rules" for dress you have to follow in your school?
     
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  3. Pigger

    Pigger Companion

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    Aug 13, 2007

    i know many people are going to disagree with me, but i thought i would respond.

    in my elementary building, people dress in various ways....some more casual than others.....i am one who dresses on the more casual side.....i think you could call it casual professional.....

    i don't look like i just got out of bed, and i dont look like i'm going to the store on a saturday morning.....

    i've already stated, i love crocs....but i cant wear crocs with eveything although i would like to. i do wear jeans on friday and sometimes crocs goes with jeans......also have a great pair of green ones for st. patricks day.....

    i wear skirts too....sometimes, but not in the winter...i cant wear stockings......its a personal thing, i always get runs and then i want to take them off, because im obsess over it.

    i always take the time to do my hair and put on as much makeup as i wear (which isnt much)

    normally it is pants and a button down shirt, polo shirt or sweater....i also look at it as what i do during the day, i dont stand in one spot and teach, i sit indian style on the floor during morning meeting, jump over kids when the phone rings during read aloud or a lesson on the rug, play kickball during PE, run the mile with them during PE, etc.

    i'd like to think i look nice.

    my prinicipal on the other hand is super professional looking, always in a power suit, even on field day. but she stands out because...and people look "down" on her because she can never relax, relate to the kids or "be" normal. it isn't just her outfit, but also her super intense business like personality.

    no hat day or slipper day, because the kids wont take us serious...sigh.... again, i know others will disagree, but i don't agree with her.....i set the guidelines and the atmosphere....just my opinion.

    we don't have any set rules.

    i'd vote for jeans on friday if you pay a dollar to support cancer, students against distructive decisions, hunger, various causes, etc....but she says NO to everything:eek:

     
  4. heymrsp

    heymrsp Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2007

    - How is professional dress enforced in your school and district? I honestly don't know that it is. My school district is so large that I don;t think that they can actually enforce it thoroughly - we have 35 campuses within the district and each has their own vibe - while there is a written dress code for staff, I don't think that much is made of it. I think its at the discretion of the administrator within each building. Within my building its business casual.

    - How do you dress generally?

    Generally I wear dress pants and a nice shirt. I almost always wear high heels - even on Fridays when I wear jeans. Im well known for it. But that is because I LOVE shoes.:) I occasionally wear a skirt or dress, and occasionally I will wear jeans in the middle of a week. It depends on my mood, but I generally dress up for school.
    - Are there any "rules" for dress you have to follow in your school?
    No. Our administrator believes that we are all competent professional adults and leaves us to our clothing decisions. We have teachers who wear skirted suits every day(30 years of teaching 1st grade!) and teachers who wear jeans and a polo. As long as we are clean and neat looking in appearance, she has no complaints. My husband is a teacher at the high school that my elementary school feeds into, and you will see staff there in everything from jeans and sweatshirts to shirts and ties - its an eclectic mix, and I think alot of it has to do with the vibe of the school and administrators there.
     
  5. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Aug 13, 2007

    With some of our younger teachers, we've had issues with professsional dress, and we had to, as a school, write down our expectations as far as professional dress and make it an official dress code. It's not overly strict, but from looking at it, you'll see the sorts of things we were dealing with:

    No jeans, any day.
    No visible underwear (bras, panties, thongs, whatever)
    You must be completely covered from shoulder to mid-thigh - even when raising your arms (no visible belly, no spaghetti strap, no short-short skirts)
    No athletic shoes without a dr. note stating a specific medical reason
    No flip flops
    No pajamas

    Most of the staff dresses how I would describe as "business casual." We don't have many suits (we have no men), and now that we have an official dress code, we aren't having issues with super casual clothing. And it's not targeting the younger teachers (anyone of any age could have been guilty of wearing jeans!), but, honestly, it wasn't the 50-somethings who had low-slung cords and visible thongs hanging out!!!!
    Kim
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Aug 13, 2007

    One of the topics covered in the inservice I have attended (Friday and then today) was dress code. While there is not a specific dress code, there are a few "rules." Jeans can be worn only on Friday, and only if a school spirit shirt is worn at the same time. The principal generally wears nice slacks and either a nice polo shirt or shirt & tie (it's too hot and humid here for a jacket). The Assistant Principal (curriculum) made a comment that made a lot of sense to me. She stated that we (the teachers) should dress for the level of respect we wanted to receive from the students, their parents, and other education professionals. :2up: The administration seemed to understand that there is a difference in what is professional for a middle school teacher (ours is Pre-K-8) and in what is appropriate for a Pre-K, K, or first grade teacher. Personally, I wear the same general types of clothing that I did when I was a secretary/bookkeeper. Slacks and nice blouses/sweaters/polos are the general rule for most days (I am student teaching 3rd grade), although I have 2 suits (for interviews) and several skirts and dresses. The main difference in the way I dress now versus then is that I tend to avoid white at all costs in the classroom! I end up wearing bits of every substance I have encountered during the day! I tend not to wear dresses in hot weather because the pantyhose are miserable. I have seen teachers wearing every make of shoe from crocs to reeboks to 4" spike heels!:eek:
     
  7. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    We do not have a teacher dress code. Most of the teachers including my self, dress in what I would call dressy/casual. I usually wear dress pants or a skirt and nice shirt or sweater. I actually like to dress up and feel better when I do. We do have spirit day on Fridays and I usually participate in that. We can wear jeans and a school shirt or a shirt with our school colors. If you wear jeans, however, you pay $1.00. The money we collect is saved and then spent on some of our more needy kids (we buy Christmas gifts for families that don't have the money, buy winter coats, shoes etc. for kids who need them.) I enjoy wearing the jeans, but I think the atmosphere in the room is different on Fridays. I feel like I let the kids get away with more and am less strict on Fridays. I don't know if it has anything to do with the casual day or not.
     
  8. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Aug 13, 2007

    Pwhatley, nice remark. I have thought that mainly since I first read Harry Wong.

    I am glad we can wear jeans on Friday; the only thing I have to change is not wearing my jean skirts sometimes during the week. I have two that go past my knee and are absolutely comfortable, yet I can wear them on Fridays as much as any other day. The students are not permitted to wear jeans throughout the week, so it doesn't matter so much to me.

    Pigger, I certainly feel you are fine! I don't disagree with you at all. :) So I won't be one of those "many people" you mentioned. :woot: I know teachers who have worn crocs and wear a nice button down shirt with khakis to compliment it. Sometimes they wear t-shirts, yet that is also a part of the code- no t-shirts as of now.

    People can definitely look nice and casual/professional without looking like they are headed to Wal-Mart. :) I have those days, too, where I dress in my button downs and khakis with nice flat shoes. :)

    We are certainly permitted to dress down for field day (I hope now) and dress up for other days, like Halloween. I wish things could be less stringent in that sense for you, yet some principals have their own distinct opinions from others.

    Before this year, we certainly were not permitted to show any parts of our bodies that we weren't supposed to. That would be extremely unprofessional, anyway- anyone showing thongs or her midriff in front of any age. I have never seen a teacher who has shown either, yet I am sure someone has.
     
  9. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    While I haven't heard of this happening because of actual working teachers, I have heard horror stories of the outfits worn by potential teachers when they went to observe or student teach. What I would consider just plain good common sense doesn't seem to compute with some people. They think a belly ring or thong showing is decent apparel appropriate for wearing in front of impressionable students! Gag me with a spoon! (Oops, that's an expression for another thread, lol!)
     
  10. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I know. I haven't seen it at all, but I've seen a few people who have worked in other places where I can tell they are wearing "certain" underwear. It's just kind of obvious by the way they walk.
     
  11. snoangel

    snoangel Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2007

    I really think it depends on what you teach. When I was in Sped preschool everyday, I wore jeans just about daily because I was on the floor, playing in the dirt, etc. If I wore my nice clothes they would be ruined quickly. Some may disagree with this, but with Kindergarten, I think it's acceptable to wear a nice pair of dark wash jeans (not faded/whiskered) with a cute top - like what Stacy and Clinton say on What Not to Wear!

    Now that I'll be teaching 1st, I will wear jeans on Fri and probably khakis/cords the rest of the week. Even though I have many heels in my closet, I have been shopping for cute flats for obvious readons. I always do my hair/wear makeup and look presentable. The one thing I will never do is wear seasonal sweatshirts or sweaters though- even teaching 1st!
     
  12. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Oh, it was at my school last year. One of our special ed. resource teachers was VERY tall, so her skirts were VERY short. When she would bend over to help a student sitting at a regular height table, we got quite a show. Her thong panties often showed out of the top of her skirts (and sometimes the tatoo at the base of her back) and we could usually see what color bra she was wearing, too.

    We don't have a dress code; we are expected to look nice; well-groomed and neat. I can wear jeans any day I want; when I do, I tend to wear the very dark ones that are trouser cut. In the summer when it's very hot, I could even wear longer shorts, but I don't. I can't go that far.

    We are encouraged to dress up for spirit days, and I do - even with crazy hair and wearing pj pants and a t-shirt!
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We don't have a specific dress code--although we are expected to use common sense and look like we are dressed to go to work. The student dress code applies (no spaghetti straps, no visible underwear, etc). I generally wear dress pants or khakis with a nice shirt, sweater or t-shirt and jacket. On days when I have meetings with parents or community agencies I do dress in a suit. Comfy, flat shoes are a must for me--when I start out in heels, I'm ususally in my flats by the end of the day.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The students we had last year would have eaten her alive! These first graders loved saying "underwear" and discussing it. They would guess what color and tell you that they saw it (when they didn't) and try to trick you into admitting what color it is. If they saw the hnt of anything related, they made a big deal out of it. It got so bad we had to get the counselor to come in a do some role playing. They didn't do it as much with me as they did with the teacher. But then again, I was the no nonsense one on the team. If my shoulder bra strap fell though...yikes. That derailed the lesson for sure. Yes, students notice.
     
  15. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 14, 2007

    My school is infants to K-age, plus before/after school (for half-day K's and kids up to 4th or so).

    Our policy is no open-toes shoes, ever. And BLUE jeans can only be worn on Payday Fridays, Field Trip days with a school shirt, (or with special permission, like the day after Thanksgiving when no one comes anyway). We do some spirit days with our kids (PJ day is a favorite of EVERYBODY!) but otherwise are expected to look professional.

    Pretty much the thought is "if we want to be seen as a school instead of a daycare, we need to look and act the part."

    In the winter, I wear khaki's, cords, and some dress pants, with a button-down, sweater, or yes, even some t-shirts... but the "nicer" t-shirts that are plain or have a simple pattern, not the "going to Wal-mart" t-shirts. I teach 3 year olds, and I'm on the floor and using paint and glitter constantly, so I don't wear anything that can't get those materials on them. I wear loafers a lot.

    In the summer, a lot of our staff wears long shorts, otherwise it's capri's and stuff, with closed-toe sandals. I wear sleeveless shirts a lot (I spent at least 1 1/2 hours outside every day!!!), but usually I wear the button-down ones or the ones with REALLY wide straps, we're not supposed to wear spaghetti-strap ones.
     
  16. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    I'm one of a few in our school board that still wears a tie on a regular basis. I agree that we need to look professional as it brings dignity to the job (not that "dress down teachers" don't have dignity); image is everything these days whether you like it or not. I think most teachers find that common balance between comfort and professional but there are others who could care less. Unfortunately, it's those "dress down" teachers that probably get noticed more than those in professional wear.

    Certain positions should have a more flexible policy regarding clothing, however. If I taught the early years, I doubt I'd be inclined to wear a silk shirt and dress pants for fear of ruining them. PHE teachers are obviously exempt because of the nature of their job. I do my own PHE so I tend to wear my athletic gear on those days.
     
  17. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

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    We are expected to wear professional clothing. No jeans unless it is a special day. No backless shoes (this is the thing that kills me!). I do agree that the clothing you wear helps set the stage for the level of respect you will receive from parents, students, colleagues, administrators.

    This is the first year that our students will be wearing uniforms. It is a pretty big deal. I have heard many parents asking why the teachers don't have to wear a uniform too. I am hoping it doesn't head in this direction. I would hate to have to wear a uniform to work every day. Do any of you work at a school where the students have to wear a uniform? Do the teachers have a specific uniform too?
     
  18. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    My students this year will have a uniform. Well, it's more of a very strict dress code. They have to wear certain colors on top and certain colors on the bottom, no jeans, no capris, shirts that are not sweaters must have a collar, etc. The teachers don't follow the same dress code, though.
     
  19. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    In our county, they are pushing for professional dress. Though I think I make decent money, it's not a professional salary...so pushing anything beyond business casual is ridiculous especially in elementary school.
     
  20. MissHunny

    MissHunny Comrade

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    We can wear our school spirit shirts on Fridays...but not with jeans. No jeans EVER unless it is a field trip or field day.
     
  21. Jenny G

    Jenny G Companion

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    My school is very casual. No shorts or midriff showing stuff, not even any short-short skirts, but most of us wear casual capris or the like every day. Flip flops (nice ones, not Old Navy) are also pretty standard. When it gets cold, I'm in jeans almost every day with a sweater or a spirit sweatshirt. Everyone looks very nice, just really comfortable.
     
  22. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Gotta love CA for this.:D
     
  23. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Great topic. This year brings HUGE change to how our school handles the teacher and student dress code.

    The whole district has adopted a very strict dress code for students and TEACHERS must follow it too--EVERYTHING about it. Here are some of the new rules:
    --all shirts must be tucked in, boys and girls. (This makes sense but there are NO exceptions so in the event that I wear a flowy skirt that doesn't lend well to tucking in a shirt I think I'll need to anyway.)
    --If your pants have a belt loop, you must wear a belt. (Once again, that is fine but they leave no room for fashion. The belt must be plain jane brown or black with a small belt buckle. It must be in the belt loops not out which is considered trendy and popular in some circles right now)
    --All shoe laces must be WHITE. (So if you buy cute brown shoes with brown laces you have to muddle them up with a pair of bright white laces. I wear my shoes outside of work and am ticked about having to do this.)
    --no shoes without at least an ankle strap. (They say this is a safety issue. I think that is a bunch of bull. I fail to see the emergency rooms filled with people who have suffered injuries by manner of their heels, slides or clogs.)
    --no name brand tags may be shown (I'll be damned if I am made to take the designer labels off my clothing.)
    --more rules like these

    Teacher specific:
    --no jeans (happy about this because I do think some of the teacher's jeans looked horrendously old and unfashionable and unprofessional)
    --we have a certain shirt we will ALL wear for each day of the week (a Monday shirt, a Tuesday shirt etc.) I think this will make my life easier in the mornings even though I am not crazy about wearing the same exact shirt 3 days out of the week just in a different color and the styles we got do not lend themselves well to some skirts. )
    --We are encouraged to wear the professional sneaker looking shoes. Even the principal will be donning them this year so we can better protect our children and ourselves if we ever need to in the event of school violence. After crouching for 20 minutes in heels after a real lockdown we had this past Spring I can attest to this being important!
     
  24. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    I personally would love to have a uniform as a teacher-I know some schools around here have that policy-it seems to be dockers and a polo shirt. I am NOT a morning person by any means, so I would love to be able to pull a standard uniform out of my closet everyday.

    I cannot wear stockings either-they really bother me, I think because I have a problem with my muscles and joints that makes me very sore at times. So what I will wear is nice pants that kind of cover my shoes and the socks I will have on-nice socks. No one will ever know the difference. I have comfy, nice shoes that look professional. I cannot wear heels and would not want to be on my feet all day in them. My friend wears them and has no problem. Even if we had a field day, I would not wear shorts. I am not comfy in them-I would go for capris if there was a day like that.

    I think dockers, nice pants, and decent shirts (polo, blouses, etc.) are fine. I do not think you should have to spend a lot if you are going to be doing projects, painting, or other messy things and may wind up ruining your clothes. As long as you look presentable and you can do that on a budget. The problem is, I think some people truly think they look presentable and they do not-they seem to wear too short, too tight or too sloppy. I cannot tell you how many people I have seen at job fairs and interviews wearing flip-flops-I think that looks bad. I know someone who was hired wearing them. I do not think they would be allowed in the schools near me. Clogs and crocs-they seem to be popular and I think they are ok.
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    And those rules might not be too realistic for certain larger people or those over 50. I also thinnk it is demeaning for the teachers to have the same dress code as the students.

    I am so glad we have a very relaxed dress code that takes into account who we are as individuals and the environment we live in. Still, no jeans at all.
     
  26. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Have to love PE. I've got my shorts and Univ Fla National Championship tshirt on. In the heat it is always white or gray
    cotton tshirt and shorts. And a towel handy to keep dry
    and cover my neck.:woot:
     
  27. kiraj

    kiraj Companion

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    Holy Moly, some of those dress codes are incredible! All staff in the same shirt?? Must wear a belt? I feel happy to have a fairly relaxed code. I do think we need to dress more professionally than our students. At my last job teaching high school I could wear jeans everyday if I wanted to. Casual slacks, capris, flip flops, all ok. In my new job I will dress casually and in non-flashy clothes because of working with elementary life skills students.

    I think it's appropriate to say no jeans (but jean skirts and jumpers and button shirts should be ok) and no flip flops. Also no t-shirts. Of course body covered too. Other than that, I think it's important for teachers to be semi comfortable while teaching, including shoes. Personally I wear Vans almost daily. We're on our feet constantly for hours at a time, I think it's important to have good supportive shoes that don't dig and blister.
     
  28. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Aug 14, 2007

    I just moved to a new district. I haven't heard what our professional dress will be. I'm assuming I'll find out next Tuesday, when we have a building meeting. I hope we can wear jeans on Fridays, but who knows. I know that our principal, who is new to the schools too (she is in charge of 3 that will come into a new building in another year), is very professional.

    I wouldn't say my dress is a 100% professional all the time. But I also teach in a Pk classroom. I feel I should be able to dress down a little bit. But don't get me wrong, I do wear skirts with dress shirts and etc, but not all the time.

    An issue that I had last year was the way my aides dressed. I feel they are part of the teaching profession too and should be held accountable to the way they look. Many times my aides would wear sweat suits and tennis shoes. I didn't find that appropriate. I'm not sure what the policy is in my new school with my 2 aides.
     
  29. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Today was the first day of school for our students (and yes, it was a madhouse!). I would venture to say that 90% of the female teachers wore dresses/skirts and heels (I did not -- slacks and a very nice sweater with loafers). Interestingly, by the time lunch rolled around (and all of the parents were gone), 90% of the female teachers who had worn skirts/dresses were now sporting flip flops of some kind or other! They were the decorated flip flops, of course, so they could get away with it. LOL I thought it was hilarious!

    I do think I am going to bring an extra pair of shoes to keep in the classroom. As a diabetic, I can't take any chances with my feet....

    Re: uniforms for teachers
    Every teacher (who wears a uniform to work) that I have spoken with LOVES the uniform, mainly because their nicer clothes STAY nicer that way. As previously stated, it definitely makes the morning routine MUCH easier. Around here, if the uniform top is a Polo shirt, it is not tucked in. Blouses are to be tucked at all times, and a belt must be worn if the shirt is tucked in. I personally, being a "fluffy" person, would hate to have to tuck in all of my shirts, so if I were student teaching in a uniformed school, I would go for one with the Polo option, just for my own comfort level.

    Re: shoes. I have no earthly idea why open toed or back-strap-less shoes are banned. I would be interested to find out what the objections to them are. I have seen many pairs of sandles and clogs that were not unprofessional in my opinion.


    Re: dress code for aides. I understand the need for clothing that is better than sweat suits. I also understand, though, that aides (at least here) make very little money, so don't have the funds for a "professional" wardrobe. Many of the aides (at my school) find themselves changing diapers of almost adult-sized students, feeding them, and performing all kinds of potentially messy chores. I think that I would make their dress code to be similar to that of pre-K or K teachers. Just my :2cents:
     
  30. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    My school tends to be more business casual most of the time, although in the hotter months, capris are not uncommon. Many teachers have taken advantage of this though, and have been WAY too casual (jogging suits in the middle of the week, etc.), so it wouldn't surprise me if they tried to toughen up the dress code eventually.
     
  31. nicegirl

    nicegirl Comrade

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    Aug 14, 2007

    I haven't started yet, so I am not sure about dress code. I would, however, LOVE if we had to wear uniforms. There is no fuss with them. They are easy to maintain and in the morning all you'd have to worry about is hair and make-up. This would be my ideal choice, but the decision is not up to me. Oh well.
     
  32. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Aug 14, 2007

    I'm sure our district has a dress code, but it seems that at our school it's not really enforced. I usually will see my administrators wearing suits or dresses/skirts. I see a variety of dress levels. I see a range from dressy suits, to dress pants and blouses, to jeans and sloppy t-shirts. I find myself in the middle. We are allowed to wear jeans on Friday. I enjoy that option, but if I was told we were not allowed to, then I'd be fine with that.

    I honestly would love it if we ever had uniforms. It would be so much easier to get ready in the morning, and it wouldn't be a question if my attire is correct or not.
     
  33. Miss Starr

    Miss Starr Companion

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    Aug 14, 2007

    When I was in 6th grade one of my younger teachers liked to wear loose blouses. The boys in my class would wait all period to catch a glimps of her bra when she leaned over. Then one would shout out the color. We would all giggle, but she never could understand what was going on.

    Now I am always conscious of the front of my shirt when I bend over a desk!
     
  34. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    At my school if there is a dress code for teachers I have never seen it, we have teachers wearing shorts (men) :woot: , Low neck lines :whistle: , and some who look like they are out on the town (too dressed) :eek:hmy: Myself, being a shop teacher for 33 years I wore jeans every day and many times flannel shirts with tape measure or Red White and Blue spenders and a big key ring on my belt you could say I dressed Motley.:rolleyes:
    Now that I will be in the Math room it will be Slacks or "Dress" Jeans (non blue) and a Polo shirt.:cool: In Arizona the state neckwear is the bolo tie (string tie, not the noose) so I pass on the tie.
     
  35. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Aug 14, 2007

    We have a casual / professional dress code. I work with infants & toddlers, and we frequently go outside / on trips, so there's a huge need to dress in clothes that are washable, comfortable, and easy to sit on the floor / bend over in (and weather-appropriate). I try to work within those parameters while still looking professional.

    I usually wear a knee-length a-line skirt and a sleeveless shirt with sandals in the summer, skirts with tights, sweaters or jackets, or slacks with blouses in the winter. To be honest, I'm either walking, walking, walking outside, or going in and out of the baby rooms (i.e., slipping my shoes on & off), so comfort and easy slip-offable-ness is my first priority with footwear--I try to find shoes that are comfy and cute: Birkenstocks, Dansko, Born, Keen, etc.

    I do find that I dress about one step more professionally than most of my teachers, who are more jeans / shorts / t-shirts people. But then they're the ones in the classrooms all day long.
     
  36. BuLadybug

    BuLadybug Rookie

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    Aug 14, 2007

    I was just at a conference today and the presenter was talking about professional dress. I know the teachers as she called herself "seasoned" used to always wear suits and high heels, skirts, etc.

    I suppose our district is pretty casual. We can wear jeans on Fridays and we do donate a dollar to a fund. I am a younger teacher (soon to be 27) and I would say I dress professional/casual. I teach first grade so I am on the floor often and can get messy.

    I do wear capris and nice sandals in the spring but definately no flip flops. I do have dressy capri pants outfits and I wear khaki's and other nice pants with button down tops or nice blouses . I wear skirts often as well. I do also have some skirt suits that I do wear at times (especially if parents/grandparents will be in, etc)

    I totally agree with the whole issue on seeing undergarments (thongs, spaghetti straps, etc). I do not think it is classy when a teacher would bend over and you would see that or having your stomach exposed.

    I do think my dress is appropriate for the school I am in - but should it change I would be willing to change too.
     
  37. DaveF

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    Aug 14, 2007

    I just looked ours today. Slacks are preferred over jeans. It doesn't mention tatoos, but some of the younger female teachers have them visible. I guess I'm old school, but I don't think it looks professional to have a tribal band around your arm.
     
  38. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 14, 2007

    I think the no open-toed shoes issue at my school is from Corporate, not a policy just for our particular school. I think it's a safety thing... which I can understand; when your feet get run over by a tricyclist not watching where they're going, it HURTS!!! BUT we can have slip-on shoes, which to me have the same problem. I don't wear shoes to work that I can't run in, though.

    Our kids are allowed to wear flip-flops, croc, etc. BUT individual classrooms have policies about shoes that can and cannot be worn on the playground. We tell our kids to bring gym shoes or closed-toe sandals for the playground. If you're in crocs or flip flops, you can NOT play on the equipment. After a school-ager broke or sprained (not sure) her wrist because of her flip-flops, we're not taking chances.

    It only takes once or twice for our kids to remember to bring gym shoes... several of my girls just keep a pair in their cubbies.
     
  39. MJH

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    Aug 14, 2007

    New to Our Contracts

    ARTICLE VI, NEW SECTION G


    All certificated staff members are expected to dress in a professional manner that inspires respect and serves as a role model for students. It is recognized that attire must also be appropriate for the teacher’s assignment, the needs of the students, and the physical needs of the staff member. Clothing should be modest and appropriate size. It is understood that problems of teacher dress shall be handled professionally between the educator and his/her immediate supervisor
    .

    Above is what will be stated in our new contract concerning professional dress once ratified by the board and teachers. My district adopted Standard School Attire (uniforms) for the students that now they want to make sure that teachers dress appropriately.

    The school that I was at last the dress by a large number of the faculty I would consider inappropriate. Teachers came with bra straps showing, mid drifts, flip flops, torn jeans, slippers, short skirts, and low low cut shirts. Several looked as if they were ready for a night out on the town. I was very shocked and unfortunately it was mainly the younger teachers. In the beginning I thought well maybe they could not afford 2 wardrobes but they didn't seem to make an attempt to look professional.

    We, teachers, want to be treated as professionals therefore we must act, dress, speak and present our selves as professionals. I don't wear suits, dresses or skirts to school but I leave my house covered and presentable. I mainly wear women Dockers, a nice shirt and loafers. I love my jeans and t-shirts but I feel that those should only be worned occasionally. I was this way even when I taught kindergarten, but again it's just my opinion.
     
  40. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Aug 14, 2007

    Yep old school here too.
    It took me 4 years before I saw my principals (USMC) tatoo on his upper arm.
    Also I don't think it looks professional to have anything pierced other than the ear lob.
     
  41. paperheart

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    Aug 14, 2007


    I agree completely. I also feel bad for the overweight children who will feel very self-conscious tucking in their shirt. A lot of the kids are not untucking their shirts to be rebellious. They feel uncomfortable with themselves.

    As for teachers I think it is very demeaning too. Whatever happened to, "I'm the adult and you're the child and we adhere to different rules and that is just the way it is."
     
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