Uniform/Gum Policy

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms.Holyoke, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    600

    Dec 15, 2018

    My school has a uniform for kids (certain colored pants and certain colored tops or jackets, no logos) Students are also not allowed to chew gum. I honestly did not know of the specifics of the policies until early November (the school doesn't always communicate with us.) I have become very strict with gum in my classes (and I got better at identifying who is chewing gum) and I honestly think it has helped the academic culture (kids have stopped passing gum in class, etc.) and will probably help the desks stay gum-free.

    My students have told me that most teachers do not care about gum except me and the science teacher. It also seems like some teachers do not care about the uniform in terms of colored sweatshirts and wearing hoods in class. The issue is that it seems like a lot of the teachers do not enforce the gum/uniform policy, so kids seem annoyed when I ask them to take off a non-uniform sweatshirt, etc. I had a girl wearing an obvious non-uniform sweatshirt and refused to remove it. She then wrote me a rude email and I had to write her up, etc. After this incident, I asked my VP if I should be enforcing uniform in terms of sweatshirts and she said yes. I had another student who refused to remove a non-uniform sweatshirt but I didn't feel like writing up another student. Another student has been wearing a non-uniform jacket and told me she can't afford a uniform one (I told the social worker). However, I feel like I am in the small minority of teachers that enforces no hoods, no gum, and the uniform and I don't want to get into power struggles with students on something that I don't feel is a big deal or waste my time if other teachers aren't doing it. Most of my students who wear hoods in class are boys and they always listen the first time, so this isn't a problem for me. Do you think I should continue enforcing the policies?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  2.  
  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,843
    Likes Received:
    1,678

    Dec 15, 2018

    Yes. I'm among the minority of teachers in my building who enforce the rules about gum, hats, hoods and the dress code. Others have told me that they don't say anything because they feel like they are fighting a losing battle. It would be less of a battle if everyone was consistent.
     
    Ms.Holyoke and otterpop like this.
  4. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    91

    Dec 15, 2018

    It's tough. I could have written your post with regards to hoods and hats. Once a large enough number of teachers stops enforcing it, it makes it miserable to fight because it creates a toxic teacher vs student mentality on the part of the students.

    Once they legitimately can say that "everyone else lets us," they start to really resent the teachers who still enforce it, and that resentment creeps into daily innocuous interactions. ("God! You won't even let me sharpen my pencil" from the kid who wanders the room if given half a chance.)

    I'd check with other teachers about what they are enforcing. I'd probably allow gum but not non-uniform sweatshirts, but I'd get confirmation via email from admin about how to handle uniform violations.
     
    Ms.Holyoke likes this.
  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    600

    Dec 15, 2018

    I spoke with my mentor who enforces the uniform as well as gum (and is more strict about it than I am). However, there are teachers on my team who don't enforce the uniform and I always see kids not in my homeroom out of uniform. I know there are some kids who are extremely defiant and I don't have them so that could be the reason. One of the science teachers is very strict about gum and gives detentions for gum.

    I was talking to one of my friends (also a new teacher) about this. She doesn't enforce either because of classroom management issues. We were talking about how if the class is finally quiet, she doesn't want to make a big deal about a sweatshirt or gum. I was the same way before but my classroom management has *slightly* improved where I can deal with these issues during class.
     
  6. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    470

    Dec 16, 2018

    This is probably an issue that should be brought up during meetings so that it can be included in the minutes. With these rules it’s hard to enforce if teachers don’t back each other up. I have to enforce the earphones in ears, mobile phones, no gum and no hats. I’m more strict with the earphones and mobile phones. When the students say other teachers “let them” I tell the students that this is a school rule and if other teachers don’t enforce school rules and let them blatantly break school rules then that’s their business but it’s not how I roll. In my class, what I say goes and that’s that. It’s not up for discussion.
    If they get sassy they lose their phone for the whole day and I ring their parents.
    With the gum, if I see a kid chewing gum I literally say three words “Gum. Bin. Now.” and the kids just do it. No harm no foul. If they get sassy then I get grumpy. And the kids think that’s pretty fair.
    I don’t enforce the no hats rule because the rationale behind that rule is a “respect” thing for the teacher. Since I personally don’t care and I don’t feel disrespected, I don’t enforce it. I won’t die on that hill. And I tell the kids that.
    So basically the kids know which hill I’m willing to die on and they aren’t gonna fight me on the hills I’m willing to die on because it’s a losing battle for them.
     
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    600

    Dec 16, 2018

    ^
    I might just ask my mentor how we are supposed to handle uniform violations (send the kid to the office, etc.)
     
  8. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,025

    Dec 16, 2018

    But apparently you do roll with the letting students break rules in your class, as long as they are rules you don't personally agree. Maybe another teacher doesn't personally care about gum, but does care about hats?

    I personally think all of those things should be at the discretion of the individual teacher.
     
  9. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    722
    Likes Received:
    78

    Dec 16, 2018

    I totally agree with rpan. (Actually, rpan, I agree with almost everyone of your posts!) Let kids know what you expect and what admin says about the rules and go from there. Good luck!
     
    rpan likes this.
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,761
    Likes Received:
    986

    Dec 16, 2018

    I would ask admin to make all teachers enforce all the rules.
    1. why have the rule if it's not enforced?
    2. eventually no one will enforce it, so the rule will just sound dumb: "you can't do x,y,z but if you do, nothing happens"
    3. those few teachers who are going by the book seem like the mean teachers, and will have a hard time enforcing the rules, since others don't. You're swimming upstream the whole time.
    4. this teaches kids that rules don't matter. If they don't obey these ones, they probably will get away breaking the other ones
    5. letting the little things go often lead to big problems. At our school you can't wear red or blue. Even just a 1/4 " diameter red spot has to be taped over, or shit turned inside out, or changed out.
    You either enforce something, or you don't.

    This is a serious matter.
    I would also say that you need to enforce this with ALL students ALL the time. You can't not write up one kid because you don't feel like it or you're busy or tired. then you're seen as favoritizing, and now will be looked at not only the mean teacher but also the unfair one, which is really not good.
     
  11. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    638
    Likes Received:
    470

    Dec 16, 2018

    The rationale of the hats is purely a respect for the teacher. Except admin forgot to ask the teachers if they really cared about the issue. And they forgot that respect for the teacher cannot be enforced by admin on students and cannot be earned by making them take off their hats.
     
  12. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2018
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    16

    Dec 16, 2018

    I’m the same as you. The only one of these that occurs in my class is students wearing hats and hoods, but when they come into my room for our class, I have them take them off immediately.
     
  13. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    600

    Dec 16, 2018

    ^
    I have 3 boys who always put their hoods on as soon as they leave their English class and I have to remind them to take it off before they come in. I also get the sense that one of them is needy for attention and likes the attention he receives when I ask him to remove his hood.

    I'm thinking of asking my mentor how exactly I should be handling uniform violations/defiance. I have one student who is defiant and has been out of uniform. I am tired of writing up kids so I am wondering if I should call dad and ask if she can bring a black sweatshirt to school.
     
  14. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    35

    Dec 17, 2018

    I have students that will try to get away with dress code violations in my class by saying their teacher doesn't care. 9 times out of 10 when I go talk with the teacher and find out for sure, they actually do enforce the dress code but the student just wants to get away with it in my classroom. I have found that it is just best to enforce everything as written even if others do not.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,342
    Likes Received:
    982

    Dec 17, 2018

    If you're going to write up one student for the uniform infraction then you need to write up the rest. It's not fair to pick and choose who is allowed to break the rules.
     
    txmomteacher2 likes this.
  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    600

    Dec 17, 2018

    I honestly wrote this student up because I asked her more than 5 times to remove her jacket and she was extremely rude about it. She kept pointing to other students and finally she eventually did not remove it. The other student listened today and seemed to understand. I had so many kids out of uniform today but they did listen.
     
  17. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    141

    Dec 18, 2018

    Yes, you should continue. It doesn't matter what other teachers are doing. You will never find a clone anyway. If you don't like a rule have a staff meeting to change it. In the meantime students are trying to figure out if rules are for real or just some perfunctory school announcements. Early November? This should tell you something about priorities at your school. This could also be a reason some teachers don't take school-wide rules seriously. It's analogous to what happens in the classroom when a teacher doesn't attach much importance to rules and procedures. The students won't either. The "some in - some out" makes it tough on teachers. You can feel like an island.

    Students gifted in adult manipulation try the "good cop-bad cop" ploy hoping to make you feel guilty for being a teacher. If you take the bait and decide it's not worth your time students will make a mental note that you observed them break a rule and did nothing about it. You may feel like you saved yourself some grief by avoiding confrontation... if I ignore it, not make a bid deal about it, maybe it will go away. This sounds like good advice until you realize other students saw you make a decision and, if they didn't, they will find out soon. They think to themselves, "Hey! Wait a minute! If they can wear hoodies (chew gum) and get away with it so can I!" Since this rule doesn't apply they will begin testing other rules to find out where you stand. Your thought of saving yourself some grief now spills over into the classroom as you attempt to reestablish order to a bunch of students unconvinced you mean what you say. Another way to look at it: If there is a climate of discipline outside the classroom life will be easier for you inside the classroom. One helps the other. When you are enforcing school-wide rules you are making deposits of management that you can withdraw when it comes time to manage your classroom.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    600

    Mar 21, 2019

    Bumping this thread...

    I am so tired of the inconsistent uniform policies at my school. The kids are supposed to only wear black, white, or green sweatshirts with no logos. It feels like i am the ONLY teacher who enforces this with my group of kids. I'm wondering if I should just stop and let it go. Admin says we have to enforce it.

    So the kids take off sweatshirts in my room and put them back on in the hallway for the next class. It is ridiculous.
     
  19. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    28

    Mar 21, 2019

    What do you all think about kids wearing hats and/or hoods in class? I feel they're more focused when no one is wearing them. It also prepares them for the "business" world!
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    600

    Mar 21, 2019

    I don't allow hats or hoods in my class. The kids have the little headphones that are easy to hide.
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,452
    Likes Received:
    965

    Mar 21, 2019

    Don’t automatically assume that “but everyone else lets us” is accurate. Our kids tell us all kinds of stuff about each other, and we know it isn’t true. They act like we don’t talk to one another. :rolleyes:
     
  22. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes Received:
    1,439

    Mar 21, 2019

    Then let them. That's okay! It means they are listening to you and respecting your classroom authority, at least while in your classroom.

    I feel strongly about this as well. I also feel like the only person who enforces our dress code. It really irks me. I used to worry about it more but honestly I've stopped being so picky lately because it feels like an uphill battle. If admin wants it enforced, then there needs to be a systematic reward or consequence in place to make students follow the rules.
     
    Ms.Holyoke likes this.
  23. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    141

    Mar 21, 2019

    Your concern is one that afflicts many schools: rules that are enforced inconsistently. Yes, it is frustrating to expend time and energy, making sure discipline comes before instruction only to find out your efforts can be undone in three seconds. You can control what happens inside your classroom. There isn't one student who can argue you are unfair because you choose to follow school rules. Don't fall for whining and backtalk in attempt to push you off your agenda. Besides the sweatshirt rule you are teaching something more important: your commitment, consistency and follow-through. If you let a rule slide because it's too much trouble you reinforce a pattern that says, "Discipline is not worth my time". And if sweatshirts are not worth your time, students will have to test to find out if talking, yelling, out-of-seat and other forms of indoor sport are worth your time.

    Perhaps a solution that may help is a school-wide policy that mandates sweatshirts be collected, sent to the office and not returned until the end of the day. Maybe a stockpile of old and used official sweatshirts could be kept on hand to "lend" to students for the day. We had a similar problem where girls were leaving home dressed appropriately (dress code) then changing in the restroom (clothes stashed in paper lunch sack). They were feeling "above the law" until they were sent to the office and parents called to pick them up and not return until they changed.
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,843
    Likes Received:
    1,678

    Mar 22, 2019

    No hats. No hoods.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn
Total: 429 (members: 2, guests: 410, robots: 17)
test