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Dress attire for teachers - Page 4

post #61 of 93
I think jeans are fine but tank tops and flip flops - no. I have never seen a business that allows flip flops for libility and saftey reasons.
post #62 of 93
I am a teacher, and I do think flip flops are a bad idea for safety reasons. Not only do teachers have to be prepared to lead their class out of the school quickly in case of an emergency, but little people are not always clear on personal space boundaries and step on toes often. High school hallways can be very crowded, creating lots of opportunities for crushed toes as well.

I would not feel comfortable with a shirt that exposed my armpits and shoulders, especially when leaning over students. But that's me.

I don't really care what other teachers wear, but it would be nice to lose this

I have never seen a teacher wear clothes that I would consider "pretty" or "attractive" or even decent looking.

No matter what the age of the teacher they are almost always (99.9% of the teachers I have met and dealt with in my life) in the teachers "uniform".
Those ugly fugly teachers clothes that you never ever see at the store but every teacher seems to own.

My clothes are not expensive, or "this season", but they are not ugly. Most teachers, besides having a very demanding job, have children themselves, which equals not much time for wardrobe consultations.

I think it is possible to look professional, be comfortable, and not be "fugly".

post #63 of 93
Originally Posted by lilyka
I think jeans are fine but tank tops and flip flops - no. I have never seen a business that allows flip flops for libility and saftey reasons.
I guess you have never been to Hawaii or a Southern California beach town. Where I grew up, in a SoCal beach town, a lot of people wore flip flops to work and school. My 5th grade teacher wore then every day!
post #64 of 93
Originally Posted by lilyka
I think jeans are fine but tank tops and flip flops - no. I have never seen a business that allows flip flops for libility and saftey reasons.
I wear flip-flops to work nearly every day.
post #65 of 93
Originally Posted by Ellien C
That sums up how I feel about it. I don't like to talk about anyone's clothes, hair or makeup. It's something that mostly only women are subjected to and it's insulting. Men get evaluated on what they DO. It's women who are constantly evaluated on how they look. I've made a conscious decision at work not to snark about what anyone is wearing. If I want to snark, I have no trouble finding something else.
This is a great post. ITA.
post #66 of 93
Originally Posted by littleaugustbaby
I wear flip-flops to work nearly every day.
n a city that for decades has been leading America toward a more relaxed personal style, Los Angeles is once again resetting the standard for dressing down. No longer content to banish the necktie, untuck the shirttails and let the stubble grow wild, Angelenos this summer are enthusiastically adopting flip-flops - also known as thongs or beachcombers - to dinner, to meetings or even, last week, to a premiere.

"I've seen guys on the red carpet wearing flip-flops," said Vivian Turner, a celebrity stylist who has helped dress famous names like Sharon Stone, Lionel Richie and Geena Davis. "It's the first thing in the summertime: put on a great skinny suit with the shirt open and a pair of thongs. I totally approve. Thongs are cool."

Well, they are here, anyway. It may still be difficult to imagine a pair of flip-flops, even expensive ones, at a Wall Street investment house, or thwacking their way through a Congressional hearing room. Last summer, the Northwestern University national championship women's lacrosse team caused a furor in the capital when team members were photographed wearing flip-flops on a White House visit. The trend seems to baffle, if not offend, some people from other parts of the country.

I spent my childhood in Vans or flip flops (we called them thongs); I guess that is why the uproar baffles me.
post #67 of 93
Yeah, I never saw the big deal either. I work in a professional environment. The only time that I don't wear them is if I have a meeting with clients, or if it's too cold out to wear them. But I've been known to wear flip-flops in the snow.
post #68 of 93
A CA teacher here...
I think the OP's kindy teacher got it right on the first day of school: jeans, button down shirt and flats. I avoid denim the first 2 weeks or so, but that's just me.

A teacher could come to school in a burlap sack and the kids would still write sweet little notes to her that say: "I love my teacher becuze she is so pritty."
post #69 of 93
I've been thinking about this thread and having very mixed feelings as I read the different responses. On the one hand, I see teaching as a professional careeer and believe that dress is an important part of how teachers present their profession to the world and create an environment of learning, of respect and trust, of order and organization and whatever. Otoh, I see teachers as individuals connecting w/ kids, wanting to be comfortable and express themselves, deserving to be judged based on performance and skill rather than appearance, etc.

I finally realized what the source of my own mixed feelings is.

If you're talking about what I personally feel is the most appropriate "dress code" for teaching and what I would strive for if I were to be a teacher, then it would lean toward the professional side. I would never wear jeans or flip-flops or concert t-shirts. I would choose comfortable "dressy casual" attire like loose, flowing skirts, Docker type pants, nice sweaters, casually nice blouses, etc. And I would choose styles that are "me" (not hugely trendy, but comfy and slightly boho hip, whatever suits my personal taste...). The attitude I'd like to reflect to families is that I think my work is important enough to dress the occasion for. I'm a professional with a college degree and I'm performing a serious and vital job. I want to set a tone in the classroom that is pulled-together and organized, yet comfortable and relaxed. And I want to create a professional impression on the parents who would come to see me. Like it or not, people do form impressions based on appearance and I would want my impression to be one that is professional yet approachable, that inspires respect and trust but is also relaxed and friendly.

About judging other teachers though... Well, I guess I'd have to say that all the points others have made are very valid. Teachers don't make a ton of money for high-class wardrobes. Teachers hang out with kids and get down on the floor and are active and painting and running around and whatever. Teachers are connecting with youth and in some circumstances, the more casual dress might go over better with the students. Sexism prolly plays a role in how we judge female professions more harshly by appearances. I would certainly much rather have my kids have teachers who were smart, skilled, kind, creative, etc, than ones that were stylish and well-dressed. So I would have to reserve making any judgments of any other teacher based on dress.

Fortunately, my kids school teachers have all dressed in pretty much the same style that I would have chosen myself if I were a teacher. I imagine that fact also colors my opinion on appropriate teacher dress. This is the rural midwest (though I'd have to say when we lived in larger cities int he midwest, the standards were similar) and so cultural norms and expectations enter into the equation. It sounds like in some parts of the country, different standards exist.
post #70 of 93
I homeschool so this doesn't affect me at all, but I have no problem with the description in the first post.
post #71 of 93
The jeans are only barely acceptable on casual Fridays and not at all if it's the school policy to have no jeans.

The flipflops and tank top are REALLY not acceptable ever. I'd really be curious to see the school's policy on acceptable dress for teachers.

Originally Posted by AbigailsMomSarah
I'm not posting in the learning at school section because I don't really want this to be about the kids, or about learning

What do you consider appropriate attire for teachers, or other professionals who work with kids?

My friends son started kindergarten this week.

The first day the teacher wore jeans and a tucked in button down shirt with flats.

The secondd ay she wore jeans and a t-shirt with flip flops (the plastic ones, not leather sandals).

Today she had on a tank top, bra straps showing and the flip flps again.

Now we are in CA, it is still very warm, and this is a public school in a very affluant area....not that this matters a great deal, I am just trying to paint the picture.

Also, Kindy here is half day but pretty academic...she is not wearing jeans because she is painting all day or digging in the mud! I was a preschool teacher and I wore jeans almost every day...but I WAS painting and digging in the mud

So, this bugs my friend, and my mom, who is a retired K teacher aggrees. They say unprofessional.

I'm undecided, but planning on homeshooling so I have not thought much about it.

What do you think?
post #72 of 93
Originally Posted by DoulaClara
My kindergartners always notice what I'm wearing! I had an assortment of different comfy shoes and slides, and I think their personal favorite were my bright blue sneakers.
When I taught first grade, I started wearing silly socks everyday because they were always sitting on the rug by my feet, staring at my shoes! I wouldn't wear flip flops because then they'd be staring at my toes.

Our school (middle school) does allow students to wear flip flops and tank tops. Teachers are expected to look "professional." Some teachers wear flip flops but usually cute/fancy ones. I wear dark pants, colored/fitted t-shirt and cardigan almost every day. I have a million combinations.

Our school would not like the bra straps showing. We can wear jeans and tank tops, but that is a general rule, and some jeans can be dressed up and look nice. We are supposed to wear college sweatshirts on Fridays. We have the most problem (teacher dress code-wise) with some male teachers who are in shorts and flipflops everyday.

Teaching is not office work. I never sit at my desk. It is physical, I am always walking, acting out, leading, directing, showing examples, etc. I do look nice, but I have to be comfortable, too.
post #73 of 93
jeans and a tucked in button down shirt with flats.
Sounds totally normal and appropriate to me. Lots of my teachers wore clothes like that.

jeans and a t-shirt with flip flops (the plastic ones, not leather sandals).
I think the t-shirt as fine, but I would avoid words/advertising on it. I personally would not wear plastic flip-flops anywhere but the beach/public shower/pool but I know it is kind-of "in" right now, and don't think it is inappropriate.

a tank top, bra straps showing and the flip flps again.
I've had teachers where sleeveless shirts before and I think it is ok if there are properly fitted & reasonably modest, but if bra-straps were showing it probably wasn't.
I don't think teachers need to be "dressed up" unless they want to be. And can be as casual as they feel comfortable with as long as they aren't wearing anything too revealing. I also wouldn't wear way oversized clothing, like those jeans donw to your knees (if I were male) I wouldn't wear anything with rips, stains, etc. unless it was a day for gardening or something.
I do think that the student dress code should affect this- ie no jeans for kids= no jeans for adults.

I am somewhat young looking for my age, especially barefaced & hair unstyled. So anytime I have a business conference, have to meet with a parent (I don't teach, I work with special needs adults), or do anything like that I tend to go over-formal/business-like with my clothes, hair, & makeup. If I were a teacher of older kids I would probably wear a suit, dressy slacks, etc. all of the time. But I don't think that I need to do that, but would be worried that I might otherwise be mistaken for a student and get detention for being in the halls w/o a pass. (Although my HS had neither detention nor hall passes, but anyway). With little kids I would just want to be comfortable, but again- modest.
post #74 of 93
It really depends on the style of the clothes/shoes you're describing.

On a really hot day this tank top would be fine with a nice skirt or smart pants (would definitely HAVE to have a cami underneath though):

Whereas this one would probably be a bit too casual:

With jeans it's the same - a pair of well cut, dressy, dark dyed jeans can be okay:

Whereas ripped, faded, baggy jeans probably aren't as good:

These flip flops - no.

But I wouldn't think twice if I saw a teacher wearing these:
post #75 of 93
Today was our first day (teachers only no students yet) and I was thinking about this thread. I looked around to see what everyone was wearing. Now there were brand new teachers completely decked out. My own department head had on jeans and fancy flip flops. The English teachers (not my dept) seemed the "best dressed" and "put together", one had on a stylish outfit with heals and others had on skirts and dress pants. In thinking about this and tossing around the attire from the four districts I've been in, my conclusion is that it boils down to personal style and lifestyle. One teacher in the foreign language dept just had a baby 4 weeks ago and is breastfeeding and has 2 other little ones at home. She told me she is lucky just to get out the door with everything somewhat matching.....
post #76 of 93
Originally Posted by boongirl
rAnother issue is teacher pay. California may have the highest average teacher pay in the nation at $55k but that still does not make it possible for a teacher to own a home on that salary.
Most districts will help with financing so that a teacher can live nearby the school she works.
post #77 of 93
Originally Posted by caned & able
Most districts will help with financing so that a teacher can live nearby the school she works.
That is a great idea, but nothing of the sort exists here.

post #78 of 93
Originally Posted by caned & able
Most districts will help with financing so that a teacher can live nearby the school she works.
Ah, no, not true. If it was, we'd be living back in Cali There are certain loan programs that give teachers a break, like no/low money down, but that doesn't help when the average starter home is 500K and you're making 50K/year.
post #79 of 93
Originally Posted by caned & able
Most districts will help with financing so that a teacher can live nearby the school she works.
I've been teaching in CA for 13 years and nope, nothing like this in any of the 4 districts I've taught in.
As the pp said, there have been two hard to get on the waiting list for help with the loan/loan of the down, but nothing that remotely makes the >$500K starter homes in my area within reach of even the tippy top of the teaching pay scale.
post #80 of 93
Some school districts do have subsidised housing - much cheaper rent than market value. Friends of ours take advantage of it .. they're saving as much money as possible while paying low rent. The house the school has provided is a few blocks from the school - it needs a paint and some new carpet, but it's huge and has a great fenced yard.

Also, their teacher's health insurance is cheaper than all the others, and the teacher's loan interest rates are lower than market rates.

It might not sound like much, but every little bit helps for them.

Is there somewhere I can look at US teacher rates of pay? I had no idea the rate wasn't the same across the nation. Where we live teachers all get the same rate of pay starting the year they begin to teach (first year out teachers start somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000, and it goes up each year automatically - there are then other 'incentives' ... assistant principals get paid more, you get paid more if you teach in an isolated area or really difficult school etc).
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