DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: This is my fourth year teaching and the first with our new principal. He is, no pun intended, very old school.
When we came in for our first staff meetings right before school started, he made it clear he expected his professional staff to dress like professionals. For example, jeans are okay, provided they’re neat and not torn. No graphic tees, sweats, hoodies, tank tops, or flip-flops are acceptable. On Fridays, we are being encouraged to wear the school polo with jeans or khakis, but otherwise, no more dress down days so long as students are in the building.
I grew up with teachers dressing casually, and many of my fellow teachers, of all ages, at my current school also feel like we’re being treated like children in not being trusted to wear what we feel comfortable in and how the students are used to us dressing.
Do you agree we, as professionals, should be treated as adults capable of knowing what works best when it comes to relating to our students? --- not for the dress code
DEAR not for the dress code: You may not like hearing this, but I support your principal’s policy of requiring his professional staff to present a professional appearance when on the job.
Taking care and pride in your appearance sends a message to your students that you are not their peer, but their teacher, the adult responsible for their wellbeing, safety, and education during the hours they’re in your classroom.