Friday, September 4, 2009

What to wear?

From the Apple

One of my jobs, as the "Queen" of Chets Creek (which just means I'm lots older than everyone else) is to remind new teachers when they unintentionally veer away from our unwritten dress code. At every school there are unwritten rules about what to wear and what not to wear when you are a teacher.

The butt crack. Because this younger generation of teachers grew up wearing their pants below their belly button with short tops, they sometimes don't realize (or maybe they do!) that when they bend down or over, you can sometimes see their butt crack or just as offensive, their barely-there thong or bikini underwear. While this might have been perfectly okay (not for me, of course!) when they are in high school and college, it is certainly not okay when you are trying to project the image of a professional, so I have taken to telling our young teachers at my school when they need a 3-way mirror to check their back side. Being old enough to be their mother helps!

Cleavage. Another thing that seems to be more acceptable to the younger generation is showing cleavage. Yes, I know I am old fashioned, but fifth grade boys and young Dads (or maybe Dads of any age) still have a difficult time hearing what you say when they are looking at your chest!

Unwritten rules. Every school has a dress code whether it's actually published or not so my advice when you are new at a school is to look around and observe what the veteran teachers are wearing. At my school, because we are in Florida, sandals are perfectly okay. In other schools where I have taught, sandals are not okay. they are considered flip flops and are considered a hazard, especially going up and down stairs. Jeans are another interesting subject. When I came to Chets ten years ago there was an unwritten rule that jeans were not acceptable - not in a skirt, not in a jacket, not even in a teacher jumper! No jeans. Period. However, when a younger Principal came, a more dressed-down fashion look also came with her and now many young teachers wear jeans on Friday with the school tee-shirt but also jeans can be found on any day of the week. Personally I don't think jeans, especially with holes and tears, are very professional, but now at my school, they seem to be quite fashionable. As my daughter-in-law reminds me - she probably spends more on her jeans than on any pants she wears! Nobody has ever said that the "jeans rule" has changed at our school, but it is an unwritten rule that jeans are now okay. Each school has its own rules.

Before the first week of school, I took Courtney shopping for school clothes, for probably the very last time! I thought about that often as I sat with her in the dressing room. Over the years she has been to "Mama's School of Dressing Professionally." She almost always chooses clothes for work that I think are appropriate (at least when I'm paying!) and she did look very professional dressed for success in her teacher clothes (said her mother!) She glowed! The only thing we disagreed about were shoes. She chose 4-5 inch heels (she's short and she wanted to be taller than the students) but I thought her feet would hurt by the end of the day. Then I thought of Michelle at my school and Randi, my daughter-in-law, who both teach in heels - HIGH heels! I guess Courtney will just have to find out for herself what works for her and what doesn't...


  1. This post made me laugh! I guess I am lucky because my mom still treats my sister and I to a "first day outfit." I do agree with the jean thing and it has gotten worse in just the last three years...jeans are for Friday:)

  2. I know jeans are not professional and you shouldn't wear them often, but they are like the chocolate bar that tempts you until you eat it. It is oh so good once you finally do, they are so comfy!

  3. I would like to say that it simply can't be done. What teacher can possibly be compfortable enough to deliver instruction in 5 inch heels? One of the best teachers I know can, Michelle does it everyday.