Monday, October 20, 2008

Prep time

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Let me tell you - it is a struggle to get out of bed at 6:20. From there I honestly don't do much more than put on clothes and deodorant, then brush my hair and put it either into a ponytail holder or barrette(s).

I eat breakfast - a boiled egg or bowl of cereal if I have time, then brush my teeth. I shower at night cuz I don't like to go to bed grubby.

Fortunately, we have "dress-down" on Fridays - if you wear school colors, you can wear jeans. But I don't understand why pants made of sturdy cotton are still considered less professional than wool or acrylic. Ditto the much-maligned T-shirt: if it's in clean and in good repair, why does it matter whether my shirt has a collar that is flat or one that stands up?

Getting dressed should NOT have to be a major issue.

I just finished reading The $100,000 Teacher, and one of the points Crosby makes is that if teachers want to be recognized as professionals, they need to dress the part. I think Harry Wong said the same thing, though my copy of The First Days of School is actually at the school, so I'm not sure.

Now I'm not saying we should be able to wear just "whatever." Clothes should reflect self-care, because we want to demonstrate that to our students. Likewise, anything that creates a distraction or a safety hazard is a bad idea.

But what pisses me off is the stupid idea that clothing has to be expensive, uncomfortable, and/or difficult to maintain in order to qualify as "professional." Why does anything beyond cleanliness, modesty, and safety matter?

Image thanks to


Lightly Seasoned said...

My building is pretty laid back. I guess they'd like us to not wear jeans except on Fridays, but nobody really pays that much attention. We also don't post lesson plans or anything of that nature. We're one of the top districts in the state, so I'd say appearance isn't as big a deal as Wong would like us to believe. Nobody would ever question my professionalism, but I tend to dress in chinos and different color polos.

Clix said...

Well, our graduation rate is below 60%, so clearly, professional dress isn't some kind of magic bullet. I very rarely have discipline issues, though. It's just that many students aren't willing to work hard in order to succeed; they know they can get a factory job even without a diploma.

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