Kamis, 29 Mei 2014

Does what a teacher/professor wear matter?

Q. Writing a paper on this topic and trying to see if people really care what their teacher wears? Do you take them less seriously if they don't match or are they intimidating if they're wearing a power suit?

A. A learning institution is still a place of business. The students are investing their time and so are you. Its like the stock market exchange. Every one is there for the experience and to get the most out with the least effort. This is the majority not all encompassing. A teacher/instructor should stand out obviously with business casual attire that is most of all comfortable to wear and trendy. Their are many tech businesses that have employees come in to work in jeans but only one day per week. Even at work I don't think its the best idea. If your wearing dress clothes 4 out of 5 days in the week than on that 5th day you will feel different and less authoritarian. Less in the role as the leader of the classroom. Dressing down leaves room for others to judge you by your choice of wardrobe that they usually don't see you in. This will change their perception of you. The staff and the students. Your personality will shine through enough to dismiss any claims of you being too serious of a about your job. If students or faculty see you on days off that's a different scenario and will not receive the same amount of attention. I would stick with the business casual attire. But by all means make it your own look. When it comes to accessories go with the minimalist approach. Lastly, shoes have got to be the most comfy. Keeping an extra pair near, in car maybe, in case of heel break or new shoes not wearing in so comfortably you can be relieved.

How should a 23 year old female teacher dress?
Q. I am a 23 year old female who is starting an elementary school teaching position next month. I am young, and like to dress a tad trendy in my day-to-day clothing. I'm finding the thought of nothing but bland, knee-length skirts and button-up blouses to be a little nauseating. What I want to know is: is it OK to incorporate SOME trendiness into my teacher wardrobe without being inappropriate? For example, wearing a nice bright colored blouse with my slacks, colored shoes, a blouse with a bow or flower ornament, or perhaps a pair of somewhat trendy crop pants like these? http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?itemdescription=true&itemCount=80&startValue=1&selectedProductColor=&sortby=&id=17326968&parentid=W_BOTTOMS&sortProperties=+subCategoryPosition,+product.marketingPriority&navCount=455&navAction=jump&color=&pushId=W_BOTTOMS&popId=WOMENS&prepushId=&selectedProductSize=
I certainly don't want to dress too young, merely incorporate one or two items into my outfit that let me feel my age, and that I look good. I think I will have much more confidence teaching if I feel comfortable in my clothing.

I guess what I'm really wondering is if trying to incorporate some of my "youngness" into my wardrobe will portray me as being less efficient or professional as a teacher? I know that I will probably already face the stigma of being such a young and new teacher. In my eyes it is very possible to dress "young" and look professional at the same time, but I'm not quite sure how older people I may be working with or student's parents will feel on the issue. Any opinions would be much appreciated.

A. There's nothing that says teachers have to look like stereotypical buttoned-up prudes. Because you're working with kids, there's a little more flexibility than you would see in an office, but you should aim to be mostly professional. In the younger grades, teachers will often dress more "motherly" but I wouldn't say that's a requirement, either. Kids are aware of fashion as much as anyone, and they'll probably appreciate someone they see as glamourous.

Just two notes - one you've already mentioned - be careful not to be inappropriate. What seems appropriate to a 23 year old might be inappropriate to a 50 year old. I don't think your examples have been, but just in case!

The other: if you're teaching the really low grades (K-3), keep in mind these kids make messes! (think projectile vomiting, bloody/snotty sneezes - it actually happened to a friend of mine!) Don't wear anything that won't clean and that you love a lot.

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