Teachers generally are not known for dressing well. It’s all about comfort and functionality when you are on your feet all day. Not to mention sweating like crazy when the sun is shining in the classroom but shivering like a mad woman when it’s overcast, getting white board maker crap all over your face/hands/hair/clothes, and getting boogered on. Yes, I’ve had to deal with boogers, even at the high school level.
I am not one of those teachers who follow the teacher wardrobe mantra of:
- wear loose shapeless clothing
- no make-up (well ok, only neutrals)
- shoes for comfort over style, all the time
- neutral colors so that students focus on you and not your outfit
- cover all skin, shoulders and legs included
- try look older than you are, to look like you mean business and to prevent from being mistaken as a student
- avoid shopping at the same stores as the students
Instead of subscribing to this boring teacher’s uniform, I’ve have:
- shown up to class wearing matching sweaters with a student
- worn bright lipstick on cloudy boring testing days
- regularly wear kitchy funny t-shirts that help illustrate the day’s lesson such as this one. Also a big fan of this, this and this.
Do all students take me seriously at all times? Of course not. Doesn’t matter what you put on in the morning, you will always have those students who don’t take you seriously. For the most part though, students know that when I mean business, they better mean business too. I tell them, “this is my serious face” and they hop right in line (just kidding). If anything, I really believe that my fashion sense (or lack of sense) helps make me more relatable and authentic for my students. Students from urban areas do not automatically view teachers as authority figures and afford respect. Teachers have to earn their trust and their respect. I learned that my second day of teaching. My personality helps me build relationships with my students. It’s Bio/Physiology/Health during class time, and nail art, fashion shopping, etc during lunch and after school.
On that same note…..one student has found this blog so far. He’s peeked at it once, mentioned it in class and has since completely forgotten about it. No google searches for Ms Schenck recently =)
Here are a few outstanding blogs I read (or have read) regularly who are also authored by teachers. Are there any more out there?
Past the Mission – of course, my lovely fellow teacher!
Complex Cardigans (sadly, recently ended but with a great archive of posts)
Academichic (also defunct but with a great archive)