A while ago an administrator approached me, since I am on the union Exec. Board, about whether or not a teacher dress code is warranted. I simply said “no” and would not really entertain the notion knowing that the teachers would not wish to engage in this discussion and would not work to include one in the contract.
However, I must admit it’s an issue I’ve mulled over a time or two. I used to be more of a jeans and polo shirt man but now tend to wear sweaters or shirts and ties (like the ones in the picture) and khakis.
If teachers wish to be seen as and paid as professionals, do teachers need to dress the part?
Where is the line between professional and unprofessional attire?
What is appropriate attire for content areas or departments around the building?
I definitely see a stark difference between the elder teachers in the building and the new crop coming in to the building. More experienced teachers tend to dress more formally with collared shirts, ties, and dress pants while younger teachers regularly arrive in jeans, khakis, t-shirts, and polo shirts.
Does attire affect student behavior (positively or negatively)? Can attire affect job performance? I know one student who said he doesn’t like teachers who wear ties and sports jackets because he thinks they’re too separate from his world; he can’t relate to them. Another student said she doesn’t respect a teacher who dresses every day as if on vacation; she wants to learn from an expert who dresses the part.
Do you have dress codes? Are there unspoken rules for attire? What do you think?