It never ceases to amaze me when I attend professional educational conferences or professional development sessions how the attire of some teachers and even administrators can be questionable at best. Yet everyone from the Oklahoma state superintendent down is working desperately to elevate the teaching profession’s credibility. There’s a disconnect somewhere.
I have even been to conferences where a special pre-conference email has been submitted to address this “proper dress” issue. I know this sounds like a rant, but I feel sometimes those in the education profession, especially teachers, tend to forget how much impact they have on their students’ lives, especially as “role models.”
For many of our Oklahoma students, their teacher may be the only professional they see all day long, and the way we dress absolutely makes lasting impressions. I really don’t think it is asking too much for men to wear a tie and slacks and for women to dress in apparel with hemlines that aren’t too short or necklines that aren’t too low. These few criteria should be implied good dress-code ethics. We shouldn’t have to be reminded of the appropriate attire for educational functions–we are professionals.
Since September marks the beginning of a new school year, I urge all educators to take a quick “dress check” to ensure you are sending the right message to both students and other colleagues in not only your schools but communities as well. Sometimes professionalism begins at home in your closet.
Happy September 1!