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Readers Respond: How Should Teachers Dress in the Classroom?

Responses: 7


Like it or not, everybody in this world communicates nonverbal messages through their outward appearances. Since teachers work with young, impressionable minds, it's all the more important to present a professional look in the classroom. How do you think teachers should dress? What is a professional dress code for educators?

Appropriate Attire

Teachers are role models to their students. What the teacher wears and how he or she carries him/herself will have a strong impact on the students. Therefore, it is crucial for teachers to use appropriate attire, for example formal yet comfortable clothing during class and casual outfit out of school. Dressing creates a first impression.
—Guest Vani Nair

Look Like an Authority, Not a Friend

When I started as a substitute teacher/teacher, I would wear dress shoes, khaki pants, and a tie. When I see other teachers wear jeans and tennis shoes and polo shirts, I started doing what they were doing. I agree with some of the comments about as long as the dressing doesn’t interfere with the students’ learning, then it’s okay. BUT I believe it also depends on wear someone can where casual like in high school because you would want to be respected as an authority not a friend.
—Guest Thomas

Quality Education Mustn't Be Dressy

Dress code has nothing at all to do with the quality of education. I work in a high school where the dress code is relaxed and the academic rigor is extremely high. It is not at all surprising to see teachers in jeans and casual shirts. Actually, it’s not surprising to see Administrators in the same attire. Most choose not to dress casually everyday, some do however. I dress casually on most days as I work with students in a life skill programs, and we get messy often!
—Guest Monica

Professional Dress Code is a Must

No sweats, sweat shirts, balling shorts unless you are the PE teacher and it is your PE day. No t-shirts, sports jerseys or jeans, except on Jeans Days (we are a uniform school), which are great charity fundraising events once a month. Men wear ties or polo shirts when it’s really hot and ladies, no leggings or spaghetti straps unless jacketed. There is a whole lot of leeway for stylish, comfortable, professional dress options for work. Even our kids wear shirts/ties or blouses w/some sort of sleeves for the beginning of every week. It really starts the week out nicely.
—Guest Jan

Sleeveless is OK

It’s important to look appropriate. Clean, simple, good fit, and classic. Sleeveless? My classroom is on the second floor of a school with no air conditioning. The temperature often reaches 40 degrees celcius in my classroom. Nothing scandalous about arms.
—Guest Franca

Clean and Casual

Teachers are employed to teach, not because they dress a certain way. I always dressed clean and casual, as that is me. Kids don’t need false airs and suits. Not practical either. They relate to a more casual look.
—Guest Mark

Dress as They Please

Teachers should dress as they please. As long as what they are wearing is clean and not too revealing. Students also need to see that teachers can also be unique rather than a “mold” of what a teacher “should” look like.
—Guest Technology In Class

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