Teaching (In Style) Philosophy:
I’ll be the first to admit that the “holiday sweaters, denim jumpers, and apple pins” have got to go! But quite frankly, that ship has sailed so far into the Pacific, people may start doubting Columbus’s theory all over again. I’ll give the over 40 bracket a pass, because more pressing, there’s a current generation of fashion offenders who like to think of themselves as style-setters. I’m talking to you, in the untucked, button down hoisted up by the large belt, and you, flared denim-wearer, and you with the khakis over tennies. Those looks call to question the professionalism in the education world. Additionally, those looks inflict a state of anxiousness inside of me that is further exacerbated by the lackluster conversation filling the teachers’ lounge. If we want to garner respect from our students, their parents, and our non-educator peers, we must dress and act the part.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard the news, “Loft loves teachers.” This is not a monogamous relationship. Not only does Loft love you, but Loft also loves the lady yelling through the cinder blocks, the lady two doors down who hands out detentions as a form of revenge for the bullying she experienced as a child, and heck, Loft even loves the high-strung finance lady in the front office, you know, the one who guards dry-erase markers like they have some ability to decode the answers on this year’s state test. So, for the sake of our hard-earned Master’s degree, let’s make a concerted effort to step away from the same three stores as we elevate both our style and professionalism. Many professions vary their dress code from buttoned-up suits to casual Fridays. As professional educators we need to follow suite. If you have the time and money to nurse your non-fat, extra shot, carmel, mochalata-habit, then I don’t want to hear the “limited teacher’s budget” argument. My impeccably dressed coach notoriously said, “Look good, feel good, play good” (I never said anything about her grammar). Every day is a fresh start, so ditch the cardigan combo and dress up your step.
Who is this lady anyways?
A middle school teacher with a diverse background, ranging from the city to the ‘burbs to WASP capital of the Northeast, she prides herself on little sleep, maximizing about 84% of every 24 hours, 97% of the year. As the self-identified creator of an equation called fashion productivity (subtract the minutes spent getting ready from the total number of compliments received that day), she is constantly competing with herself to decrease the time it takes to roll from bed to the door, while looking like a professional. A fiend for improvement, she aspires to become a principal who transitions schools from underperforming to overachieving. Until then, she spends the summers trading in her pumps for ponchos and her sheaths for sneaks as a camp director at a rustically-ritz overnight camp.
They say effective teachers have between three-five, positively stated rules for the classroom. Miss has ten. They all begin with “I will not…”:
1. I will not purchase a pair of Dansko clogs/shoes (what are those things. anyways?). Yes, even the patent leather ones are unacceptable.
2. I will not wear an untucked, button down shirt with ill-fitting slacks and call it an outfit.
3. I will not wear clothes that reveal my Friday night, Thursday night, or any other night-plans.
4. I will not reserve my suit for solely Back to School Night.
5. I will not perfectly match my jewelry, cardigan, shoes, and belt unless it’s a costume.
6. I will not show an inch, half of an inch, or even a centimeter of my four body parts, all beginning with the letter “B”.
7. I will not wear flip flops or sneakers to work (I don’t care if they’re Burberry; they’re still sneakers). Ever.
8. I will not wear my college sweatshirt or gym clothes just because it’s Friday.
9. I will not wear leggings as an alternative to pants, and I will learn to utilize tights.
10. I will not parade through the halls in a North Face fleece nor prance through the halls in sheepskin Uggs even if I’m one degree away from hypothermia.