I think as far as the dress code for the teachers at my school we're right in the middle. We dress up 3 days of the week and wear jeans and t-shirts on Tuesdays and Fridays. (We wear anti-bullying shirts on Tuesdays and school shirts on Fridays.) I've been to schools were every teacher looked like they were going to teach a PE class and others where everyone looked like they were working in an office building.
For the month of October our staff is donating $5 each to be able to wear jeans every day. This money will be donated towards United Way and their fall fund raising efforts. (If you don't know about United Way, you should! They do a lot of great things to help out in the community! I have a small monthly donation taken out of my paycheck each month because I really support the work they do for the community.) I'm super excited to be able to wear jeans AND donate to a really great cause. I'd have been willing to pay a lot more than $5 for those two purposes!
I think if you style things correctly, you can wear jeans to work and still look polished and professional. I have a hard time finding work pants that fit me the right way and look good. I love dresses (skirts are kinda hard for me), but wearing dresses is many times not practical for me or the weather. A lot of times I think my jeans look a lot nicer than some of my khakis and other pants. It's all about how you style things-- what top you wear, your accessories, your shoes, etc.
A few weeks into our month of wearing jeans, I've really enjoyed having that as an option. We had a week or so that was pretty chilly, so it was nice to be able to wear jeans on those days. I've still dressed up a few times (I've had some observations and wanted to look a little nicer on those days) and probably will a few more days before the end of the month.
I think wearing jeans to work is all about wearing a good fitting and polished pair of jeans. Pair that with a cute top and some nice accessories and you're good to go! For many of my jeans days I've worn cute sweaters and scarves or thrown on my AE blazers.
If you're looking for good fitting and affordable jeans here are a few of my picks:
Here are a few more Polyvore sets featuring dressier looks with jeans:
This is an older set, but I wore almost this exact outfit today for my final two parent-teacher conferences.
I hope that gives you a few ideas for how to wear your jeans to work and still maintain a professional appearance.
I'd love to hear if any of you wear jeans for teaching (or whatever your job is) and how you wear them!