Monday, April 8, 2013

How much does a teacher's appearance matter?

Last week it came up in a discussion at work that a radio caller phoned in to a local morning show and talked about how teachers in our city are the worst dressed people around.  We joke that since we're in a suburban school they weren't talking about us because we're a pretty stylish staff of teachers.  In fact, several of our new teachers this year commented on how we're much dressier than many schools they have previously been to.

I really don't think of our staff has being exceptionally dress, but I do think that as a whole we dress in an appropriate and professional manner while at the same time being pretty trendy.

There's really only been one time I've been bothered by the appearance of teachers in a school...  My mom did long term subbing back in the day and I went in with her for a week or so after I was done with school.  It was right after I had completed student teaching and graduated, so I was used to dressing up to go to school.  I wore typical "teacher clothes" on the days I went in and my mom always dressed for the job in what I consider to be a pretty appropriate way-- black pants and a nice top.  The kids at this school were required to wear uniforms, but it was pretty quickly apparent that the teachers at this school didn't have much of a standard for dress.  Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts was the norm for the staff everyday.  It really bothered me that these elementary school kids dressed up more than their teachers!

This discussion got me thinking, though, about how teachers are perceived by their appearance.  It makes sense if you think about it...  Would you trust your child's care and education to someone that looks polished or someone that doesn't appear to care about their appearance?

Now, it's totally legit to argue that you can dress up all you want and still be crappy at your job.  That aside, though, it's sometime hard not to judge a book by it's cover.

I don't think I'm the best dressed teacher in the world and I don't feel like every outfit that I wear to school is amazing.  BUT, I do try to make an effort and let my own personal style shine when I get ready for work. I think personal appearance does make a difference, no matter what your job is, and that you should present yourself in a way that makes a positive impression on others.

Sometimes I like to "think out loud" on this blog, so thanks for letting me share.

As a reward, I'm going to share a few of my favorite teacher looks with you.


  1. Great post! I am a teacher who is hoping to be a school librarian sometime soon. :) Because we teachers are professionals, we need to dress accordingly. I strive to dress in a way that's comfortable and practical yet put-together. I want my outfits to show that I take my job seriously and take pride in what I do.

  2. Love this post! The school I did my student teaching at had teachers dress all over the spectrum from dressed up to jeans and sweatshirt. I know I put thought into what I wear and think is it professional. Love what you pinned! Thanks for blogging out loud.

    Apples and Papers

  3. I wore my black maxi today and I just just love it ;-) I got it from Target last year. Great post.

  4. I loved this post. I think that if we want to be paid as professionals, treated like professionals, and respected like professionals, we need to dress as professionals. In our school we are allowed to wear jeans on certain Fridays. However, they are paired with a school Polo shirt. Otherwise, professional attire is expected.
    TIPS: Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students


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