When I was a student teacher in Betsy’s first grade classroom, I asked her one day why she wore her Talbot’s dresses, pantyhose, and heels to work every day. She answered quickly with no hesitation.
“I think it makes the students feel like they are worth it.”
My clothing choices had much more to do with comfort and durability for getting on the floor, making a mess, and being “in it” with first graders.
Two points of view. Both very valid. I love that she considered the effect of her appearance on sending a message of “You are important. School is important.” Over the years, teacher dress has become more casual. At least at my school, jeans and your spirit-wear T-shirt are more the norm than even “business casual.” I’m not making a judgment, just an observation.
I remembered Betsy’s example today because I wore a dress, pantyhose, and dress shoes to work (not heels). It surprised me how many students noticed and gave me compliments. It was like my dress made the day more special for them. Even a bit of laughter came from my attire when a 2nd grader asked me if I had on “leggings.” She didn’t know what to make of my skin-colored legs! I had a great day, all day. Maybe I should wear dresses more often.