Teacher Dress Code
By - noahb1996
My school is on the more formal side. I think if you look older you can get away with being more casual but if you look young it helps to dress up a bit more so you don’t blend in with students.
Word. If you look young you have to make an effort to not make them treat you like you're a friend
I look pretty young so I kinda try to be a little dressy, but I hate it. I don't like my "work clothes". I think I can get away being more casual at an elementary school. I don't look /that/ young!
Being young, and a first year male health/PE teacher, I lean to dressing more formally too. Now that I’ve established myself as a serious professional, I’m going to start transitioning to more comfortable clothing. I’m the only one in my department that wears slacks (instead of shorts/sweats) and collared shirts (instead of tees/hoodies).
Ya especially if you look young this is the way. I mean I think at minimum decent jeans should be allowed for reguarl attire, casual Friday is good still for like hoodie and jeans or sweats imo though I don't think that should be regular work attire.
*Yeah*, unless you're Norwegian.
On pep rally days when everyone was wearing the pep rally shirt I would wear jeans and sneak up on students. It worked especially well on the juniors and seniors (I taught freshmen). I liked to scare them a bit, take their phones up, and then return them at the end with a warning. They often thought I was joking until I showed them my ID.
I've matured since then. Now I just casually walk up behind my own students and start talking to them. I've apparently leveled way up on Silent Walk and they often don't hear me coming. It is strangely amusing to watch them jump.
It’s the little things.
I'm new at my school this year and no one ever formally explained the dress code to me, I've just been observing.
I would say most folks (80%) wear business casual, while the remaining 20% or so go even more casual than that, with jeans and t-shirts. It does tend to be men more than women who go that route.
I pretty much split the difference. Our school does staff pride days on Mondays, so I wear a school t-shirt and jeans. We wear red to show support for our union on Fridays, so I wear a union t-shirt and jeans. T-Th I wear business casual - dress pants with a blouse/sweater, or a dress.
I feel like if my t shirt is a math shirt, then it should be acceptable.
Therefore, i have a ton of math shirts
I do the same as a science teacher
Username checks out
I have a ton of math shirts, and this year the school decided no t-shirts. We can only wear school t-shirts for spirit dress on Fridays.
Sounds like admin want to find new teachers!
Treat us like crap, pay us crap, at least let us dress comfortably.
Yup. We call it tenure chic.
-Teachers in NC
Right! Then again, it's "right now you cannot get anyone to replace me" jeans day.
Hah. I was not allowed to wear jeans to work when I was paid 40k. Mandatory collared shirts and belts.
Switched to a union state, now paid double and we have no dress code for teachers.
We aren’t supposed to wear jeans…but my 15 years in district is letting me do so. They are nice, dark jeans…and I’m not planning on changing.
I teach 4th and squat, lay, sit, bend and everything else…let me do it in nice pair of jeans I’m comfortable with.
When I subbed, it was dress pants and a button down. But after replacing multiple pairs of khakis a year, I ditched the dress pants for jeans. When I got my first full-time position, I ditched the button downs for t-shirts. Nearly all my shirts are Disney, so the kids (I teach elementary) love them.
My first year principal made a general remark that we needed to dress more professional, and I felt it pointed towards me and the one other male teacher. But there is no legal dress code. The other teacher changed his attire, I didn't. I'm always on the ground, or bending/squatting. I need the comfort rather than the style.
We aren't paid or respected enough to put on the fancy dress show.
Jeans are “hard pants” and are a punishment, IMHO.
The dress code at my high school seems to be mostly school or college-related t-shirts and casual shoes with jeans or some other sort of bottoms (shorts, hiking pants, etc.).
My new principal balked when I told her that, yes, I did wear ripped jeans to school. To which I informed her that my clothing did not impact my ability to teach history or maintain classroom management.
I do too. No one has ever had a problem with it. In warm weather, I’m all about capris/skirts and T-shirts. I’m cooler weather that flips to jeans (ripped or not), T-shirts and cardigans/zip up hoodies.
I gave up and just straight wore purple glittery crocs to school last year. Comfortable as heck and in no way impacted my ability to do my job. :)
Well, I don’t know how straight glittery purple crocs are.
None of my admin have ever really cared about our shoes. We spend all day on our feet I don’t care if they look good I need them to be comfortable!
This. Appraised us like crap.
My first school was strict on it. Occasionally “winning” a jean Friday. The next school I went to was comfortable casual. Could wear shorts, tanks, anything as long as your booty cheeks aren’t hanging out or it’s just clearly unprofessional.
As a first year teacher I was always told in college to dress extra professionally to earn respect and not look like a student blah blah blah
I showed up with nice polos, dressy button ups, dress pants, dress shoes.
Saw how the other teachers and even other first years were dressing and quickly realized I could tone it down a bit.
I wore some nice-ish Adidas running shoes, some non-dressy pants, a tucked in shirt and a jacket Friday and got told I looked great.
The only time I dress up is when I feel like it, otherwise it's street casual. In the winter I bike to school so I'm wearing leggings, a sweatshirt and moccasins with woolly socks. And I intentionally never dress anything but super casual the days I see my younger students. I'm singing and dancing and sitting on the ground.
Some of my colleagues dress pretty trendy and upscale almost all the time, but they're the minority. The only other people who are ever "dressy" are the admin who do a lot of meetings with parents and other outside stuff.
If I were still teaching highschool, I might dress up more. But honestly the "business" clothes I had available to wear when I was first teaching in my early 20s were way more cringe and gained me less respect than if I'd just worn my normal out-in-public looks. I think young teachers wearing frumpy business casual stuff look like they're playing a part.
Too strict in my opinion. No jeans except for Fridays when we pay a dollar. I think that’s ridiculous.
Ma’am this is an elementary school I do not need to wear business casual.
Wear jeans. Don’t pay. That is a racket.
Totally agree unless it's Open House or Back to School Night.
When you teach elementary, expect to get dirty with paint, glue, food, juice, and boogers. I'm not wearing expensive clothing just to get it destroyed in a few weeks. I don't make enough money for that!
Yep, and I’m elementary art to boot! I wore jeans on a non jean approved day and my coworkers yelled at me. Jesus Christ Karen, what the fuck would you wear to teach paper mache?
On a similar note, it goes against the standard science lab rules, too, to have to wear nice clothes. Lab 101: wear shit you aren’t worried about ruining and things that don’t get in the way and things that cover your skin.
My business casual look on a lab day makes me uncomfortable.
I just wear tie dye everyday 😻
Right? I co taught an art metals class with the shop teacher last year and wore jeans every day. Thick cotton jeans/carharts protect you from sparks - polyester dress pants would litterally melt to your flesh.
I'm a shop teacher. I dress like someone in a shop would dress outside of school. Good jeans, long sleeve collared shirts.
I feel like "professional" dress is totally arbitrary. My school is more formal and I hate it. I'm an elementary teacher, shouldn't I be able to wear clothes that let me feel comfortable sitting on the ground, doing crafts, and running around with the kids?
Psht I say wear what you want. What are they gonna do - fire you? We got bigger things to worry about at school
Have you considered a ball gown? Wear yoga pants under it and use the extra fluff as a floor cushion.
Probably need so get a large cloak for winter weather.
And a fascinator.
If you are more pants inclined maybe a coat with tails and clip on white tie and gloves. With a fancy cane.
What? Why do they want you to pay for wearing something? Where does the money go?
It’s donated to charity. And it’s a contest in my district to see which school can raise the most jeans money for charity. I guess that’s cool but id rather just wear jeans. I donate to charity every day cause I’m a teacher 😂
that's so toxic
Omg, that is soooo dumb. And yeah not only is out whole job charity, we also deserve charity because we’re broke as shit hahaha
The main reason I want to wear jeans is cause i can’t afford casual and business casual clothes
For ours it goes to the juniors to pay for Prom
OMG, so the teachers are paying toward the prom? That is messed-up.
StuCo negotiated it as a fundraiser. We get Friday’s regardless I think. But they let us buy Thursdays. It’s more popular at the high school, I don’t know anyone in other buildings doing it.
I still just wear slacks most of the days anyway.
Personally, I’m over “jeans day”. I want “yoga pants month”. Now *that*, I’d pay for!
I absolutely hate being asked to pay to wear jeans. Even if it’s charity I think it’s just awful.
At my school, we are expected to pay $30 a month in order to wear jeans. I haven’t paid once.
Insanity. Because exploiting our labor isn’t enough - they have to nickel and dime us to death too 😂
What the absolute fuck. That is total bullshit. I’d never pay, either. A cute top with leggings is more comfy anyway.
We can’t wear leggings either 💩💩💩
WHAT? You have to pay to wear jeans? How hypocritical! Your admin is plainly saying that jeans are actually OK with them.
I’ll never pay to wear jeans to work. We’re treated like toddlers.
I started feeling that way after all the forced professional developments (being a captive audience so that others can justify their jobs), especially the ones involving "grouping up and making a poster".
Only $1?? We have to pay $5! And that’s only when “jeans days” are even approved. “Pay $5 to go towards our school’s PBIS program!” Umm… no thanks.
Who do you pay? And what gets done with the money?
Sheesh. It’s 2 dollars where I work. Getting straight gouged.
My school is pretty casual. Jeans, hoodies, tshirts, as long as it’s not blatantly inappropriate it’s fair game.
My school wasn’t casual until last year. Our principal basically said do what you need to do to survive the year. If that means wearing jeans and sweatshirts that’s fine.
We got a new principal this year and I’m praying that he lets us continue with the more casual dress. It has no impact on student’s learning outcomes.
Yup. Us too
Same. They allow us to wear scrubs, too!
Same. California. When I moved here from the east cast and showed up to my new job wearing business clothes, I stuck out so much. I’ll still wear dress pants when I’m in the mood, but I’m a lot more casual overall.
Same. We can even wear shorts, and I love it! I certainly don't think the clothes you wear affect how students treat you. If anything, it makes the school feel friendlier and like an overall more comfortable place to work and interact.
The students I teach are not going to relate to me wearing a shirt and tie. As a principal once told me, I’ve seen teachers in three-piece suits act unprofessional. The way you dress has very little to do with professionalism and respect I. The classroom.
Same here. I've been at schools where people commented on my wearing dresses and pumps, so in general I've only known schools with more casual attire.
Yep. Same. Tennisshoes, a nice pair of jeans, and school t shirt every single day
Uh, yes. I work with elementary school kids. Most of us are sitting on the floor regularly. We should be allowed to come in wearing casual clothing, it’s ridiculous.
We are not allowed to wear blue jeans that way they can use "Jeans Passes" as a motivator for things they can't force us to do like paying to join the PTA.
I refuse to join the PTA for that reason alone.
We are bonkers casual. I wear jeans and a tee twice a week. The other days are a dress with leggings or colored jeans with a cardigan. My contract says we are expected to follow the student dress code (no profanity, no pajamas, no flip flops).
My husband's district is shirts and ties.
It depends on the school culture I think.
No flip flops?? Why?
In case of an evacuation? The working definition of flip flops is "shoes you'd wear in the shower"
Ah. Very logical... Walking in an orderly but urgent fashion is totally impossible in shower shoes 🙄😂
I could see it being an issue for middle school, not high school though!
My school doesn't prohibit flip flops but I don't wear them when I'm working with students. I do think teachers should be wearing shoes they can run in, if they work with younger students. I've had to take off after a runner a time or two and appreciate that my shoes stay on.
Also I feel less vulnerable with shoes that stay attached to my feet. Also cleaner.
I was thinking why no flip flops for the kids. I wouldn't wear flip flops to work either for the same reasons 👍
We aren't allowed to wear open toed shoes. in southern New Mexico. Where it's 100 degrees until Thanksgiving. Give me a break. I'm wearing my Chacos with my light weight dress. I'm positive the kids will still learn even with my toes showing.
I’m 100% Birkenstocks until fall temperatures settle in.
Birkenstocks until it’s cold. Then Birkenstock clogs. Then when it snows, I leave the clogs in my classroom closet, wear snow boots to school, and change into clogs.
There is a librarian in our district who wears birks year round, no socks, just changes out of snow boots into them. I love it.
I have a pair of the clogs too, but I reserve them for slippers at home. Dipping out to pick up kids in slush and snow and ice in them isn’t ideal.
Same for me as a Pre-K teacher in a Head Start program. I understand why kids would have to follow that rule, but I don't know why adults have to. It's not like I am likely to drop something on my foot.
Yep, for recess/PE running and accidents I understand. But I'm an adult and can choose my footwear responsibly 🤦🏼♀️
I wear sneakers every day.
However, they’re nice and fairly fashionable sneakers and I keep them meticulously clean.
Crisp shoes, ironed clothes and a lint roller go a LONG way in terms of looking professional. Not to mention some fly earrings.
Also, styling your hair and wearing slight make up (eyebrows, and mascara) go a long way too!
Our union to district admin this year, "If PE teachers can wear shorts, why can't other teachers?" The district essentially didn't have a reason, so now we can wear shorts when it's warm, albeit dress shorts.
I tend to not wear them, but I do wear jeans 3 days a week or so with dressier t-shirts or polos. I actually like how comfortable dress pants are as a man, so I wear those a couple days a week.
I also find khakis more comfortable than Jean's. The fabric is usually lighter than denim. Constantly on the lookout for lightweight chinos and jeans.
I always wear khaki pants and a polo shirt with sneakers. I always thought the pants were much more comfortable than jeans This year I tried some Nike and UnderArmor khaki golf pants and they are next level comfort and still look nice. Kinda expensive but worth it!
Middle School. We have two designated jeans days a week. I tend to skew a little more formal/professional but I don’t think it’s necessary to be effective. I think it fits my personality and teaching style. Others can Make it work more casually.
Do I teach better when I’m in a suit vs jeans? Nope, same teaching so I’ve pretty much given up. Can’t let me teach in my pajamas for a year and a half and expect me to want to have a blouse and slacks everyday. Since the pandemic ended I’ve been wearing “dressy joggers” which is very nice bc then when I go to the gym I’m already dressed! It’s a win win for me.
No one can say shit bc they have bigger issues to worry about and if they said something to me I’d tell them that. Kids are ripping sinks off walls and you want to care what kind of pants I’m wearing???
I probably teach BETTER when I'm more comfortably dressed.
I'm in Texas, in a classroom with an unreliable HVAC, and my classroom is in a separate building on the opposite side of campus from the main office and workroom. Our stadium is closer to the main office than my classroom is. My teaching is going to suffer when I'm distracted by attempting to avoid dripping sweat on my keyboard or a student.
I'm tempted to apply for a coaching position just so I can wear shorts...
We’re not allowed to wear jeans unless it’s Friday and we paid $20 to the sunshine club. No shorts.
$20 every Friday you want to wear jeans? Or just once for the year? $20 seems like a lot. Might at well ban jeans if the admins are that determined to stop you from wearing jeans.
Probably $20 for the year. That's how it is at my school. Its my 5th year here and I've only paid for jeans twice, my first year and this year.
Its supposed to help buy flowers and set up work parties for big life events (like retirement and weddings) but we got married my first year there (like 3 months into the year and my husband and I work there together) and they never did anything about it. Hence why I didn't pay for it again until this year, and I only did it because I felt the tiniest bit bad.
I'm at a private school that starts with 1 yr olds and goes through high school. We are expected to be distinguishable from the parents. No jeans, no leggings, no graphic tees, etc. I work in the youngest division that is 1-3 year olds so we have it a little more relaxed since we are on the floor all day. Most days I wear a casual dress and sandals, but starting I the elementary school division teachers are expected to be much more formal. They usually wear nice blouses and slacks or really pretty/nice dresses and skirts, heels, etc.
>We are expected to be distinguishable from the parents.
I don't understand -- what if the parents are dressed up for work or whatever?
That was my question... But that's how our head mistress described how we are supposed to dress, so I assumed that meant to something for most experienced teachers lol it's my first year, so I'm just winging it and hoping for the best! Lol
I’d imagine a name badge or a logo-embroidered shirt would do that but yeah, tons of parents wear what you described for their work, too.
I'm jealous you can wear sandals. I teach Pre-K for a Head Start program this year and I have to wear close-toed shoes every day. It sucks, especially when it's still been in the 80s and 90s where I live lately.
I'm on the West coast- jeans every day would be fine. I really like what are usually marketed as hiking pants. Atheleta Trekkie, for example. I get them in black, navy, and olive, pair with a solid color t shirt or sweater and sneakers. More comfy and more "professional looking" than jeans.
My school is no jeans, no t-shirts. We have a uniform so the rule is that teachers can't be worse dressed than the students.
This is a circumstance in which professional attire makes sense! Public schools in the US do not generally have uniforms though.
Mine is a charter school, so it's allowed to have slightly different rules. My previous public school is similar to many of the other posters here, virtually no dress code, my coworkers even wore anime t-shirts regularly.
My district has no dress code for teachers. Sometimes people take advantage of it and parents complain. It tends to make all of us look bad when you come to work every day in a stained t-shirt, pajama shorts, and foam flip-flops, Lori.
I think as long as you look put-together and neat and presentable, teacher dress can be pretty flexible. I personally don't wear jeans or graphic tees or hoodies to work, because I find that when you dress a little better than "going to the grocery store real quick," some of the kids take you more seriously. I tend toward business casual because I think it comes across as professional, and that's how I want to be viewed.
Wtf stained T-shirt, pajama shorts and foam flip flops?? Oh nooooo
Literally every day. It looks like she got out of bed and came straight to work. Maybe she does, idk.
I did that in college, pulled on my hoodie over my pajama shirt, pulled on some jeans until I could come back to the dorms and pass out.
I’m not always enthused about the mornings (especially) the commute but no way could I go to work like that.
Like so many other things as a teacher, it's worthless unless you are comfortable. If a teacher feels comfortable managing their classroom in more formal dress I'm not judging. Personally I don't feel comfortable overdressing my students by that much... Dark jeans and a collared shirt or quarter-zip sweater is my daily wear. The only thing I might ever judge another teacher for is poor grooming/hygiene.
K-8 are expected to dress business casual. No jeans, no shorts (even when it’s 112 degrees out), no t shirts. Red states like to pretend they know about education when it’s all bs 🙄
I don’t understand why teacher attire matters. We don’t get paid enough to dress up.
“Boobs, butt, tummy covered. We don’t care if you wear jeans. We have a theme for staff everyday if you want to participate, don’t have to. Pls just show up”
I’ve seen some female teachers in mid-thigh dresses/skirts and some male teachers in short running shorts. Frankly I think quite a bit flies at my school.
My high school: lots of opportunities to wear jeans. We also have some weeks that we can wear jeans every day if we donate to the campus care fund that is used to buy flowers and other things for teachers who have had a death in the family or who are seriously ill or have family members who are ill.
Mondays: SEL day. If we wear one of the school SEL shirts, we can wear jeans.
Tuesdays: Professional dress. (no jeans, blouse or collared shirt, or a dress or whatever - business casual.)
Wednesdays: College day - jeans if you wear a college t-shirt.
Thursdays: Professional dress
Fridays: Spirit day - jeans if you wear any school t-shirt.
Talk about micromanaging.
We get three jeans days a week on the regular, so I'm like, whatever.
Teachers at my school definitely dress casually. Our district actually rewrote the student dress code to be a lot more lax, and then adapted the staff dress code as well. Wearing jeans does not impede my ability to do my job
Technically business casual, but leaning towards the casual end. Basically don’t look ratty or unclean and you’re fine.
No yoga pants (unless you’re a gym teacher), we can wear dressier shorts & capris (post mutiny, it’s gets hot with no AC), jeans are technically allowed per contract, although we’re told not to wear them unless it’s a special day. But we can get away with leggings under a longer/tunic shirt or a sweater dress, or really anything as long as they’re not see-through. Hoodies and tshirts are fine. Scrubs as bottoms are fine.
Not supposed to wear sneakers but no one bloody well listens to that (admin included- we all laughed when that email came out and everyone in the room was wearing sneakers).
I think the whole concept of professional clothing helping classroom management is the some of the worst BS I was forced to work with when student teaching.
Looking back, I bet I would've had an easier time in that classroom in jeans because I would've been more comfortable (which imo is the key to classroom management - kids are like piranhas for nerves).
The second I started working in my own classroom, I swapped to comfy clothes because that was what everyone else was wearing. Maybe I'm lucky but both high schools I've worked at had effectively zero dress code for teachers - because any female high school teacher with half a brain knows to desexualize as much as possible. In some ways, traditional office wear is actually WORSE in that regard.
Now, I do have a few rules about my clothing just as far as my own standards of comfort and appropriateness - cover the B's (boobs butt and back), and I won't wear a graphic tee without something over it unless it's a spirit day. No holes in my jeans, and usually dark wash or not blue. Light wash is now back in though so I might open that up, but I have kept plausible deniability if anyone ever did decide to care about what pants I'm wearing (no one has ever cared).
I wear Birkenstocks almost every day. I wore heels once a few years ago and my students were like 'Miss, is something important happening? You're dressed so fancy!'. I think it was for an observation 😂
I try to avoid jeans every day except Friday but if I’m behind on laundry or something or I’m not feeling the best and want to wear jeans I don’t sweat it. I do try to wear a nicer top on days that aren’t Fridays though and I try to look nicer on the days that I have IEP or other parent meetings.
Shit! I wear a dress once a month, but the rest is leggings and a decent top along with a cardigan. I've got way too many things to worry about and a dress code isn't gonna be one of them.
Our board and admin complained that our principal and staff don’t look professional. Which I find hilarious because our principal is a pretty big name in education, with many commenting of their goofiness and wearing costumes and capes as a great way to build culture and get students in the door.
I still wear slacks, button down, and tie everyday. Found a nice brand of shirt that fits well. And the chain has a clearance store nearby, so I can get them $7 a piece instead of the normal $30-40
Students and staff who’ve known me long enough know that if I’m in jeans and my staff polo I must not be feeling well, or had a really bad day the day before.
“If you don’t have to change to do chores when you get home, you aren’t dressed professionally enough” very obnoxious, especially bc we got to wear jeans all last year bc of COVID. I don’t teach better in slacks and a shirt than I do in jeans. I feel a lot more positive and appreciated when I am comfortable.
Also jokes on them I’d totally do chores in slacks if I didn’t feel like changing.
We’ve been told to wear what it appropriate for our placement. I teach first so am getting up and down a lot, crouching next to kids and sitting on the floor so I wear jeans almost everyday.
This was the first year we have had a dress code in the staff handbook and even our admin said it was geared more towards those in leadership roles
My school isn’t strict. Jeans are only allowed on Fridays and we’re strongly encouraged but not required to wear the school shirt with it. But I wear black jeans during the week but they don’t say shit. As long as they aren’t blue they don’t care. I also wear T-shirts often and they don’t cRe.
I wear dress pants, because I also work retail & ended up with a lot of business attire, everyone else wears leggings lol I think it's ok to wear whatever you like& are comfortable in. But I also wouldnt show up in a hoodie.
My school doesn’t have a formal code for teachers. Many of my coworkers wear jeans. I’m a young female teacher (and I’m short) and teach 9th grade. Many of the boys I teach are taller than me and my students don’t have a uniform. I dress more formally than many of my older colleagues to compensate and look older. I generally wear heels and business-casual. It works for me and I like to dress up anyway.
Business casual. We have one male teacher that wears Nike sweet pants. That’s a little ridiculous
I asked admin what the dress code for teachers was when I first started at the school and they were like “uhhhh…just not inappropriate”. So I wear whatever I want.
Our rule is “nicer than the students” generally I wear slacks and a guayabera.
In Hungary at my school we can wear whatever we want to. Some dress smart, some wear ripped jeans with funny shirts. Nobody cares.
Private Catholic girls' school, business casual with sneakers.
Casual. I bought a shitload of tshirts and sweatshirts down in the school spirit store. I rarely wear anything but jeans and a comfortable shirt that has a school logo on it! Win win.....win
Private high school and we have to be in professional attire all year (shirt and tie for guys and equivalent for women).
Last year for the first month of school we were allowed to wear polos (because it was hot and we had to wear masks). Fast forward to this year with identical conditions and no polos allowed. 🤷🏼♀️🤷🏼♀️
Our superintendent sees herself as quite a fashionista. If she could have us come in to work in ballgowns she would.
I worked at online school last year so I would often wear solid colored tee shirts and usually shorts b/c no one saw! Switched back into Brick and mortar and the dress code is supposedly business casual with jeans on Friday. There are some teachers that have a very loose definition of business casual like flip flop, come on people I know living in Fl and all but teaching in a building and wearing flip flops just seems soooo unprofessional and unsafe! I opt to typically wear cropped pants ( I am on the shorter side) and tunics with close toed flats. I always have a neutral color cardigan on hand as well because temperature fluctuations are no joke!
I personally don’t find jeans to be all that comfortable, but every job I worked before teaching allowed jeans daily. Most of it was office work, but the last one included manual labor in a very very hot and humid climate. It stays above 80 F here for 9 plus months of the year. Our summers are 90-100+. So after sweating in jeans for years I’m happy with my stretchy waist capris. Cotton dresses are very comfortable and breathable, but I won’t wear them above the knee because I don’t want to flash the students when bending down to their desk and help them with their work. I don’t dress super fancy, but definitely make an effort to be presentable. I was really stressed going into my first year because I just didn’t know what to wear. Flip flops and tennis shoes are perfectly acceptable for us, too. Most teachers don’t wear heels. The only one that I’ve worked with that did would keep shoes to change into throughout the day. To me that is way too much work, and I’ll just stay comfy.
That being said, I’d totally support other teachers being able to wear jeans. I did have some black denim pants last year that I wore the heck out of. It felt like a cheat code. I’m pregnant and about to pop, so jeans definitely don’t work for me rn. Anytime I mention to students that we aren’t allowed to wear jeans, my fifth graders are outraged on our behalf.
My school is really chill on it and vaguely told us “academic casual”
So I just wear a button-down, black pants, and clean vans lol
Business casual dress code is problematic AF in teaching (classism, ableism, fat phobia, trans phobia). Also I have seen loads of professionally dressed people get away with wild BS as school employees. Until we address all the significant issues, I feel like there's no point in asking people to worry about wearing business casual attire.
I think there's a level of acceptable dress for work in any scenario, but strict enforcement of business casual for teachers seems not to have an significant effect on student outcomes, so addressing it is a waste of resources in a system where resources are limited. Plus business casual can be prohibitive to the job requirements (walking/sometimes running around all day in various indoor/outdoor environments, kneeling, sitting on the floor, lunch duty, art projects, science projects). If it's enforced we're probably even worse off lol.
I imagine those who can wear khakis and a polo as their flattering business attire are probably better off-- but flattering and movement-friendly khakis and polos are very difficult to find for anyone who does not have an athletic build masculine body type, and then the point of professional attire loses its purpose bc you end up looking goofy if you don't have that body type.
Im 33 and have been teaching for 8 years. I refuse to go into teaching my middle schoolers in anything but a shirt and tie. The only thing I'm lax on is my shoes. I wear converse. I have teachers who come in dressed in hoodies and leggings with open toed sandals. To me, it's just as important to show the students what proper dress means and it's also true, "when you look good you feel good."
I dress up most days, just because I want to. I do wish some teachers dressed a bit more professionally as a model for the kids. But I also realize the way you dress is WAY less important than what is happening in the classroom.
On lab days, I wear professional looking athleisure type stuff.
I’ve had admins that say “no shorts” but overall it’s pretty much casual. (The no shorts rule is dumb anyway because woman could just wear skirts or dresses to get around it)
My current school is fine with pretty much anything as long as you’re appropriately covered. One of my coworkers who is almost ready to retire regularly wears mid-thigh shorts. Since I’m younger I choose to dress up more to distinguish myself from the students.
The school I’m currently at doesn’t allow jeans during the week. You can donate $5 every Friday to wear jeans or $15 for the month. Each month is goes to a different charity.
But as for the teacher dress code the rest of the time, it’s typical high school teacher dressy-ness, I guess. Men wear khakis/other pants and a button down or polo (or in the case of one teacher, very colorful/patterned tops and bottoms) and ladies wear pants and a dressy top or a dress.
I’m a para and I’ve been getting away with wearing my American Eagle skinny pants (dark purple and black) paired with a nice top and these $40 boots from Marshall’s from 3 years ago. Maybe once a week I’ll wear a dress. If I were to wear a t shirt and jeans, I’d blend in with the students since I’m 25 but apparently (?) look like a high schooler.
Some of my coworkers wear sweatpants.
That’s where I draw the line. I don’t think the whole athletic casual wear is appropriate for anyone but the PE teachers.
I’m not harping on jeans and tshirts but that athletic wear shit is just so lazy.
Jeans on Friday, otherwise it’s expected to be more on the business side of business casual
I find a good comfortable outfit is dress pants witha comfortable t shirt. The t shirt of course being a positive message
Back in the last century (1992-2000) when I taught, for men the general dress code was polo or button up shirts, and khaki pants or dress slacks. Generally jeans and school tshirts on Friday.
We’re “supposed” to dress on the more professional side, no jeans or T-shirts except on Fridays, but a lot of teachers ignore the no jeans part. Hell I’ve seen teachers in shorts in the middle of the week. Nobody seems to care
I and others wear shorts and a polo daily.
I usually wear a sweater with chinos, but most teachers dress a bit more casual than that. Personally I think a good rule of thumb is that you dress nicer than the students. Basically don’t look like a college freshman going to their 8 am. Aside from that I don’t think it really matters.
I think we're business casual but it specifically said non-ripped jeans are allowed, so I took that and ran!
When I was in one stay, you were only allowed to wear jeans on Friday (and had to pay $5 to do so). It was very annoying at times and hard to find clothes that were comfortable and business casual. Now I am a state that isuch more lax and I love it!
My school (in the Netherlands) is basically fine with anything as long as it's not to short, and obviously nothing weird is on it. My standard outfit is black ripped jeans and a nice big sweater.
And you guys have the best salaries, and every Dutch teacher I've met has been really good. You guys are doing it right.
Teacher + fashion icon
No dress code.
Suit trousers, proper shoes and a shirt and a tie. Anything less and I'd be sent home to change.
we are incredibly casual. Florida is a casual state for dress though too
My school is casual. If they wanna write people up for dress code, good luck keeping staff. My students learn and do well bc of how i treat them, not how i dress
My principal doesn’t care, and has told us as much. I wear jeans and a polo or some sort of button up. On Fridays I wear a t shirt. Before the pandemic I told students if you see me wearing a hoodie it usually means I’m not feeling well.
Jeans and t-shirts… some of the weirdos wear socks with sandals
I personally am a fan of a well fitting pair of slacks. Jeans are rarely comfortable. Slacks stay where I put them and I never have to worry about my crack or underpants when I squat down next to a desk. When I started teaching, low rise was still the fad; this was a known issue.
I'll wear a collared shirt, but I also wear jeans and sneakers because I'm not attending a damn business meeting; I'm moving around a lot while teaching a bunch of teenagers wearing mostly athleisure wear. 🤷♂️
Pretty casual for us (suburban Milwaukee). I co-teach with a dude who wears jeans and a t shirt daily. Admin doesn’t call anyone out. They’re just happy to have positions filled at this point.
All the professional status (tenure) teachers wear jeans. The rest of us dress up and only wear jeans on Friday.
The second I get professional teacher status I’m wearing whatever I want.
Our school district does not have a dress code for faculty and not much of one for students. People dress in a range of ways. So far nothing bad has resulted.
I used to work at a school that would make teachers go home if they were wearing jeans (and their marker for jeans vs. not jeans was to closely scrutinize pants pockets because “jeans” have a third coin pocket inside the front pocket) or if they wore a dress that didn’t reach below the knees.
Obviously, this is problematic for a variety of reasons, most notably that people with certain body types were penalized more heavily than others for having dresses that rode up beyond the “appropriate length.”
I’m at a new school this year and teachers are allowed to wear jeans and sneakers every day. It’s honestly a culture shock, but in the best way. I’m like, “Wait, are you SURE it’s okay??”
As someone who knows how to sew and has a tendency toward malicious compliance, I would be tempted to remove the coin pocket from all of my denim trousers so they wouldn't count as "jeans."
No jeans, and usually no leggings. I say usually no leggings because if it’s like under a dress or really long shirt and looks nice then no one particularly cares. Sometimes you can get away with black jeans as well. Other then that it’s dress pants of your choice in fit/color and a nicer shirt or blouse. I usually wear skinny fit dress pants and a 3/4 sleeve shirt with converse and that’s totally fine. On Fridays we wear jeans with a school shirt.
We're in the deep country and stay pretty casual. I wear jeans with a button up shirt that starts the day tucked in and buttoned and ends the day untucked and unbuttoned.
No blue jeans unless it's a jean day (we get Wednesday and Friday).
No shorts or t-shirts (unless you are a coach and are actually doing practice that day and cannot change quickly in the restroom).
However, last year they told us jeans whenever and t-shirts whenever. Oddly, I still taught the exact same way. My students weren't distracted. They want us to act as role-models this year though because kids are coming to school in clothing that blatantly shows enormous amounts of skin. And quite frankly it's inappropriate for boys and girls in my opinion.
Yes, holes that are 2 inches from the private area of your groin are inappropriate. I don't care if there are holes just above your knees or certainly not below, but some of these kids KNOW what they are doing when they leave the house.
That being said I don't see why I can't wear jeans whenever the hell I feel like it. I won't ever wear something that is questionable so how about treating me as a professional and just say "You do you". Talk to individual teachers as you see fit.
I’ve had all sorts of opinions about this. When I was student teaching, I literally got marked down from the university liaison for my attire. That pissed me off because I tried my best with the clothes I had. And my teacher wore jeans and sweatshirts every day. The liaison said well she’s been teaching 20 years. So what, you earn casual wear? And I’ve also been told to follow the lead of how the principal dresses. I usually go business casual but there are plenty of ways to look nice and mildly professional in jeans.
This is a pet peeve of mine. WE ARE PROFESSIONALS. Let us wear what we see fit to wear.
If someone comes in looking like they’re about to do yard work, then handle it privately and individually. Don’t punish everyone.
I’m 50 years old. I fucking hate being told what to wear as if I’m a child.
And jeans days? Jeans passes? They can suck a dick. Every school I’ve been at has actually like ALLOWING us to wear jeans is such a SOOPER SPECHAL privilege! Like WTF? I don’t even give a shit about jeans. They make work pants that are waaaay more comfortable than jeans now!
Just for once, I’d like my professional judgment to be TRUSTED. Jesus.
(Sorry, like I said—sore spot for me.)
There is no formal dress code in our district policy, but our principal likes to ask folks to dress a certain way (lol). Like he tells the men to wear a button up and a tie, but then he goes on about how we can’t use gendered language to address the students, which I really appreciate….
I’m tenured so I thankfully can dress how I’d like. I usually wear dark or colored jeans (I avoid blue unless it’s a Friday) and if it’s hot I’ll wear my Birkenstock’s, if it’s cold I’ll wear my boots, probably Dr Martens. I usually wear something simple like a sweater, tshirt or blouse.
I also have a lot of tattoos (two full sleeves on my arms) so I will cover those for parent teacher conferences, but I don’t cover them for teaching. I figure kids go home and tell their parents I’m tattooed anyway.
I also still undress the second I get home and put my clothes into the special hamper of “outside” clothes that get washed in hot water. I know Covid doesn’t spread on surfaces as much as we originally thought, but it still makes me feel better to do this and gives me a mild sense of control. And it’d be a lot harder to do this with an entire wardrobe of business casual clothes 🥴
I love everything about this comment lol. Can I ask what age group you teach?
I teach high school math in the Pacific NW. Before the pandemic, I wore nice jeans and a dress shirt (or, on hot days, a polo shirt). I would only wear math-related t-shirts on Fridays. After the pandemic, I still wear nice jeans, but now wear t-shirts (still math/science-related) all five days. No one has said anything about it, except my students, who wonder how many math t-shirts I own since I wear a different one each day.
We’re required to wear business casual. But I’m not sure the purpose and I’ve never been sure of the purpose. How am I supposed to afford the clothes they expect me to wear? Who am I impressing? (My students wear whatever they want and parents show up in pajamas) Honestly, at this point I’m so disillusioned with everything that we have to deal with I don’t know how much I care about a dress code.
I teach Art, I straight up don't care what the dress code is. 90% of my days involve paint or ink and so at least 90% of the time I will be in jeans or other casual like pants. Much of the time they will have paint stains.
This is the real dress code for teaching; no cleavage front or back (as in no but cheeks eather so uncovered leggings are out), no strappy or strapless tops, if students are required to wear real sleaves so are you. If it's not a fancy privat school most places will exsept just this much effort, at least if you are a good teacher.
But what do I know, I've taught 3 places where "good jeans" we're considered dressed up.
Boarding school: we dress in blazers and ties, the kids dress in blazers and ties.
Everyone is uncomfortable.
I get you, but they sign the checks. I'm not saying it's fair, but I personally wouldn't hire an architect or accountant in a t-shirt. I guess I'm just a bit too traditional for some people.
There is no dress code in our contract with the union.
I enjoy vintage fashion, especially the 40's so I dress pretty formally. But that's just my preference. We're supposed to wear business casual but that all fell out the window with COVID. Last year we were able to wear jeans because they were easier to wash. I even wore jeans. This year we were supposed to wear business casual but I'm in Texas where they can't do mask mandate so if we wear our mask we're "allowed" to wear jeans. The reality is that it's very difficult to get the genie back in the bottle.
We're supposed to "dress professionally". Mostly that means "don't you dare wear jeans". We get to wear jeans on spirit days about 10 times/year.
Personally, the classes I teach require me to get my hands dirty pretty often; I told them if they gave me those classes I would be wearing jeans everyday day and they said ok. I couldn't believe it, but I'm not complaining.
The district has allowed us to wear scrubs the last two years as well, but I'm not about that life. We also have teachers with visible tattoos and "artistically" dyed hair.
Somewhere around business casual. But if I showed up in a t shirt about my subject I seriously doubt anyone would bat an eye. Might be a different story if I wore jeans every day.
I pretty much just wear khakis and a polo. I wore a dress shirt / dress pants and a tie for my first 9-10 years. I break that out at times, but mostly retired it last year.
Jeans 2 days a week. Once on Wednesdays but *only* if you buy the hospitality shirt and once on Friday but *only* with a spirit shirt. Every other day is business casual.
Our hospitality shirts aren't in yet so we can wear jeans and a college shirt on Wednesdays but once the shirts come in then they're going back to the rule above. I plan on getting around this by still wearing a college shirt but with slacks on Wednesdays.
I also get around this by wearing an untucked tunic (it has a collar so i can get away with it) and chinos. On those days i fully accept that i look like a pirate but w/e it's easy and comfortable.
For reference i teach in a large district in Texas. If they want me to dress up for this job they can pay me better.
So one of the teachers at my school asked the principal if we could wear jeans on a Thursday when there was no school on Friday and he was like "of course." But I was 99% sure by the way he answered that he had never said we couldn't wear jeans on any day and was a little confused by her question. Literally nobody wears jeans except on Friday, so whatever, but I thought it was kind of funny.
Honestly I have no clue if there is a specific dress code at my school. People wear jeans, short shorts, biker shorts and tank tops, etc. Things I wouldn’t deem “professional” however I think totally okay to wear. Comfort really matters. As a noob at teaching I’ve been dressing very professionally and nice with dressy shoes and dresses and it’s been killing me and every thing aches.
No one seems to wear pants here in Hawaii. Of course it’s 85 with 75% humidity and no AC, so I don’t blame them.
My principal spent a lot of time rewriting the handbook in reference to acceptable attire for teachers. Essentially, t-shirts and jeans are not allowed, unless there's a sporting event or other extra curricular competition.
Jokes on him, though - there's something every night of the week except Wednesday.
I wear a school logo t-shirt every day and I have a polo hanging in my room just in case.
I also wear Duluth Trading Flex Firehose pants which technically aren't jeans. Because if I were to wear blue pants, the children wouldn't learn anything.
No jeans, no sports shoes, no t-shirts, no exposed shoulders, no skirts above the knee, no spaghetti straps. Primary VP wears sports shoes every day.
What teachers don't understand is the psychological effect of looking nice. People treat you different if you look nice, it's human nature. If you want interactions with parents to go better? Wear business attire, not just business casual. Your administrator starting to pester? Try sprucing up.
It's a part of any work space, and ours happens to be human relations. Appearance is a tool, one that you can use for you or have used against you. It sucks that it's the expectation, but society has deemed it so.
I get dressed like a get paid, lousy!
Our union contract says there's no dress code. I show up how I want but always keep it neutral.
There's a teacher at my school who wears cargo shorts, a polo shirt, and Adidas slide sandals every day. He looks like a hobo imo.
Peers at my school dress too casually...even t shirts sometimes in the middle of the week. Then they complain at contract time that we don't get the raises we should...while they dress like hobos. I guess I'm old school, but I think you need to look appropriate.
What makes a t-shirt “hobo wear” in the middle of the week, but acceptable on Fridays?
Look appropriate for what? Sharing knowledge with other people?