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[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]Judy Anderson
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:25:16 -0600 (CST)
When looking for a job, fit in (there are so many
applicants)....after you've been hired, established your connection with
students, developed your program and proven your ability as a teacher there
will be time to express your individuality. I had to buy "teacher" clothes
when I started in '72 and still buy things with special school functions in
I have three pairs of DOCs in different patterns and colors, wear
wild tights that go with units (eg.batik tights when we start batiking),
wear bibs on days we build strechers, demonstrate on the wheel or mold
plaster and I feel the students and admin support me. I get top scores on my
yearly evals because I am good at my job and determined to be even better.
We all know teachers who dress out of GQ or Vogue and are awful
teachers....so busy with their appearances that they use the same worksheets
over and over until they are totally unreadable. I do not dress for the
business teacher or to please the kids. I dress up for public events to show
respect for my school and their parents and on days our class work is less
messy I dress well and that opens lots of dicussions about
professional dress and the value of looking your best.
I agree with Mark that when we aren't so personally outrageous we are
taken seriously enough to gain support for our most elaborate, creative ideas.
Perhaps my students are experiencing more creative opportunities because I
appear normal. The school I work in now is remodeling the bus garage into an
art room for me because I have 160 h.s.students(out of a high school of 400
students)stuffed into a small room with oversized, wild projects filling
every corner. (we do normal sized things too of course. My advanced students
can't seem to find it difficult to grasp the concept that bigger isn't
I am also recently turned 50...my age works for me as a teacher. I have
no difficulty establishing my role of authority. I refuse to discuss whether or
not I have a tatoo...they are sure I have one hidden somewhere and I won't
confirm their belief that I went to Woodstock(which I did but would never want
to discuss with them)and those bits of information make me more interesting,but
not "one of them." I was more reserved when I was 22 teaching 18 year olds.
I recently had a student teacher and watched her struggle with the same
thing....she wound up wearing simple, attractive outfits. She kept tatoos
covered and if she had piercings I didn't see them. But she did have a tough
couple of weeks finding her proper role.
Good luck and remember kids read us very carefully. They will know who
you are without any outward symbols. Some of the most unique individuals I
know look like everyone else. Read
you are a free spirit without any of the outward adornments. Some of the most
unique individuals I know look like everyone else. Read Kierkegaard and his
theory on the Burghermeister, Knight of Infinite Wisdom and Knight of
Faith....that's a great concept.