In response to the post, “A Reader Writes… (Dress Code Yet Again – Part 2)…“ one of the cooler heads in the LYS Nation writes:
“SC, you rock, as always. I am encouraged by your continued efforts to see that we, as educational professionals, move forward in positive ways to see that students are the focus of our behaviors.
Now, about dress code; this always leads to a vigorous discussion, whether it is about student dress or professional dress. Since retiring from the big chair, I am now a university supervisor of student teachers. It is interesting to watch each new group of student teachers. No matter how much professional dress is stressed, the student teacher will MODEL what their mentor wears. So, if a mentor is wearing jeans everyday the student teacher feels that they can do the same. I believe that it is all about professional dispositions, which are: values, commitment, professional ethics and organization. It is about meeting a standard of excellence or at least attempting to adhere to the standard through continuous growth in our personal professional goals…..which we hope all of us have no matter where we are in the work.
The question becomes then, “How can we expect our students to adhere to our classroom standards, when we do not adhere to the campus, district or state standard, whether it be dress or otherwise?”
What message do we want to send? What message is then received? I was on a campus this past semester where the culture was to yell at students because “it was the only way to get their attention”. It was chaos all the time. I could hardly sit in the classroom. Think about that message.
So, our dress does send a message, and our attitudes about dress also send a message. Hopefully this teacher is still learning and has good role models. I do understand that secondary is much different than elementary, however, professionalism is the same. It only takes the administrator going into a classroom one time to say privately, “You are not dressed appropriately. I will keep your class, while you go home and change” to send the message about dress. The few times I had to this, solved any dress code question or problem with that particular teacher, forever. Administrators have the responsibility to see that everyone succeeds on a campus. Professionalism is set at the top and dress code is part of that.
And just for the record…..we did go through college for someone to tell us how to dress. It is part of the Code of Ethics, Standard Practices for Texas Educators. TAC-Title 19, Part 7, Chapter 247, Rule 247.2. Just look on the back of your Texas Educator Certificate.”
Think. Work. Achieve.