Sunday, November 4, 2012

Should I Dress Up for Class?

In this article by Scott Farver, the former 5th grade teacher explains why he always wore a tie to class:

If I wore a tie for an important person like the president of the United States but not for my students, what kind of message would that send? If I did not wear a tie, did that mean they were unimportant? I don't know if my students would ever reach that conclusion, but I felt like it was implied somehow. We dress up for important people and events. We dress up for presidents. My students are important. Every day of school is important, as important as if the president were visiting.

While I am not proselytizing that every staff member in a school building dress up, I do feel that students need to know they matter. So I wear a tie. I shine my shoes. I get haircuts. I try to reflect their value by what I wear, how I speak, and how I behave. When I enter a classroom, I think about how I look because I want my students to know they are important, as important as a president.

When I first began teaching, I dressed very casually. After a while, I realized that the students wanted to see an authority figure teaching them. It didn’t help that in those days, I lacked gray hair. So I started wearing a tie. Even now, when I do have a good bit of gray hair, I wear a tie to almost all my classes.


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