doesn't make the teacher, but it can help earn
respect from students. But dressing in style while
maintaining classroom authority can be tricky.
Here, Angela Zufall poses for portrait in her
kindergarten classroom after school, September 24,
2013, at Sunset Hill Elementary School in
— Test scores and rowdy students are always on a
teacher’s mind. Another concern of the day? What to
attire has been a hot-button topic with reports of
inappropriately dressed educators spilling out of their
jeans and into the news.
school district in West Virginia prohibits teachers from
wearing faded jeans and shorts to work. Last month, an
Alabama school superintendent proposed a dress code
banning capri pants and scarves, plus restrictions on
eye makeup and nail polish. The most surprising proposed
change? Proper undergarments must be worn at all times.
to lower the bar, Alabama.
midriff-baring and pajama-wearing teachers in other
parts of the country are forcing new dress code
policies, some teachers seem to be making the grade just
stars all around!
school districts say teachers are expected to follow the
same dress code rules as students. Just as students are
discouraged from wearing yoga pants at Minnesota’s
Minnetonka High School, so are their teachers.
learned the hard way last spring why flip-flops are
frowned on," said Nan Marie Zosel of Breck’s
lower school. "I broke my toe trying to avoid
fast-moving middle school traffic."
don’t make the teacher, but some teachers say every
bit counts when trying to educate a room full of their
love dressing like I do, because it makes me feel good
and gives me an extra dose of confidence, which
sometimes you need in a room full of 26 energetic
fifth-graders," said Emily York, a 33-year-old
teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School in Hopkins,
general idea among teachers is: Dress professionally and
students will take you more seriously.
(teachers) look current, yet appropriate, it makes them
look even more informed, it adds to their credibility as
a role model," said Amy Lindquist, a Twin Cities
fashion and image consultant who helps teachers build
teachers say dressing with personal style — as long as
that style is sans yoga pants and halter tops — sets
an example for students beyond reading and writing.
you dress is a reflection of yourself, but that doesn’t
have to be a boring shirt and tie," said Chuck
Croatt, a math teacher at Burnsville High School.
wears trendy bow ties, colorful shirts and socks, and
math-themed cuff links. He calls it "geek
chic." Clearly, the kids have taken notice.
is the teacher students come to when they need help with
their ties for graduation.