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What should a high/secondary school teacher wear?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by cxbxw, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. cxbxw

    cxbxw Well-Known Member

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    This time next year I'll be starting a career in education, and I suppose it's about time to start building a wardrobe.

    What should a high/secondary school teacher wear?

    I'm considering snapping up this UQ jacket, in Navy, as a starting point. At £50, it looks to be a bargain.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ajmanouk

    ajmanouk Senior member

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    I say it really depends on the type of school you're at. You don't want to be an outcast, but given your position you could pull anything off. Generically, a sport coat and slacks comes to mind.
     
  3. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Senior member

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    If you were in the US, I'd say anything that would combine well with a bullet proof vest, without looking too cumbersome...

    Not sure how unruly the hoodies in the UK can get :D
     
  4. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

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    I went to a pretty good public school in California no armed guards, metal detectors and giant fences. Teachers for the most part wore jeans and a polo shirt, sweater and a sport shirt when it got cold.
     
  5. Gattopardo

    Gattopardo Active Member

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    I've taught at two schools in the UK, both of which required jacket & tie for male teachers. I tended to wear suits and sportcoat/trouser ensembles with roughly equal frequency. Both schools were in the independent sector and had fairly hefty boarding components, as well as uniforms or very stringent dress codes for pupils. If you're going to work in the state sector, or at a less "traditional" private school, your mileage may vary, but I did get the impression that ties are more prevalent across the profession in the UK than in my experiences in the USA.
     
  6. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    Jacket and tie if you are aiming to be a great role model and educator.

    Otherwise who cares?
     
  7. Pliny

    Pliny Senior member

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  8. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    As a once and future teacher, knowing first hand all the angst about lack of respect, money, status, admiration, etc. I would say that nothing undermines these precarious factors still further than the wearing of jeans.

    It's a 'profession' FFS. Dress professionally.
     
  9. Bentley

    Bentley Senior member

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    I agree with the suggestion of checking out New York Ranger's posts. He is a teacher and dresses very well but it is always appropriate for his classroom setting.

    Otherwise, I think a blazer and sport coat with some dress pants would be appropriate... not sure if you need a tie or not (I would guess probably not).
     
  10. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    Dress more or less as the other faculty does. If they don't wear a tie, then don't.
    Start with a sport coat and shirt with button down collar. There are a myriad of pants that will work with a sport coat; anywhere from denim to dress pants. Have at least 5 decent belts and 5 decent pair of shoes. Allen Edmonds is a place to start for shoes and belts. Brooks Brothers and Harris Tweed are two suggestions for sport coats. Use the Search feature on this forum and invest several weeks to 'Lurk And Learn'.
    To get even better suggestions, post a photo of yourself. An entire body shot (preferrably clothed) and you can blur the face if you like. This way we can study your skin tones and overall body frame and give you even better ideas.
    State also your location and there may be members on here that can speifically recommend stores/sales in yor area.
     
  11. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    I agree with this, especially since OP will be not far in age from the students he will teach. Any bit of distance will help. Dress well, and your students will think much better of you.
     
  12. Deapht

    Deapht Well-Known Member

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    button up shirt, jeans and runners
     
  13. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Tweed, sweaters, the occasional jeans (dark or moderately faded). Always wear decent leather shoes, that'll be a big facet in elevating your look. Basically, New York Ranger's look. Don't worry about jeans making you look like a student/ costing you respect, you can elevate yourself in many other ways. There are a lot of professional jobs these days where jeans are just fine, teaching is one of 'em.

    But your students won't be wearing button down shirts, leather shoes, and only rarely sportcoats or sweaters. You should be wearing all those things on a regular basis. When your students are wearing baggy jeans, sweatpants, hoodies and tee shirts, even wearing jeans you won't be underdressed.
     
  14. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Absolutely no running shoes. Ever. Unless you're teaching gym.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  15. Nikias

    Nikias Active Member

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    I presume you'll be starting out teaching at a comp. There are probably staff dress codes against the wearing of jeans and trainers etc. so it's probably up to you whether you go for a full suit option or the jumpers, jackets and trousers route (although a tie is advisable).

    I do have some limited teaching experience and I would say that developing a professional persona is important for classroom control. Whether that is strict discipline, mateyness, humour or calmness, you have probably not finished developing that yet. Your clothes should match your persona, so maybe don't go buying too much stuff yet.

    As others have said, wearing a full suit and tie should ensure you're not mistaken for a sixth-former and was pretty common among the staff when I was at school. The US posters are probably forgetting the uniform policy in British schools though, so it's perhaps not as big a concern.
     
  16. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    A suit plus tie etc would be my expectation. Given that in many state run institutions anything more than jogging bottoms is considered well dressed, I will continue to despair of teachers. Indeed I despair that you have even asked and are not busily ensuring that you have sufficient suits available without further guidance.

    If the pupils have to wear a uniform then teachers should respond with decent clothes without prompting. If the pupils are not in uniform then the teachers should dress the same regardless to set an example. However one would hope parents would avoid schools without uniform.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  17. ballmouse

    ballmouse Senior member

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    I would think no jeans, no sneakers, and no t-shirts (at least as outerwear). Even growing up in Texas, I can't remember a teacher that ever wore one of those 3. They usually wore slacks, polos, or a dress/sport shirt. I cannot remember any teacher even wearing a SC much less a suit (although I didn't have too many male teachers I suppose).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  18. Harrydog

    Harrydog Senior member

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    I teach at a private day school in Connecticut. I have had the good fortune to marry well, so money isn't really that much of an issue. I dress for my own enjoyment - a range of suits from JAB to BB to Samuelsohn to Isaia - most are OTR, some are MTM. I am a shoe nut and really go overboard there. On Fridays or other "dress down" days when we relax the student dress code, I'll wear a sportcoat

    My kids love it, the faculty tease or mock me, but, hey, it's all in fun.

    I have taught for 25 years. I'd suggest starting out modestly - odd jacket and tie or with a nice knit mock. Build your identity based on who you are, how you teach, and how you serve your students - then let yourself go and dress how you want.

    Good luck with the teaching.
     
  19. williamson

    williamson Senior member

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    Excellent advice - particularly the second sentence.
    As a teacher in the UK for 36 years, partly in a secondary school (which had a uniform for the students) and partly in a 6th form College (where there was no uniform for students), I wore a sports jacket and tie daily throughout my teaching career, and would never have dreamt of omitting the tie. (For USA readers, the 6th form is the last two years of secondary school, i.e. students of 16-19 years of age) in England and Wales.)
    [quote name= GBR]A suit plus tie etc would be my expectation. Given that in many state run institutions anything more than jogging bottoms is considered well dressed, I will continue to despair of teachers...If the pupils have to wear a uniform then teachers should respond with decent clothes without prompting. If the pupils are not in uniform then the teachers should dress the same regardless to set an example. However one would hope parents would avoid schools without uniform.[/quote]You are making unjust dogmatic statements here. The quality of a school or college has no correlation whatever with its student uniform policy. I wonder when you were last in a "state-run" school in the UK, or when you last met or spoke to a teacher from such an institution. You are of course right that teachers should wear decent clothes without prompting as they should be setting an example. But a suit every day is, in my opinion and experience, going too far.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  20. facet

    facet Senior member

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    Agreed, I've noticed his statements tend to be pretty ignorant.
     

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