It's that time of year - our first round of parent teacher conferences are here! I love getting to meet the parents of my students. It gives me a chance to continue to build a relationship with my student's family. By now, I've already been in contact with all of my students' parents or guardians. Every teacher knows communication is an important key to supporting the students, so I start early. Real early. Like first day of school early.
I have only a few conferences this year, as opposed to previous years, because my classroom population has changed. Most of my students' parents work multiple jobs and taking time off for conferences just isn't feasible. I utilize any mode of communication necessary in order to allow those parents a chance to be involved and hear from the teachers about their student's progress. Regardless of the amount of physical conferences I partake in, I am still required to be at conferences.
This leads me to the subject of this blog post. Please. For the love of education - DRESS APPROPRIATELY. We all (should) know how I feel about dressing for the job you have...and if you don't know, find out here. Long story short, as a teacher you are with children all day and they have varying needs so you need to be mobile, comfortable, and nip-slip proof at all times. With that being said, during conferences you are not on the ground working with children, you are not kneeling next to desks to help students, nor are you squeezing yourself into a mini chair at the guided reading table.
This means you can spice things up a bit. This does not mean forget all notions of what your role as an educator is...you are not going to the club and you are not Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde (#goals)
I've put together a list of FIVE things NOT to wear for parent-teacher conferences. Most of these you might say "DUH". However, my eyes have been accosted by each of these items at least once throughout my career.
Check them out:
1. Denim: This should be pretty self explanatory, if you think wearing jeans to work is a treat, this is not the time to 'treat yo self'. Save the denim for the weekend or our upcoming Thanksgiving Break. We are close, wahoo! (p.s. aren't those jeans in my collage cute?)
2. Stilettos/Your HIGHEST Heels: While I have nothing against heels, and as a teacher, I don't get many opportunities to wear my nice ones so I'll take what I can get. However, if you cannot wear heels, as in you walk like a baby gazelle, this is not the time to break out the Loubs for the first time. Most of the time you will be sitting (which to me sounds like a great time to wear heels) but those times when you HAVE to get up and greet a parent, those gazelle-like mannerisms are going to be the only focus. Let's keep it about the kids, shall we? (PSA: if you can rock heels and wear them like a champ, go for it on conference days!)
3. Short and/or Tight: No. Nope. Not okay. Please be mindful of the way your clothes fit. Be aware of your body shape/size/type and dress for it! I'm talking about clothes that maybe aren't supposed to fit tight, but just happen to be tight around your *insert any body part here* because you were gifted (or cursed) with a little extra somethin' somethin'. What fits on your friend might not fit the same on you - even if you are the "same" size. I've mentioned it before, DO NOT BE AFRAID to size up. You are NOT a number. (#girlpower)
4. Low Cut Tops: See #3.
5. Logos*: This one is on a more serious note and it should be something that all teachers are mindful of (at least in my opinion)...be aware of what you plaster on your body. The population that I serve cannot afford lavish, luxurious items. That is not an assumption - that is a fact. My students will not come dressed wearing luxury brand scarves or even rocking the newest pair of Jordans. Do they KNOW what those "nice things" are? Absolutely. Do they KNOW they can't afford them? Absolutely. No need to "show off" what you have during conferences. For those of you thinking that dressing with logos is not "showing off" trust me - you have another scarf, sweater, shirt, that you can wear for the next four hours.
*don't get offended ;)
What do you think of the five items I chose? For those of you that are not teachers, how do you feel about teacher wardrobe as a parent? For those of you that aren't teachers or parents - do you have any opinions as an 'outsider' looking at this topic? Let me know in the comments below!