It’s the twenty-first century, teachers should be allowed to wear jeans to school! This sentiment is expressed by many teachers who’re required to appear formal in the workplace.
Employee appearance has always been key in professional settings, and although some industries remain adamant about their dress codes others have adopted more flexible policies on dress codes.
While some professions require employees to wear uniforms to the workplace, teachers are not mandated to wear uniforms, but only to simply appear formal for various and obvious reasons.
Emphasis is still placed on appearance in the teaching profession as most educational institutions prohibit or do not employ teachers having tattoos, colored hair, or even facial piercings.
Wearing jeans to school as a teacher is likewise forbidden by most educational institutions; nevertheless, a few schools allow their instructors to arrive at work in jeans or “smart casual”.
Fridays and other special days are sometimes allocated by some institutions as days for casual wear where teachers and students are allowed to wear jeans or any casual wear.
Why Teachers Shouldn’t Wear Jeans
Most educational institutions across the globe prohibit instructors from wearing jeans to school for a variety of reasons, including:
Considered Casual Wear
It’s no secret that jeans are considered worldwide as casual clothing. And while we all wear jeans every day, it can be difficult to consider jeans anything more than casual clothing.
Jeans were originally created as practical workwear and the initial indigo color was chosen to better hide dirt when worn by miners and other laborers. Although there’re variations in colors and designs in recent years, jeans are still seen by the general population as casual clothing.
Female Dominated Profession
Did you know that 3 out of 4 public school teachers in the United States are women, and 97% of early childhood educators are women?
Women have always had strict dress codes in our societies which led to these codes being integrated into the female-dominated teaching profession.
While some educational institutions mandate their students to wear school uniforms, others have no such restrictions. This may have its advantages but can sometimes make it difficult to differentiate between teachers and students, especially in the case of younger teachers.
It’s understandable that teachers in a school where students wear uniforms can be easily identified by parents, visitors, and students. This would be different in a school where teachers and students are all dressed the same way.
Everyone, including students, love jeans, as it provides a lot of flexibility in day-to-day activities and movements. It’s therefore advisable that teachers refrain from wearing jeans as their students would also be wearing these in school.
Unlike professions like firefighters, military, nurses, or pilots who’re mandated to wear uniforms, teachers have the flexibility of choosing their clothing. The sole criterion controlling this flexibility is that teachers maintain a professional appearance.
Teachers not only need to interact with students but also parents and other authorities on a daily basis. People have a habit of taking people dressed professionally more seriously during discussions.
Schools are workplaces for teachers and those looking to be treated as professionals should endeavor to look the part.
Educational institutions want to present a good image of their institution to the general public and this starts with the appearance of their students and teachers.
While students may be expected to wear school uniforms, teachers are expected to dress to impress parents and the general public. Teachers presenting a casual look to the outside world could reflect negatively on the institution.
It’s no secret that teachers are seen as role models to their students and are expected to show this even in their appearance. Showing up to class dressed in jeans just like your students on a daily basis could negatively impact their impressions of professional appearance and workplace conduct.
Consider a student yelling at someone without realizing the individual is a teacher at the school. Teachers wearing jeans may be mistaken for students, resulting in awkward situations at school.
Parents and other visitors to the school could also mistake a teacher for a student in a school where students don’t wear uniforms.
Why Teachers Should Wear Jeans
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A teacher’s day could be filled with movement from one place to another as they’re responsible for a broad range of students. From helping pick a student who has fallen up, and moving from class to class for lessons, to bending down to check what a student is writing, mobility is key.
Jeans provide this mobility as a teacher would be able to move easier without worrying about bending or sitting down and mistakenly exposing themselves in the presence of their students.
In this age of smart devices and social media, it would be easy for such a teacher to have their dirty laundry exposed in public. Wearing jeans enables a teacher to focus more on the needs of the student without worrying over what they’re wearing.
Better Teacher-Students Relationships
Authority figures can be intimidating to approach and the same goes for teachers in our institutions. A teacher’s formal appearance could intimidate students in school making it difficult for them to approach the teacher.
This is especially bad when the student in question could benefit from the teacher’s advice on an issue affecting their education. Wearing jeans presents a casual appearance to students making the teacher more approachable.
Can Teachers Wear Jeans
Now we have an understanding of the reasons why some people believe teachers should be allowed to wear jeans while others do not, let’s go ahead and answer the question.
No. Teachers should wear business-casual attire to present a professional image of their school and the profession to their students, parents, other professionals, and the general public. Teachers in schools that have casual Fridays can wear jeans on those days.
When Can Teachers Wear Jeans
While teachers wearing jeans is discouraged by most educational institutions, there’re times when teachers can be permitted to wear jeans.
- Physical education instructors may be allowed to wear jeans, tracksuits, and other acceptable attire necessary to enable them better administer their duties
- Teachers at the kindergarten level who have to move around, and bend over a lot during the day may be allowed to wear jeans to school
- Schools with casual Fridays would allow their teachers to wear jeans on Fridays. Teachers should however ensure that this is applicable to their school first
- School events including fundraisers where teachers are encouraged to wear t-shirts would allow teachers to wear jeans to go with these shirts
- When the school allows their teachers to wear casual clothes to the workplace. While most schools do not allow this, some have a flexible dress code for their teachers.
Can Teachers Wear Black Jeans
No, most teachers are mandated to wear business-casual attire by their educational institutions. These schools forbid teachers from wearing all forms of jeans clothing to school including black jeans.
Can Teachers Wear Skinny Jeans
No, skinny jeans are casual and inappropriate for teachers to wear in most schools. Teachers are expected to present a professional image of their school by wearing business-casual attire in school.
While skinny jeans can be very comfortable to wear, most educational institutions recommend that their teachers wear business-casual attire to school.