Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You’re going to Wear that!?

In honor of last week’s New York Fashion Week, TOR brings you a little fashion show of its own. Every school has its own set of expectations for teacher dress, and a smart sub is always aware, respectful and "on trend" for that school.

The male sub who wore lady pants, published in The Huffington Post, may have been more interested in stirring up controversy than delivering instruction. We support the concept dressing to send a message...but the only truly viable message is: "I'm the professional in charge of learning today."

Ladies: Shoes no higher than a "kitten heel" and make "the lawyer's choice" (a closed toe). Flats are always best. You never know how much walking (or running after students) will be required. Keep jewelry to a minimum and save the bangles for next weekend.

Gents: Keep a tie that "goes with everything" in your bag.  And remember no hats in the classroom.

Here's our lovely and talented dispatcher, Ritu, who has graciously agreed to catwalk a few examples of appropriate and not-so-appropriate attire for substitutes.

Casual: A nice pair of jeans with a casual (yet conservative) top is fine at a school with this dress code.

Casual Professional (most common): Jeans are not appropriate. Stick with a nice pair of khakis or slacks and a casual (yet conservative) top or shirt.

Business Professional: Men, wear a button up shirt and slacks. We advise bringing a tie and blazer, to avoid being under-dressed. Women, a sharp pair of slacks and a button down top. Bring a blazer as well, should you find the environment requires it. The blazer can be hung on your chair if it isn't necessary.

Religious Schools: Here, there's a religious affiliation that influences dress code. Certain schools we work with require business professional for men and, for women, a skirt or dress below the knee and a top that covers the elbows and collar bone. Religious jewelry? Be smart and considerate.

Physical Education Assignments: These allow you to forgo business attire and opt for athletic clothes or "coach's attire" BUT stay conservative and clean. In addition, some religious schools still require women to wear a skirt OVER their athletic attire.

Have at least one version of each of these outfits on hand so that you won’t have to go spelunking in your closet on "the morning of."

Whatever the dress code, you should always strive to look sharp. When in doubt, err on the conservative side. Avoid logos or words on your clothing and excessive body piercings.  Are your clothes wrinkled or stained? Then do what your Mama taught you...or pay someone else to. "It's laundry day" is no excuse.  Whatever you wear make sure it is in good repair (no holes, no buttons missing) and of course make sure zippers are zipped and there are no wardrobe malfunctions!

Showing up in the proper dress makes that all-important first impression on a school. It is less about looking "fierce" and more about proving that you are a professional.

For good measure, we’ve also provided you with an idea of what NOT to wear. Try not to color-block yourself out of a job.

Your friendly neighborhood dispatcher should share info on dress codes for each school when you're booked on an assignment so you can take your outfit from zero to hero. Be sure to take note so that there is never a situation for which you arrive unprepared. 

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