Wednesdays’ blogs are going to be based on different experiences teachers may have in the classroom. For now, I will create the scenarios and characters and provide feedback on how I would handle the situation. I hope you find this helpful. As our community grows, my vision is to have teachers send me their ideas of what is stressing them out in the classroom so hopefully, I can help.
Dear Lesson Plan Toolbox,
I need your help! I work in a school that requires uniforms, but that is literally the last thing on my mind in the morning. Our administration is pretty adamant that we enforce the dress code. I truly don't think that they have an understanding of how hard this job is this year. When my kids are here and ready to learn, I am thrilled. I could care less about what color socks they have on or if they are wearing a belt. My principal spoke to me about this informally and I know that I have to get better, but I feel that in the scheme of things this is just not something we should be stressing about right now.
Dear Uniform Battle,
What a school year this is for everyone! I'm guessing you must be doing in-person teaching since we are going to be discussing uniforms this week. Your students are lucky to have your love and support this school year. I can tell that you care for them deeply and want nothing but the best for them.
Right now, I am going to put on my administrator hat to address the issue of the dress code. Most times when families come to a school with a dress code they usually have to sign a contract agreeing to the school's policies. If this is the case at your school, then you do need to adhere to these policies. It may seem silly or petty, but the train of thought is that the dress code helps with student behavior and frame of mind. In essence, how we dress impacts how we perform. I know from my own experience that when I get to dress down my work ambition drops a bit and my quality might not be at its best.
My other thought that might be of consideration is your class is apart of the whole school community. If you choose not to address the dress code, then why would any other teacher in your building want to enforce it? If students in the school see your students out of dress code, then they are going to think that violations are acceptable and they can get away with it too. It turns somewhat into a snowball effect that is probably best to avoid.
I know this may not be the answer that you were looking for, but when schools have policies we need to follow them otherwise why have them? As with just about anything, when you develop a routine for reviewing the dress code, even in your mind, it will become second nature. I applaud the fact that you recognize and own that you can do better. And I know based on the fact that you wrote in that you will do better! This is a crazy year we are going through, but the dress code could be that one piece of normalcy we don't want to lose. Hope this helps to bring some clarity to you. Please feel free to reach out to us on Instagram (@lessonplantoolbox) if you have any other questions.
Lesson Plan Tooolbox