So I haven't finished reading this whole page yet, but I couldn't help but think of this comparison when everyone keeps talking about how we ARE professionals and, therefore, should dress as such.
Doctors and nurses are professionals, too, but would you expect to see your surgeon wearing a suit and tie or three piece business suit for women when taking you into surgery? In fact, I don't even see many doctors dress this way anymore. Why? Because they are in and out of patient rooms all day long trying to perform their job. Are they still professional? Absolutely.
So many people in response to this post have noted that our job must be taken into consideration and that is the essential point in this matter. Yes, we are professionals. No, it does not make sense to have to dress up everyday the way a lawyer or accountant (or any other professional) might. The job is just not the same.
Somehow, people seem to have convinced themselves that "if we only dressed more professionally, people would take our profession more seriously." Honestly? I don't think so. It is what it is, and if we wore three piece suits to work everyday, I honestly don't think it would make a difference in the perception of teachers and education (except that people might note that teachers had gotten crabbier!
With the shift that society has taken today and the issues that schools have relating to parents and families, I think it is important to make sure that teachers are people that parents can relate to. If a high level of professional dress would serve that purpose, then so be it, but it seems as though it would only widen the divide.
I believe that teachers should respect themselves by wearing outfits that are neat and well put together. I see nothing wrong with khakis, capris, sandals, and other such business casual attire. Honestly, I don't see the problem with crocs. Teachers are on their feet all day the way nurses are and I see loads of nurses wearing these comfy shoes to work each day. Why shouldn't we be taking care of our feet?
I just think that the whole issue of professional dress is somewhat of a grasp at taking life back to the "way things used to be"...but, unfortunately, I think that it is what it is and we have to evolve and adapt as such. The profession is far different these days than it was back when, as well.
If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post, thanks for reading!!