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Carliee Carliee is offline
 
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How to Dress as a Sub
Old 08-06-2012, 06:31 PM
 
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I often wonder how a sub's attire affects student behavior. I think it differs from school to school and by grade level. Technically, we're supposed to dress nicer for HS, but I tend to wear jeans as I think it makes me more approachable.

What do you think?


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Teaching Wardrobe
Old 08-06-2012, 08:21 PM
 
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I would wear slacks or a skirt and a button shirt or slacks or skirt with a knit top, but add a jacket, cardigan sweater or vest. Make sure the slit in the skirt is not too revealing.

I think dresses are good as well. They should be to the knee or longer. They should have a sleeve. They should not be low cut. They should not have spaghetti straps. Shoulders need to be covered.

I don't think any part of the bra should show, not even straps.

Nothing should be real tight.

However, I do think you should be comfortable.

I prefer wearing something with pockets to keep keys, whistle.....

Just my opinion. Every district is different.
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Depends on the teacher's confidence but..
Old 08-06-2012, 09:10 PM
 
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guest teachers get one shot to make a lasting impression on staff and students. I think a person needs to look put together, fashionable and tidy. I do know that a principal will notice what you are wearing as do teachers. A classroom teacher has the privilege of daily contact with the same kids but is still going to be perceived as more professional if she is well dressed.

I agree with 1956bd's ideas on what is appropriate. When in dount err on the side of modest.
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as for me
Old 08-06-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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I usually wear business-light attire: not suits, but dress trousers or skirt, a nice blouse, and a nice jacket or vest if I'm going to be cold. Sometimes I wear cotton, but mostly a poly blend because that's a bit more formal.
I think what I wear does affect the respect from the class and from the other teachers. I try to be about one step up from the fairly informal jeans, shorts, sandals that many teachers around here wear.
I think it helps with behavioral control with students and respect from colleagues.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:32 AM
 
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I would never, ever, ever wear jeans! I do not worry about being approachable... I am there to teach! Teachers must dress appropriately at all times, which is professional attire. Sorry... can't imagine ever wearing jeans to a school.


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Old 08-07-2012, 02:46 AM
 
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I always tend to wear a shirt and tie and dress pants. In many of places I sub, sometimes I better dressed than most of the faculty.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:54 AM
 
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I only sub at the elementary level, and I tend to dress similar to what the nicer dressed teachers wear. No sandals (my feet kill if I wear them all day anyway) and the only time I wore jeans when it wasn't "jeans day" was when I subbed in gym.

The few times I subbed at the high school level I wasn't concerned about being approachable. In fact, the less they want to talk and sit there and do their work, the better!
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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I dress mostly in business casual unless I am teaching phys ed or art.

I avoid schools where I have to wear a tie since I don't like wearing them.
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Dress
Old 08-07-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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Although many regular teachers wear jeans, I choose not to.

I always make sure I have some layers on in case it gets too hot/cold. Pockets are also important...I have to have a place to put keys etc...
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I guess I
Old 08-07-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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am in the minority because I do wear jeans. They are very dark and dressy. I will also wear nice slacks and blouse with a sweater, nice shoes or boots. I can honestly say in my district I am better dressed than most all of the teachers.


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Old 08-07-2012, 02:15 PM
 
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Take your lead from how the teachers dress in the school where you are subbing. My school does not allow jeans so a sub wearing jeans would look out of place in my building.
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Dress to Impress
Old 08-07-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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I always go by the saying "Dress one step above the job that you want" so I would dress nicely as a sub. If I am a sub, I am dressing as a teacher/principal. I want to be treated with respect and in this society it means looking presentable! I always wear slacks (khaki or black) and a nice top. Doesn't hurt! Never jeans--unless it's Friday and I have been at the school long enough to know it's a casual day
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Dress comfortable
Old 08-08-2012, 06:39 AM
 
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After five yrs of subbing I wear same jeans and change shirts every day. I call it my subbing clothes.
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depends on where I'm going
Old 08-08-2012, 07:30 AM
 
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I don't wear dresses or skirts, so never those.

If i don't know the school I will always wear slacks and nice top, maybe a cardigan or jacket. If I know the school and know the principal & teachers, I will wear NICE jeans if I feel like it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:01 AM
 
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I never wear a skirt, dress, shorts or capris - I have had to sit on the floor to teach students or be outside on a windy day.

Sturdy shoes - you might be in the gym, recess, fire drills, students can step on feet.

Socks - protect your feet.

High necked shirts - straps won't show and never have cleavage showing - no matter what the grade.

No sleeveless or very short sleeve shirts - students can see inside or inside armholes.

Layers - you never know the temperature of the rooms or if you will be outside.

No low rise pants - I have seen teachers with stuff showing when they bend down - including underwear and body.

I wear a jacket if it is cool or an over shirt for layering if it is hotter.

I have seen teachers very inappropriately dressed - both subs and contract teachers.

Some schools are requiring teachers to wear uniforms - just like the students because of inappropriate attire.

Retail and restaurants require uniforms because of inappropriate attire.
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Dress Code
Old 08-08-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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We are required to dress as everyone else does - only jeans on Friday and otherwise business casual. I usually wear khakis and a nice shirt with comfy shoes. I am not a dress/skirt person, plus it doesn't work for elementary - getting down on the floor with the young ones!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:47 PM
 
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I'm not looking so much for advice on how to dress as the impact what you wear has on student/classroom behavior/management.
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Comfortably but professionally...
Old 08-10-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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and appropriately. If I wear jeans (which isn't often),they are dark/dress jeans. I don't find that my clothing has any impact on student/classroom/behavior management. I find that my mindset (being mentally ready for whatever I am given) and being prepared generally has the most impact on management.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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I always wore dress clothes: slacks, skirt, dress shoes, nice blouse or maybe a jacket in winter. I was always overdressed at the elementary schools, where the teachers wore mostly jeans, jumpers, and track suits. The middle and high schools teachers usually were more business casual. I hate twill pants, so I stuck to the dress pants there, too.

Personally, I'd rather be overdressed.
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Dress or Skirt
Old 08-11-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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I wear long dresses or long skirts. With a nice top. I don't wear jeans because I never wear pants, but I have worn a long jean skirt before with a t-shirt.
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Impact
Old 08-11-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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I don't think how I dress has any impact on how the kids behave or their level of respect towards me. I sub in the inner city and it's all about how you carry yourself more than anything else. A timid sub, no matter how 'approachable' he or she seemed, would get eaten alive.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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I think maybe the posts had the answer about impact, but were well hidden.

Those who posted their answers are successful subs. If they wear one thing or another, that particular outfit works for them, i.e.they must be getting the positive reaction they need.

I sub mainly at the elementary level. I do not wear jeans ever because of how that makes me feel. I personally like jeans and wore them on casual Friday's when I was teaching full-time. As a sub, though, I am holding myself to a higher degree of accountability re: professional wear because I want a full-time job. I often tend to wear clothes a bit dressier than the regular teachers.
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Subbed five years
Old 08-11-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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I subbed five years and never wore jeans. When I taught PE, I wore a nice jogging outfit. I think all teachers should dress professionally, and you will be treated with respect if you dress the part. If the school you are subbing at is more casual, I would go for black dress slacks and a nice top. You can never go wrong with black slacks. However, be careful. When I was subbing, one day I noticed that almost my entire wardrobe consisted of black. So, try to buy slacks in black, brown, blue, and gray. You can always buy tops to mix and match with these colors with not too much expense.
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Respect
Old 08-11-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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I know that your attire is noticed by students. I teach k and very often they will compliment me on my attire. However, during circle reading time, they often play with the flowers on my shoes or even rub my legs with their hands if I have on pantyhose. So, yes how you dress reflects who you are to students of all ages. I am a firm believer that teachers should dress the part of a professioanl.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:53 AM
 
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I definitely would say no to jeans. I think people pay more attention to dress than we think. Especially if you are looking to get a job in the school, I would dress as professional as possible. Dress to impress!
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I've definitely noticed a connection...
Old 08-12-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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...between how businesslike my outfit and how seriously the students take me. This is particularly the case when teaching in the middle school grades. Since I noticed the connection, I have always made more effort to dress formally for middle school.

Approachability is really more to do with your demeanor generally than your dress style specifically, don't you think?
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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I sub in elementary schools (PreK to 5) and rarely know what I am going to get and even when I do, it often changes because they put me where I am most needed. The first time I was called to one school, they had me teach Gym. I was professionally dressed and wearing shoes with a 1 1/2 inch heel. I ended up teaching gym in my stocking feet. Shortly after that, I bought myself a pair of very nice looking black sneakers that look like shoes to wear as work shoes. I also wear dress jeans occasionally,pairing them with a nice jacket or cardigan. I dress comfortably because I sit on the floor with preschoolers and kindergartners, teach gym, run from trailers to the main building in all kinds of weather, and work with Special ed students who often drool or accidentally stain clothes. I have subbed for classes going to farms and parks, and have never been informed of this before coming in. Students frequently ask me why I don't have my own classroom and teachers pass on info about schools where they've heard there are openings.

You can make a good impression and still be comfortable,but I agree that approachability has more to do with your demeanor than what you wear.

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One of my schools...
Old 08-13-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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is a title one middle school. When I first started there 6 years ago I was told by the principal to dress more casually. That was when I went to very dark, dressy jeans. I have never had a problem with classroom management. It is all about tone and demeanor.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:51 PM
 
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I live in CA and people wear jeans everywhere period. It works in CA. Everyone does whenever they want to. Never noticed anything strange about it.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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I too live in CA and teachers at the 5 schools where I have worked (for 9 years) usually only wear jeans on Friday. I have worked at one District school and 4 charters and even when jeans are worn, they are not very casual, but rather business casual (with a jacket).

As a sub I follow many of the rules others have posted, but I observe other teachers and dress the way they dress without following a poor example. Also I dress depending on the grade I sub. Yes, I dress nicer and maybe more fashionable when I sub at HS. I even wear higher heels. When subbing in an elementary classroom, I usually wear slacks and a shirt with flats.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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Dress the way you'd want to see a substitute teacher or certified dressed when picking up your child from school. As far as I'm concerned, children are the most important people to impress, and anytime that you show up to work to "teach" children something - anything at all - you have made yourself a leader and role model. So be prepared to be a leader and role model. Wear the very best clothes you have in your closet, because that communicates to students, the staff, and the principal just how important your position is to you. You'll get noticed and even asked to return. I've substituted for over 10 years. I've always wanted to dress my very best each day I entered a school building. To this day, I've had even the administrative assistants complimenting me on my professionalism and asking me to return to schools years after substitute teaching. Teaching is a privilege and your attitude must reflect that in every way.
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Teacher Representation & Respect
Old 08-23-2012, 10:11 AM
 
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In some instances, there's a fine line, but I do believe, even if you're working with very young students, you can look your very best. I see no reason why professionalism should be sacrificed in the teaching profession any more than it should be in other professions. You're still going to work and you should look like it. During my years as a substitute teacher, of course, I've witnessed certified teachers consistently arriving to work looking an unprofessional mess, and often times, their classrooms also looked a mess, and their students, not surprisingly, behaved the same way. There's something about putting on your most professional clothes that transforms you in the morning - you feel confident, you do your best, and that trickles down to how you manage the classroom and interact with your students. And believe me, the students wake up and take notice. They notice that your job means a lot to you and you're taking this teaching experience and their education very seriously. They respect you for thinking so highly of your time, their time, and the work you've chosen to do when you arrive to work dressed professionally.
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dress
Old 08-25-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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I feel the same, the more professional you dress, the more serious the students take you and they know that you see your job as a profession. Also, like said before, it will look great to other teachers and administrators.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:05 AM
 
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Carliee,
How you dress is very important for impacting your students. You should dress in a way that gives you confidence and comfortability. I have seen where I have made an impact on my students and they often tell me in school and when they see me in the community how I'm their favorite teacher.

Once I had a half day and I was leaving the students walked in and begged me to stay, even told their teacher that she could take the rest of the day off. That teacher and I have become good friends and she often calls me because she saw the impact I made in her class. As a sub...that's huge.

What I wear?
Cargo Pants (sometimes khakis) (on Fridays I wear Jeans if the school has a casual Friday and the rest of the staff are dressed that way)
Plain colored V-Neck T-Shirt
Flip flops or tennis shoes
If I wear a dressier shirt (button up) then I may choose to wear Jeans

Remember: You are a substitute, not a teacher, I have never had a complain from any person on staff or faculty and I often hold conversations with principals and high ranking school officials as I'm dressed.

And be not afraid to step outside the box! Good luck!
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clothes and management
Old 09-02-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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In my action research graduate course the professor told us that a student from her previous class did a research project on the students' behavior related to all different forms of dress. This teacher got permission from her principal and then came in a few days wearing PJs, a few days wearing jeans, then business casual, and last, super formal. She found that with her third grade students there was a huge difference in behavior. The dressier she looked, the better behaved the students were.

On a separate note, another thing that I would worry about is that by wearing jeans I would blend in too much with the students. You want to be approachable as an authority figure- and your professional dress will help with that. It's your mannerisms that will make it easy or difficult for a student to talk to you about their lives and concerns.

Last edited by Laur109; 09-02-2012 at 06:48 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Suited and Booted!
Old 09-24-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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In my 16+ years since I graduated college I apparently have gotten YOUNGER in the eyes of those who see me and not OLDER. The older I get the younger I get treated like I "look." If I wear anything short of a suit (now granted I've ditched the button-front blouse part and wear knit tops under them) I WILL get mistaken for one of the kids, even at middle schools and definitely at high schools, ID name badge that says "Itinerant Math teacher" on it and all. I don't know why people think I should be anything but offended by that, but so be it. If I wear anything short of a suit I look like a kid and get treated as such. Heels, too. (I buy Naturalizers to minimize the discomfort). By the end of a semi-successful week my feet are killing me, but I find that the behavior problems are slightly mitigated this way. The more I look like a "banker" or like I belong in law school (which I did try, at one point, to escape teaching) the less the kids clown and carry on the minute they lay eyes on me. I try to generate as little daily insult as possible, and I've found that dressing like a little banker does the trick. Sort of.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:28 PM
 
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Hi Carlie,

I think dressing professionally makes you feel more confident and makes you more presentable. It's just like the first impression you have when you see any one poorly or well dressed..so I guess its just that students will either think..O My God..this sub has no dressing sense or wow...she looks so good...but after that it all depends on how well you carry yourself. And on the techniques you use for classroom management..and above all...your luck depending on the type of students you encounter that day...
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:59 AM
 
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I have been subbing for 3 years now and my students tend to get excited when I pull into the parking lot. You see, I am a motorcycle enthusiast as well as an educator. I wear leathers to school and once I arrive I'm in jeans and button up shirts but still with biker accessories. My students show me all the respect an educator deserves. I don't know if it is because I am dressed approachable or if they ar afraid I might go nuts. Either way, they make my job easier. Except for elementary, those kids eat me alive every time.
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