I am new and welcome any input you all have. I am a first year lead teacher at our local nursery school. Ages 3 and 4 together. I am wondering what you all wear while teaching. I am in a building where ours is the only classroom, I am the only teacher with a differnt parent helper each day. So do I dress up to work with preschoolers or wear nice jeans and a nice functional top? I really don't mind either way but have wondered what other wear while working in a potentially messy environment.
Well, first go to your supervisor/director/principal ask if there is a dress code. (there may be a no jeans rule)
What do you clean with? We use a bleach and water disinfectant and it can be murder on clothes, so I tend to wear nice, but not expensive clothes.
Wear clothing that you can move around in (nothing too short or too tight)
I know of some staff who wear skirts, but I could never do that because of the sitting on the floor (I always ended up standing on my skirt)
I also know of some staff that wear an apron over their clothing to protect them when doing cleaning or messy activities. You can get very nice teacher-y ones.
Remember that your shoes need to be very comfortable.
ITA about the scrubs, lizapest -- If I had to wear them, I'd quit. I teach pre-K in an elementary building, and ALREADY have a tough time being taken seriously. I don't do anything with those children that requires me to dress any differently than my colleagues in Kindergarten and other primary grades.
I teach pre-k and I agree you dont do much more or less than a kinder teacher. I just have a NO heal law in my book.... because i am on me feel alot. But i go to ross and target so that if i do get bleach its still a paint t-shirt... also i have a apron that i wear when we do projects and things... when i am not wearing it the kiddos always ask for it!
Where I work, we have a dress code that goes along with the rest of the school system. I dress by the code but comfortable enough that I can get around with the kids very easily. I do wear an apron when we paint or do messing projects. But, I also agree with the others, that we as prek teachers do just as much if not more at times as kindergarters. We get a bump rap, when it comes to teaching prek. That's another story.
I agree with you whole heartly, that we as prek teachers don't do anything with the children differently than kindergarten or other primary grades. We as prek teachers get a bump rap when it comes to what we teach. I don't know about the rest of you, but I get tired of being considered a "glorified" baby sitter. I am a teacher through and through.
I teach numbers, letters, sounds, language along with math. What is so different about that?
Just needed to vent a little about prek getting bump rap.
Thanks for listening.
How were the teachers in the building dressed when you were on the interview? If they were not there I would simply ask the next chance you get. I would think casual pants and a nice top would do the trick. I would hate to have dress pants ruined w/ glue, paint etc.
We have guidelines we have to stay within. The dumbest one is that "socks may be worn, as long as they are not visible." What the heck does that mean??
For me comfort is number one! If I can't move comfortably in it, forget it. I love my crocs for being on my feet, but they don't always go with everything. I was joking that I was going to buy khaki pants and different colored polos and that would be my "uniform". It would sure make it easy.
We have a school and daycare in our building, and the daycare staff have to wear scrubs. I hated it when I worked there. Now I'm part of the school, and I get to dress like a "real" teacher. Don't get me started!
My suggestion, ask what the guidelines are, and then wear what makes you feel best within those.
The thought of scrubs with preschoolers makes me want to gag. Who in the world ever thought that might be a good idea? Blech.
I agree about asking the director or look in your staff handbook for a dress code.
I have always been a firm believer that if you want to be taken seriously as a professional you have to dress professionally. By that I mean no jeans. I dress comfortably, but not messily, and I make sure my hair is in good shape and I'm wearing jewelry. I do get paint and bleach on things, but they just become part of my permanent school wardrobe.
I do not understand the whole scrubs argument... I don't think one would be less respected because they are wearing spongebob scrubs...I actually want to wear a pair and am considering it, because I think the kids would love it, esp. the ones with the characters on them. It's pre-k/kinder, so I dress as casual as I can. We are lucky not to have a dress code where I work, so you will find teachers in anything from jeans and sneakers to dress pants and blazers... I think it all depends on the grade you teach. I am a jeans gal, but I dress them up with a pair of low heel pumps, loafers, ballerina flats, or ankle boots. I also wear nice shirts and some accessories. I have been having this same conversation with my mom for the four years I have been teaching. She tells me that I must look like the youngest person on my job because of how I dress (she's not a teacher), and at first, I gave it much thought (I am one of the youngest people on my job), but personally, the way I dress has not made me any less respected. My students respect me, and so do my colleagues. And, for those who judge without first knowing me...I don't know what to tell them. I do not have the means to buy and dress or semi-dress clothes and wear them in a place where they are doomed to get stained or harmed in some other way. As long as everything is covered up, I think teachers should wear what they are most comfortable in.
I definitely think you should check with your director. At my preschool, the director is very casual - no ripped jeans, no midriff, no attitude shirts. I find I often wear running pants and a nice t-shirt or jeans and a sweatshirt. The last thing I want to worry about when working with 3 year olds is "oh no That kid just got paint (or snot) on me".
The idea of scrubs hasn't hit my school, but considering my boss thinks jeans are too informal...Personally, I think jeans and a t-shirt is fine as long as they fit (have kids say they can see your butt once and you won't wear anything tight on the lower half). However, I'm starting to wear things that are a bit more professional while still being cheap and machine washable. I want to be taken seriously by parents. I'm 23 and look young for my age so dressing a little nicer with the possiblity of staining something nice is worth the risk.
There are a lot of very cute and trendy styles that dont even look like scrubs. They are figure flattering, but modest, and come in tons of patterns and colors. There are even pants that are cute. They all coordinate and are kid friendly. They wash great, last forever, and arent very expensive. I think these new styles are totally cute and I am tempted to make the switch. Honestly they look nicer than some things I currently wear.
We do NOT look down on our PreK teachers for wearing scrubs. We see how messy the kids are, how many have "accidents", especially in the DDP class. I think they look very professional for the work they do. No one has said anything negative, other than to wish we could all wear scrubs!
look into it because the trend in this area is scrubs for preschool and daycare centers
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't fall into this trap. Scrubs are not appropriate wear for teachers. Wear comfortable clothes that you can move around in and are easy care. Personally, I don't think teachers should ever wear jeans to school, IMO it's not a professional look but I tend to be in the minority.