Monday, March 9, 2015

TOO SEXY FOR MY CLASSROOM

I deleted my FB account this past summer, but that still does not stop people from forwarding me the latest and hottest FB debates and debacles.  SMH!  Of course this one struck a sciatica nerve with me and not because "Teacher Got a Big 'Ol Butt", but because there are ADULTS actually bantering about whether this is inappropriate or not?  REALLY?  Ok...first off...if you are a teacher who dresses like,  shall we call her, Mrs. Parker here: STOP IT!!!


Obviously, the teacher's attire is not this outlandish.  However, her students' imaginations might be! We hear so much news about teachers' inappropriate sexual behaviors involving students that maybe teachers' dress code regulations are way down on our list of concerns.  But having served ten years as a high school classroom teacher and six years as both an elementary and secondary school librarian, I'm not telling you what I heard but what I know:  A TEACHER'S ATTIRE HAS AN IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND LEARNING.  Just like a teacher's hygiene, breath, hair, weight, habits...you name it...STUDENTS may not always be learning, but they are definitely WATCHING!  

I started teaching high school in my very early twenties, and I still recall how nervous the principal was to hire me, fearing that I might be too young to teach and mentor high school students.  She had a staff of mainly veteran teachers, so I understood her concern.  But thankfully she took a chance on me, and I was honored as that year's "Favorite Teacher of the Year"!  

                                                                                            Ms. Sandra Roberts

Because my students were only a few years my junior, and I looked just as young as many of them, I  made extra sure that blouses buttoned above cleavage, wide-fitting skirts lengthened below the knees, and snug-free pants protruded from the print of my ass.  And since I usually taught in schools where anything could "jump off", wearing a pair of flat shoes served as protection and defense-- not just comfort!  My point is: you relinquish your SEXY card when you sign up as a teacher!  Unfortunately, the legal ramifications for enforcing strict dress codes within public school districts make it difficult and intimidating for many administrators to address the issue of teacher dress code.  Instead, districts often resort to giving a loose (pun intended) description of professional attire expectations and principals non-assertively and indirectly throw out hints of dress code violations, warnings and reminders during staff meetings.

So rather than make this a debate about whether the teacher in the FB picture is appropriate or not, how about we agree that our children deserve to have professionals who consider them special and important enough to ALWAYS stand, bend or lean before them in clothing that does not cause for QUESTIONS. 

Because chances are...if you have to ASK...(I'm just saying... not hating!)

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