Dabbling in Dress Code


Hmmm...no shoes required at this school?

Hmmm…no shoes required at this school?

Some folks are insulted by a dress code. Some folks couldn’t care less. I, for one, am not insulted by a reasonable dress code—the kind that protects me from seeing body parts that should only be viewed by a chosen few. I never taught for a principal or school district that enforced a formal dress code. If a staff member arrived at school in attire that was deemed unprofessional, the person was spoken to privately. News of what not to wear traveled quickly among the staff. And honestly, these occurrences were rare.

So why am I dabbling in dress code? Well, a recent Facebook post reminded me that today’s dress code includes more than clothing. The post referenced facial piercings and visible tattoos and whether having them will impact the hiring potential of aspiring teachers.

What would your response be?



14 thoughts on “Dabbling in Dress Code

  1. I think people should dress for the job and position they are in. If you are teaching younger students or you are in a position where you may need to be a lot more physically active than other teachers, then you should be allowed to dress more casually. The attire should still be appropriate for a school setting. I always tell my staff that if a stranger comes in the building, they should be able to tell by your appearance that you are a staff member and not a teacher.

  2. We do have a dress code which prohibits flip-flops, short skirts, shorts, T-shirts with screening, and specifies when jeans are and are not appropriate. It does not address piercings or tatoos, but I know that, in hiring, a candidate without a visible tatoo was given preference over another candidate who had one.

  3. I think there should definitely be a dress code and it should be enforced for everyone. I also think tatoos and piercings can be addressed. We are professionals and should act, dress, and look like it.

  4. Our dress code is professional, period. No jeans or t-shirts, unless a designated dress down day. No visible tattoos or anything other than single ear piercings only. That is considered professional. And I do agree. Some people say that things should change with the times. Professionalism really doesn’t change that much…..

  5. I have tattoos, of which 2 are visible at times. I teach 4th and 5th grade. I have seen several teachers with more tattoos. I don’t think this changes their ability to teach. I think that as long as they can be covered when necessary, they should be allowed to have them. The majority of students are used to seeing tattoos and this doesn’t affect them whatsoever.

  6. I’m on the opposite fence from Lisa. I had visible tattoos when hired 8 years ago. Since then I have continued to get more tattoos that are even more on the visible side. I also have my nose pierced. I don’t think that a teacher should be judged by any of that. Stereotypes need to be broken. I think it helps break the stereotype as well since my children are exposed to a different “look” and can see that no matter what you should treat people with kindnessa. As well as be accepting of differences all while viewing them as capable people.

    Just to add more, I teach 5th grades but have also worked in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th. I’m also have my masters degree in school leadership and attend frequent leadership conferences and have been recommend to continue on that path–despite my tattoos/piercings.

  7. I understand that tattoo’s and piercings are commonplace now. But I run a childcare center where we care for kids 2-12, and I just worry that if we are having teachers with tattoos and piercings on their faces, and the kids see that everyday, they begin to think it is normal to have them. They will become desensitized to them. I think that is something that parents need to teach and allow. Not us.

  8. I can’t believe the comments about tattoos meaning you aren’t professional as a teacher. How backwards are these people!! Tattoos and piercings don’t have anything to do with one’s ability to educate students. I can’t believe the ‘thinking’ of some of these people.

  9. I have several staff with piercings and tattoos. One of my teachers has a very small nose piercing that is not that noticeable and she never brings attention to it. Another one of my teachers will not allow her tattooed arms to show. I have never talked to them about this subject. They didn’t come up at interview time. It doesn’t affect their heart for teaching. At interview time, I was more interested and focused on whether their passion for working with preschoolers and elementary children was realistic and sincere. My parents also have never come to me with concerns.

  10. In my experience, a good pair of shoes is the most important part of any dress code. I think I should be allowed to wear a suit and tie, with a pair of Nike sneakers.

    It kills me to watch colleagues in heels during parent-teacher conferences. A day in those while working with kids at any age has o be horrible.

  11. My district allows tatts piercings and jeans. I teach at a middle school and we as teachers and staff members are asked to dress professional. What defines professional? my definition is you are a role model for the students, they emulate you and a teacher should remember their role and not wear their arms that are solid tatts up to their shoulders and down their back not should they wear rings in their noses and eye brows. These 12 to 15 year olds are very impressed with this and may try piercing their noses on their own and develop severe infections. Same with the tatts. I’ve seen 3 students over the past 2 years try the nose piercing on their own and make tattoos on their skin by cutting and producing raised scars
    This is very risky and really is it necessary to show these off at work in a school.

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