Opinion: Dress for success

Though many teachers prefer to dress up, the teachers who “dress down” appear most accessible for their students


Bailey Musnicki

The stereotype looks like this: Teachers wear suit coats with ties or long dresses. But when teachers dress down a little bit, it helps students feel more comfortable learning in their classrooms.

Michelene Havard, Staff Writer

A shy student opens up to a teacher about their anxiety for an upcoming test. The teacher has her hair in a messy bun and is wearing an MCHS sweatshirt and sweatpants. The way she dresses makes this teacher more approachable and, for this student, having an approachable teacher allows the her to succeed. Students can form better bonds with teachers that are “dressed down” even just a little. 

Being physically comfortable is an important aspect of the teacher dress code because the more casual a teacher dresses, the better their job execution will be. According to an article in Public Personal Management from 2013researchers have found that people feel more authoritative wearing formal clothing, but they lack the ability to open up or relax. Casual clothing helps people be more sociable and relaxed. 

Professionalism is about dressing for the job you have. Certain teachers need to wear specific clothing pertaining to their classrooms. Physical education teachers will have on activewear, meanwhile, science teachers may wear jeans during a lab.

Everyone has their own idea of what makes them work productively. Some teachers prefer to dress “professional” to keep their cozy home life separate from their work. Dressing the part of a school teacher does not change a person’s intellect, but it can affect their mood. 

MCHS allows teachers to wear jeans every Monday for  November and December with a small donation of 3-5 dollars. It is a tradition for the teachers to donate to a good cause to dress casual. This year’s donations are supporting the giving tree, which helps provide gifts for needy children in the community. The idea behind this cause is noble, but teachers should dress comfortably for the sake of their classroom, not just to support a cause, however worthy.

Clothing is more than a piece of fabric, it is a huge part of how our society expresses identity. A student can make an assumption about a person’s identity if they wear jerseys, graphic t-shirts, or sparkly jewelry.  Teachers are role models, so it’s important for them to wear appropriate attire to school.