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Dress for Success in the Classroom

Found in: new teachers

Getting ready for your teaching day includes more than preparing lessons and activities. How you dress can make or break a successful school day. Check out these tips from seasoned teachers to help you find a balance between the professional and the practical.

  • Read your district policy or contract to see if there is a dress code. Be sure to follow this carefully. If there is no dress code, use common sense. (Stacie Ryan, California)
  • Always dress as a professional. Students need you to project and model a professional demeanor so that they understand how to present themselves in the workplace. It also shows that you respect your workplace as well as the students you work with. (Edward Torgerson, Illinois)
  • Wear comfortable shoes! No low cut or v-neck shirts since teachers often have to bend forward to work with students. Check in the mirror to see if your top is appropriate. (Kim Buck Emerson, Massachusetts)
  • Sometimes a school’s heating and cooling system can be inconsistent. Dress in layers; you can freeze in the morning and swelter by noon, so come prepared! (Heather Erwin)
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable, machine washable, stain resistant, colorful, and modest, especially when working with little kids. (Kristin Irwin, California)
  • Be mindful of the grades and subjects you teach. Ties won’t work in shop class and skirts or dresses are impractical for getting down on the floor with little ones.
  • Keep an emergency change of clothes in your car or closet at school. You never know when you’ll need them. (Kristen Keryk, New York)


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