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What should I wear?!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by msmog7, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. msmog7

    msmog7 New commenter

    I know this may sound trivial to many but I have a small amount of money to spend on clothes for my placements and need to know what I should be buying!
    Bear in mind I have previously been a student for 17 years so am totally clueless unless it's elasticated or revealing.
    Heels? Skirts (I am female by the way)? Shirts? Dresses? Boots? Sandals?
    All advice is very welcome. Thanks.
  2. msmog7

    msmog7 New commenter

    I know this may sound trivial to many but I have a small amount of money to spend on clothes for my placements and need to know what I should be buying!
    Bear in mind I have previously been a student for 17 years so am totally clueless unless it's elasticated or revealing.
    Heels? Skirts (I am female by the way)? Shirts? Dresses? Boots? Sandals?
    All advice is very welcome. Thanks.
  3. Hi There,

    I find kitten heels are much better than high heels as they give you a little height and the "clip-clop" noise so pupils hear you approaching but high heels will hurt, as trainees often teach in several different classrooms you will be running round all day! Comfort should be your main priority without going as far as trainers!

    Dress smartly but not like your going to an interview, skirts and a blouse is a safe bet. I would recommend wearing bright colours so you can be seen (at 5ft 2 - I often get lost amongst big groups of kids so I never wear black or navy!).

    If your teaching a practical subject sandals are generally a no go unless its really hot!

    Hope thats helpful!
  4. Different schools (and phases) will have different requirements really. You can't go wrong by investing in some smart trousers and tops. Shoes, I would go with flat or very low heel, especially if you are in primary. Whichever clothes you go for they should be easy to wash/dry/iron - especially if primary - and comfortable. Obviously you should appear professional so nothing too short/tight/low cut.
    Some schools are more geared towards suits but I haven't come across any in primary.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Depends if you are primary or secondary and, if secondary, what subject you teach. I used to be secondary maths but have been primary for several years now.

    Primary can get away with a 'smart-casual' sort of look, but secondary generally can't.

    I almost always wear skirts or dresses because they suit me more than trousers, but I know those who say they need to have trousers for primary due to being on the floor so often.

    I wear heels generally speaking, but some people swear by flats. I wear shoes more than boots, apart from in the winter when I have long boots, still with heels. In snow I wear my walking boots to travel and change to smarter on arrival.

    You need to wear what suits you and what you feel confident in. Smart, but not necessarily office wear.And definitely don't buy anything that could be called 'school uniform colours'.
  6. msmog7

    msmog7 New commenter

    I am teaching Secondary Religious Studies.
    I don't really want to be catagorised too much by what I wear as 'hippy teacher', or 'scary teacher'.
    I am however quite short and don't really want to be towered over by hulking great big Year 11 boys. Can I get away with heels?
  7. I'm a female, teaching in a Secondary school.
    I am expected to wear a jacket or cardigan when I'm out of my classroom and around school. In my room it goes on the back of my chair unless I'm cold.
    I prefer dresses and skirts to trousers, but it is my choice as they suit me. Skirts and dresses are always at least knee length.
    I never wear shirts or blouses because I'm worried about the buttons! But some of my colleagues wear vest tops underneath. If I'm wearing a skirt then it will be with a top (plus obligatory jacket), I usually jazz up outfits with nice scarves and quirky necklaces.Tops are never revealing.
    All clothes are *tested* in the changing room to check that I can stretch up (to write on whiteboard), stretch over a desk (as if helping a pupil) and bend to the floor (to pick something up). I also check the washing instructions because I like be able to wash it in the machine and hang it up to dry on a coat hanger to help minimise ironing.
    I tend to wear little heels on shoes or boots so that I have a little more height and feel smarter. I'm also not that tall but even with heels am towered over by the boys. Comfort is more important to me as you will be on your feet most of the time. I keep a pair of smart flats in my locker or car just in car I've had enough particularly at the start of term having spent most of the summer in trainers etc Also keep spare tights in locker!!!
    My advice would be start smart and see what colleagues are wearing as different schools have different rules etc

  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    If you are short you will need stilts to avoid this!

    But yes you can definitely wear heels.


    This thread is on primary, but it gives you a clue as to the huge range of shoes that are possible as a teacher. I take no responsibility for any money you might spend by looking at the thread though!
  9. Chazette

    Chazette New commenter

    My rather fetching nude ribbon lace up high heels got me the job at my school so I continue the trend now!
    I like to dress smart, we expect pupils to look smart so surely its the same for teachers? I like dresses/skirts and shirts, but go more for the cardigan look than a blazer. I'm a bit paranoid about wearing the same outfit twice in a short space of time - pupils have pointed it out to other teachers in the past and I'd rather it didnt happen to me!
    I love shoes...a bit too much...and have happily worn high heels to school on a regular basis. Noone has ever complained and the girls in the class always take a peek to see what shoes I've got on that day. Parents have mentioned it at parents evening too ("shes right, you do have fantastic shoes!") but always in a nice way, so im flattered students like my footwear. And the extra inches always help with the y11s/6th formers!!!
    Oh and if in doubt about the revealingness of a top (like when you bend over) I always wear a vest :) Happy days!
  10. I have just completed my first year of primary teacher training.
    I found that although you need to look respectable and smart, the children around you also need to feel that they can approach you- so in my experience a smart suit would not have been suitable.But it also depends on the school- maybe look at their website to see if you can get an incline of what the teachers wear & when you ring to confirm you will be coming ask if they have a particular dress code.

    I always wear pumps- this is because I am constantly moving around the classroom & it also means I don't tend to have to change my shoes when I am teaching p.e.

    also bear in mind that clothes may get ruined if you have placements in a special needs school or are working with the early years.

    Some smart trousers are a must- then build your teaching wardrobe around them- jumpers, 3/4 length t shirts, loose fitting shirts. You could try ebay- I've picked up some great teaching gear for next to nothing on there- search for monsoon and wallis.

    Hope that helped! Jasmine
  11. msmog7

    msmog7 New commenter

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I need a bit of shopping before my placements start but that shouldn't be too much trouble [​IMG]
    Also I have a nose piercing. It's very small and discreet (stud not ring) but I have no cultural or religious reason for it, it just looks pretty.
    What do you think schools will say? I love it and it's part of who I am and I would really like to wear it if I could as I see no reason why not. Of course if a school has a policy against teachers wearing facial piercings then I'll take it out but does anyone have any previous experience of this?
    Thanks x
  12. It very much depends on the school. In the last school I worked at, it would have been fine, however the school I'm currently working in has a policy of no facial piercings. The best advice is not to wear it on the first day of placement and then ask your mentor about the dress code and whether the school would be happy for you to wear it.
  13. I have a few piercings and I always took them out apart from one small plain stud in my nose. I wore it in 4 or 5 schools (primary) and it was never even mentioned.
    For my final placement, I took it out. I'm not sure why. I just decided to take them all out.
    If you can, I'd advise you to take it out. It might not be an issue but if you take it out you won't be worried about it.
  14. Same - Secondary RE, and only 5'2 (was constantly towered over by students in the corridors in the last school I worked in as a TA - good job I was only working with Year 7s in the classroom!)
    Problem is, I can't wear anything above about a 2 inch heel, and even then only if it's a wedge - I have trouble with my knees and wearing heels throws my balance off. Not sure how I'm gonna work it once I get into schools...
  15. keepthespirit

    keepthespirit New commenter

    As a mere male may I make a contribution. Excellent advice to find out school norm - you need to fit in. It must look smart and professional.

    I tend to traditional and when I was supervising trainees did not like to see studs etc : though this definitely did not affect grading.

    You are very sensible to consider this detail; it is important. Also you may need to create an impression with parents.

    Best wishes for the practice.
  16. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter


    Any money she had has doubtless been long spent!

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