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Dress like it matters

For states emerging from lockdown the distinct challenge of returning to full-time face-to-face learning is imminent.

Part of that challenge might just be learning to teach with your pants on again!

This alone got me thinking about what we should wear when we teach … and whether it matters.

Well, it does.

I often hear that “What I wear makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to how I teach”.  This, of course, is true.

But to does make a difference to the perception and trust afforded to both your school and your profession.

We’d trust a doctor less if s/he walked into the suite in thongs and sunglasses, even though their attire wouldn’t directly impact their diagnosis.

We’d be far less likely to purchase accept legal advice from a lawyer wearing a sporting jersey emblazoned with alcohol, cigarette or gambling advertising, even if that advice was important or accurate.

I’ve never asked a teacher to spend inordinate amounts of money on clothes for work.  But I have asked for their final check in the mirror in the morning to be asking oneself “Am I dressed like my work matters?”

Because it really does.

And for good measure, it lessens any case for industrial action and better pay/conditions when we look like we don’t deserve it.  So do it for your profession, not for your practice that day.

Keep fighting that good fight,

PS. I’m running an important free webinar on Thursday 4th November at 2pm AEDT called “The Heroic Principal”.  Put bluntly, your school needs its Principal to be its hero right now.  Leaders matter more in uncertain and stressful times and there are some specific features inherent in leaders who get it right.  If you’re a Principal ready to put your cape on, you can register here.

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