Our CommunityWhere conversations happen.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

by Janet Lee Stinson

What’s the dress code?

My grade 3 teacher gave me some advice about being a teacher. She said,

“Wear comfortable shoes!”

I have tried to follow her guidance as much as possible but lately I have noticed that several other teachers are taking that advice too far. Teachers dress in hoodies and runners, jeans and t-shirts each and every day. I cannot imagine students taking a teacher seriously if they do not dress up a little for work. Wearing comfy shoes is important but a professional image matters too…right?

How do you dress for school? In your opinion, does it matter?





Janet Lee has been an English teacher/Department Chair, Nipissing University Reading Part 3 Instructor, Student Success Literacy Consultant, and Nelson Literacy 7-10 instructional writer and media specialist. Janet Lee recently presented literacy resources at The Great Moon Gathering in Fort Albany, Ontario. She enjoys maintaining her blog This Side of the Mirror-A Journey Through Reflection to communicate with teachers and address current issues in education.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  • http://adunsiger.com Aviva (@avivaloca)

    Janet Lee, I really liked this post of yours. I often think about this as well. I don’t think that we need to dress up for school (and yes, I’m always on my feet, so comfortable shoes matter), but I do think that it’s important that we look professional. Students look up to us. Parents see us as people that matter. We need to show that we do, and we can definitely do so with what we wear. So I don’t come to school each day in a suit, but I always wear nice pants or a skirt and a professional top. In my opinion, I’m the teacher, and people need to see that in how I act and what I wear.


    • Janet Lee

      Good point about dressing up, Aviva. I am very aware of how I am being perceived and this matters in other ways too. If I am too over the top dressed up, then the community may find me intimidating. I agree that we must look and act professional and that there is a delicate balance that should be considered. Thanks for the reply!

      • http://adunsiger.com Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca)

        Thanks for the reply, Janet Lee! Finding this delicate balance is hard. Overall, I usually look to what my colleagues are wearing as a guide, and then dress accordingly. I’ve also looked to see what the principal and vice principal wear. In the past couple of years, I’ve worked with administrators that always dress up, and I find even more teachers doing so as well. I wonder if there’s a correlation. Thanks for getting me thinking!