I'm a second-grade teacher and I really like it, but I always feel sorry for my students at the beginning of the year. All of the other female second-grade teachers at my school are young and pretty and wear trendy clothes. In the fall and spring the other teachers wear cute little sundresses and fancy flip flops. They aren't allowed to wear regular flip flops because those are deemed unprofessional by our superintendent. Also, the sundresses have to have straps so that a child in need of comfort won't accidentally expose parts of the teacher the superintendent has deemed as unprofessional to show. However, one of my work daughters, which is what I call my young co-worker friends, has been known to wear a bolero sweater over her strapless sundress. So far, so good on that. In the winter months, my cohorts wear sweater dresses with high-heeled boots or leggings.
My plan for work wear is somewhat different. In the fall and spring, I wear knit tops and capri pants, which surprisingly, our superintendent currently considers professional. With that I wear sensible sandals that cover most of my wrinkled feet. In the winter months, I wear the same knit tops with cargo pants, which I have found to be the same pants as capri pants, only longer. I have even discovered cargo pants that have a little tab which allows the pants to be rolled up into capri pants, therefore cutting in half my work wardrobe budget. I have, however, had a hard time rolling both legs up to the same height, which sometimes causes a half capri/half cargo effect. In the winter, I wear either black, blue, or brown trouser shoes I bought about 15 years ago. They still look good, although one of my work daughters makes constant catty remarks about them. I think that's because her feet are hurting in her high heeled boots. Finally, if it gets really cold, I have some corduroy pants I wear along with socks I buy at Publix. I also have a couple of hoodies I wear, which I bought at Macy's. I had a great gray hoodie I used to wear with everything, as gray does pretty much go with everything, but my friend, Allison, who isn't all that great a dresser herself, made me throw it away. I showed her, though. It's in the trunk of my car in case I ever need it.
Back to my poor students. I can just imagine, during the summer preceding second grade when the class lists go out, a child asking his mom or dad, "Dr. Mayo, is she the one with the long blond hair and the flip flops? No? Well, is she the one with the long dark hair and the pretty boots? No? Well, is she a real doctor then, the kind who gives shots? No? Well thank goodness for that."
So, with the relief that I'm not a real doctor who gives shots, the kids seem to forgive me for the all-season knitwear and the shoes twice their age. They even tell me I'm pretty sometimes, but that's usually when they are in trouble. I did have a student a couple of years ago who, during story time, would push the skin around on top of my foot. I have to say that irritated me a bit.