A primary school teacher turned up in towel in Uttar Pradesh. He took regular classes for the day and corrected the students register, according to a news report. The teacher is now under suspension pending enquiry, but this episode highlights the dangers of improper dress code for teachers. When teachers walk into a classroom, what is the first thing the students notice? It is not their command over the class, their voice, their knowledge or their face as much as it is their appearance and personality. If a teacher is properly attired with a pinned sari or some formal clothing, the students automatically get a sense of respect and become more aware about him or her.
However, if you decide to walk into a classroom in your jeans, the students might notice but continue with their fun and frolic without acknowledging your presence until you make it clear that you are a teacher.
Back in school days, our teachers used to check if our shoes were properly polished, saying that one can judge a person by their shoes. Why? Simply because it shows the amount of discipline, responsibility and care you have for yourself, for what you do and for the people around you. If a person is properly attired to their work, it means they take time to dress up professionally and follow the code of conduct. It shows the fact that the person is responsible about the way he or she dresses and realises its impact on those working around him. The way you dress is the first reflection of who you are and it also becomes a factor of judgement when you meet people.
Lately, in many schools and educational institutions, compulsory dress code has been enforced. This is because a teacher’s attire should inspire respect, authority and confidence.
However, in many cases we find teachers improperly dressed. A student’s mind is like clay and gets molded or influenced easily. If they see their teachers dressed in an indecent manner, they will also never realise the importance of a proper attire and dress casually or in an improper fashion.
For instance, a student of mine once told me that back in Class XI she had a teacher who would wear a deep back/neck blouse along with a sari that was never properly pinned or in place. As a result most of the boys would end up sitting in the first bench during her class and pass impudent remarks later on. The teacher had in-depth knowledge of her subject but lacked the authority and respect an educational professor should have. The students were negatively influenced and some girls even started coming to school in shorter skirts than allowed while the boys were distracted.
Teachers are considered equal to our parents as they are the ones who impart knowledge, share experiences and play a vital role in making us who we are. The way students perceive their teachers is important as this forms the basis of their actions, reactions and response to a teacher. If a teacher is well-dressed, it sends out a respectful signal to the students who will try to emulate the tutor by maintaining the dress code themselves. We are often judged on how we are dressed.
For instance, during job interviews, classroom settings, parent-teacher conferences etc. If teachers dress appropriately, they gain a certain level of recognition and also act as a model for students to follow. Dress code not only shows one’s responsibility but also a sense of equality.
An organisation, be it a professional institution, educational institution or any other, has a certain code of conduct to be followed. It has to be followed to maintain a certain level of discipline, equality and mutual respect for one another and create a more professional system. Teachers need to be dressed more professionally as it will not only give them respect and recognition from their students but also from their heads and colleagues. Teachers are a major source of inspiration for children and they should live up to the noble and prestigious status that comes to their profession.