The attire a person puts on paints the first impression of his or her behavior to outsiders. Whether it is the true picture of the person’s innate character or otherwise, the dress one adorns himself or herself speaks a thousand words of his/her makeup. That is why everyone needs to pay close attention to the way s/he presents himself outwardly to onlookers. Teachers in educational institutions have recently been criticized for wearing unkempt dresses to undertake their responsibilities. This has sparked a lot of debate on whether the kind of attire a teacher puts on have any impact on the dispensation of the teaching and learning activities. It has been a popular theme for deliberations amongst scholars in the field of education, concerned agencies in charge of the moral upbringing of the youth and parents.
Teachers are models and exemplars in educational institutions. Students usually look up to them and the influence they wield on their moral development cannot be underestimated. This underscores why many students label some of their exemplary teachers as their life mentors. Therefore, due to the huge and influential position they occupy in their school’s society, they must be cautious of the marks that they constantly create with their attitudes and demeanor. One keen area is their attire. Teachers must wear decent, neat and appropriate dresses that beautifully illustrate their profession. As shapers of morals, teachers must be able to part moral training via their dresses.
It is said that the entire learning experience of students includes both the teachable and non-teachable aspects of the curriculum. Thus, the non-teachable components of the teaching and learning processes carried out through observations must equally be given much attention like the teachable components. Dressing is an example of the non-teachable component which is constantly being observed by students. Many of these inexperienced students set their criteria or judgment of appropriate and inappropriate mode of dressing using their teachers’ own as yardsticks. Owing to this, if teachers whom the students have vested their trust and respect wear shoddy clothes, it would blur and/or stain the vision of judgment regarding well-mannered and unaccepted mode of dressing. Therefore, it is a must that teachers set good standards regarding clothing.
Decent dresses worn by teachers connote respect for their clients, herein, students, the parents of the students and the government who offered them the employment. It sends a great signal to the general public about the teaching profession. Sloppy dresses worn by teachers would bring disrepute to their profession and people would even look mean at them. However, the teaching profession is noble and of great repute. Therefore, teachers must wear good and appropriate dresses when attending to their teaching and learning responsibilities in their respective educational institutions.
Of course, cultures vary amongst societies and countries, yet, the standard for appropriate and acceptable dressing has always been clear. Teachers must desist from casual dresses such as Round neck T-shirts with unscrupulous labeling, dirty clothes, revealing and tight clothes, unbridled make-ups such as manicure and pedicure, mini-skirts and other forms of dresses that rub the reputation of the teaching profession in the mud.
Good, decent and appropriate dresses even protect teachers from disturbing and unfortunate instances. There are many reports of female teachers who have been sexually abused by some members of the general public and their own male students due to the slapdash dressing that stirs up the sexual desires of onlookers. Also, some male teachers have been wrongly accused, their images tainted and labeled as rapists, thieves and so forth because of their clumsy dresses.
Indeed, the attire worn by teachers exerts great impacts on the teaching and learning services they offer in educational institutions by dictating the taste of students regarding dresses. Moreover, it shields them from wrong image labeling and other unfortunate instances. As beacons of light in educational institutions, teachers must offer the non-teachable aspects of the curriculum, of which dressing is an iconic figure, with decency and respect for students to emulate. Educational bodies must set standards of prescribed or accepted mode of dressing to guide the choice of attire of teachers. When the mode of dressing of teachers is censored and monitored it would result in the attainment of good learning outcomes. It would lead to the good development of the moral fibers of the feeble and inexperienced students in the millions of educational institutions globally.