Maybe teachers should wear uniforms | NevadaAppeal.com

Maybe teachers should wear uniforms

Barry Smith

I’ve got the answer to a dress code for Carson City teachers.

Uniforms.

Hey, if it works for students, then it should work for teachers too, right?

Maybe something in a navy-blue jumpsuit, with the name stitched over the pocket. They’d look like NASA astronauts.

With some special accoutrements designed into the uniforms, they could actually come in handy.

They would have a Teflon coating, of course, to deflect not only bullets but criticism – from the principal, from the students, from the parents, from the media.

The helmet – there would have to be a helmet – would be equipped with sound-filtering ear plugs that would drown out the screech of disruptive students while allowing the teacher to hear right answers being delivered quietly by straight-A students.

Also included in the helmet, of course, would be rear-vision goggles for those awkward times when the teacher is facing the blackboard.

Shoes should be a combination of combat boots and sneakers. They would be high-top, for wading through the bureaucratic bullpuckey, but light enough for the teacher to sprint from room to room in 9.1 seconds. No open-toed sandals, though.

For elementary-school teachers, the uniform must have an extra sleeve for crying on, an extra pant-leg for tugging on, and a sneeze guard. There would be a standard-issue backpack for bringing needed supplies to school from home.

I suppose it’s kind of ironic that I would be writing about how teachers dress.

You see, my mother was one of the ringleaders in the mid-1970s rebellion to allow female teachers to wear pants to school.

From there, apparently, it was all downhill.

When I was in elementary school, every woman teacher wore a dress and every male teacher wore a coat and tie. While this may conjure up an image of professionalism, I distinctly remember Mr. Trill wearing the same shirt and tie with the same spaghetti-sauce stains through much of my fifth-grade career.

I also remember a particular sixth-grade teacher, although I can’t recall his name, who would instruct a gym class in his coat and tie. He would be huffing and puffing, red-faced and sweating profusely. We made a point of not approaching his desk in the afternoons.

By high school, though, things loosened up considerably. The coaches wore sweatshirts and whistles even when they were teaching history. Whistles are a handy device during history class and should perhaps be included in the uniform I described above.

The first female teacher I remember wearing slacks to school was the drama teacher, who was in her first job out of college. She was a bit scandalous anyway, because she had “new ideas.” I think she was in the principal’s office more often than any student.

And there was a young, voluptuous red-haired teacher named Miss Dexter – funny that I remember her name – who wore short, tight skirts to class. She single-handedly increased attendance in study hall among members of the baseball team.

I must say, though, that if high school is to prepare students for college, then there must be some leeway in any dress code for secondary-school teachers.

Otherwise, it will be too much of a shock when the students go away to university.

Perhaps the college you attended was more refined than mine, but I admit to being a bit shocked the time I walked into a lecture hall and realized that the stringy-haired, sandal-wearing guy in bell-bottoms and tie-dyed T-shirt was actually the professor.

Of course, this was the 1970s. And he did teach “film.” And lived in a tepee. And got busted for growing marijuana. And gave me a “B,” the jerk.

Now that’s what I call unprofessional.

Barry Smith is managing editor of the Nevada Appeal.