As the summer holidays approach each year, I usually look forward to welcoming a fair number of teacher clients (male and female) to my studio. “Why would a teacher need a personal stylist?” you may think but there are many reasons why it’s a good idea.
For Professional Development
Some of the teachers that come to see me are looking for a promotion to Head Of Subject, Head Of Year, Deputy Head or even Headteacher. They don’t want to look as they did when they were newly qualified and instead want to dress with more authority, confidence and suitability for the role they aspire to. Often more responsibility means leading others, standing up and presenting to colleagues, parents and pupils and they want to ensure they look the part.
To Make it Easier to Get Dressed in the Mornings
Teaching can be a very varied job. A teacher may be in the classroom, on a field trip, meeting parents, taking an assembly… They often start work very early in the morning and if they’ve had advice on what to wear for the occasions they encounter and have a built a wardrobe that works, they can choose something appropriate quickly and easily the night before taking into account whatever they have to tackle the next day.
To Make the Biggest Impact in the Classroom
Anyone who’s worked with children and young people know they notice everything and they judge! They judge quickly when they walk into a classroom whether they think the teacher looks young or old, experienced or newbie, approachable or scary, cool or “wally”!
In the mid-‘80s I had a teacher who was probably the most qualified man in our school! However, he chose to wear very ‘70s brown polyester flares, a kipper tie and worn out shoes that flapped up and down as the sole clung on! We didn’t give him an easy time and we didn’t learn much. His life would have been so much easier and his teaching more effective if he’d just dressed currently and professionally.
We also had a female teacher whose shoe collection would have rivalled Imelda Marcos’. We never saw her in the same pair of shoes twice and were so distracted by her glamorous footwear that we’d discuss her shoes for most of the lesson.
It’s important that a teacher makes the impact that they need to in a day. It may be that it’s a Friday and they need to inject a bright colour to increase flagging energy. It may be that they need to deal with a pupil who is having a tough time so they need to look a little more approachable and compassionate that day and a little less stern. Their clothes and overall look need to compliment the situation to get the best out of their students and not distract.
To Help when Dealing with Parents
Parents can also be quick to make judgments! If they think a teacher looks very young, inexperienced, scruffy or disorganised, they sometimes “decide” they’re not doing a good job and make their life difficult. There are plenty of ways of dressing to give the appearance of confidence, competence, a high level of organization and authority. For meetings with “difficult parents”, teachers need to make sure their body language and appearance are saying everything they want it to. Looking the part, whether you’re a new or experienced teacher, can be really easy and sometimes only small changes need to be made for a big impact. A full image consultation can help with body language and dressing to win over the most demanding, pushy parents and keep them at bay.
To Get Their First Job
If you’re newly qualified and struggling to get your first permanent job in teaching, it can be very competitive. When you’re up against equally qualified people, you really need to give yourself the best chance of appearing confident and the best person for the job at the interview.
You might be wondering what qualifies me to help you as a teacher. Firstly, during my 20 years of experience as an image consultant and personal stylist, I have advised teachers, headteachers and lecturers in one-to-one consultations, seminars and workshops. Secondly, I used to be one! Yes, many years ago I was a teacher so I know the challenges you face on a daily basis and I can totally empathise. It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world! Thirdly, I’ve also been on the other side of the parents’ evening desk as a parent.
I have the utmost respect for teachers. It’s a tough job, often thankless and there is so much more to the job than just teaching! I love working with them to make their job easier and that is why I’m offering a £20 discount on a full image consultation during the month of August.
If you have any teacher friends or family, please let them know of the offer and if you are a teacher wanting to invest in yourself, I look forward to helping you soon.
Dressing for your career
For a full professional image consultation that will help you in the classroom and on your rise up the career ladder, contact me!