The Random Writings of Rachel: Teacher Clothes

Teacher Clothes


eShakti Retro Style

We're in the thick of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training right now--every day involves 5 hours of TEFL lectures and lesson planning workshops, 2 hours of Mandarin lessons, and 1 hour of teaching an ESL class, with lesson planning meetings and homework at night. Same schedule on weekends. We will have 1 day off in the middle of this 3 week course and I think everyone is already looking forward to it. It's quite busy, quite educational--not very conducive to exploring the city we're in, but very conducive to preparing us for a full-time job as teachers at the end of August.

Because of my well-known love for wearing clothes (I highly recommend everyone should do it--wear clothes, I mean), I have found the rules for what we're allowed to wear here rather interesting. We're required to wear "Teacher clothes" throughout the day, whether we are teaching or attending classes or just walking around the college campus that we are staying on. This doesn't necessarily mean dress slacks, pencil skirts, and blazers for women--for which I am extremely grateful--the average temperature has been 88 degrees, and it's a 5-10 minute outdoors walk between classrooms, so you don't necessarily want to wear thicker clothes than you have to.

The most important rules for both men and women seem to be that your shoes have a closed toe and heel, and that you have some sort of sleeve, enough to cover your shoulders at least. Jeans and shorts aren't allowed. Men have to wear collared shirts, and ties for any banquets or meetings with higher-ups. Women don't have to have collars, they can wear dresses or skirts or pants--and there don't seem to be any color restrictions, which makes my heart very happy.

It seems to me a very common sense dress code, and I am very glad that I long ago established a habit of collecting knee-length cotton dresses with full skirts and short sleeves--they're a style I love to wear and one that's appropriate for teaching a class of elementary schoolchildren. I'm currently teaching a 6th grade class while Angel's teaching a 3rd grade class.

Neither Angel nor I are used to dressing "professionally" every day. He's worn scrubs his entire adult career...and when I was in beauty school I did dress professionally, but all in black--which, of course, I will never do again unless I'm forced to. While wearing dresses is very normal for me, while Angel prefers shorts and a t-shirt, so I love seeing him wearing slacks and a dress shirt every day--what a newly fashionable husband I have!

We just had to take pictures of our outfits on our very first day of training (by we, I do mean I), as proper documentation of the event. It's a little embarrassing to admit how excited I was to find a headband and a bracelet and earrings to put on--because we started packing early and have been traveling so long and just living out of our backpacks rather than disturbing our suitcases, I'd gone a very long time with any accessories at all. I missed them greatly. 

So, I suppose this post was all to say that I'm having a lot of fun getting dressed for work. I have gotten several comments from others in our class calling my outfits "creative" or "colorful" or "unique"...I haven't yet divulged at all that I'm sort of a fashion and lifestyle blogger...I don't know if I should...


Also, could we just pretend for a bit that I am purposefully going for the retro pincurl look with my bangs? In all honesty--I haven't yet been able to find a flat iron here and that's what my hair does of its own accord...

33 comments:

  1. Cute dress! It's interesting that you have a dress code for your TEFL training. I wonder what it'll be like at your actual schools. I mean, of course dressing professionally is always a win (and foreigners are held to different standards) but my friends and I were always interested in seeing what the native teachers do! The ones at my Korean middle/elementary schools usually wore jeans, while the ones at my Chinese college would wear the same outfit all week!

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  2. You guys look so great! You have a very fashionable husband indeed. How awesome that your style goes so well with what you need to wear there.

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  3. that dress is so cute! you are both are fashionable! :)

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  4. Awww you both look great! Glad you have some room to express yourself in the dress code- that dress is the cutest!

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  5. You both look awesome and ready to teach!

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  6. You are both looking quite fantastic! Good luck with your teacher training.

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  7. There wasn't a dress code at the university my parents taught at, but they both still dressed professionally in... "teacher's clothes" I suppose you might say. :) I love you guys' outfits! Your dress is so cute!

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  8. No color restrictions sounds like a dream! I'd be sad if I had to dress up in only dark hues all the time. So I'm glad that you get some freedom in that area. You guys look so lovely and GOOD LUCK WITH THAT TRAINING! <3

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  9. You both look quite spiffy! I have that same dress, I love eshakti! Good luck with all of your training. :)

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  10. I love your dress! It is very interesting what they require... I'm happy for you, though, that their requirements seem to match your style. :) Good luck with these intense weeks of training! I'm sure it will be worth it!

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  11. I'm so happy you've found a job where you can still wear the clothes you love! I know that was a huge annoyance when you were in cosmetology school - and Angel looks pretty spiffy himself! Also, glad to see you color coordinated. That's important. ;)

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  12. You totally rock those bangs! I love your teacher clothes!

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  13. What fun that you can dress like "you" in your new job!!! :-)

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  14. You two seriously look like you should be in a movie! For not really dressing like that, y'all NAILED IT! hope all is well my friend :)

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  15. That's basically the same dress code teachers have at my charter school. Also, female teachers can't wear leggings, knee high socks, or boots (unless they are dressy boots, like high heels).

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  16. you look adorable! and, yes, we can most certainly go with coordinating pin-curl!

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  17. is the Mandarin class easy for you? you both look cute! I saw you were still able to view my blog and leave a comment, YAY!! wow, your day sounds long. is it weird to have more time to spend with your husband since I'm assuming you both commute together and perhaps sit in class together? I think you curled bang looks adorable!! I will send you a straighter (really) when you get settled down if you can't find one. :)

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  18. I LOVE that dress on you! It's super cute :) You two look so adorable and professional ;) Enjoy your lessons!! Have fun teaching the 6th grader, hope they're all cooperative.. I'm really interested in hearing the cultural observations you are experiencing over there :) Happy Hump Day -Iva

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  19. Hi, Rachel! I've been reading (and thoroughly enjoying) your blog for a while but (shame on me) I don't think I have ever actually said hi :) Thanks for writing...it always makes me happy when one of your posts pops up on my dashboard. Love your teaching outfits and totally relating to curly haired bang problems...last summer I was at this camp in New York (without a decent mirror or place to plug up my flat iron...tragic!). It was hot and sweaty and my bangs were wild and it was...an interesting experience. :) Take care and looking forward to reading more about your adventures teaching!

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  20. That dress. It's so cute! And natural pin curls are definitely not the worst things bangs could do ;) whoo for teaching!

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  21. Looking good! And looks like you have a very hectic schedule. Very interesting to know about what you've been up to so far since you moved. :) Yeah, I noticed the bangs too! I agree, retro is the look! :)

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  22. Ooooh yeah, girl, rock that pincurl look! It totally suits you. I wish my bangs were that kind to me when I didn't flat iron them!

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  23. Fun! Your training makes my current training look like vacation: 5 eight-hour days. More people should wear knee-length full-skirts on a regular basis.

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  24. That's some intense training which will make your day off all that much more worth the wait. I bet you two will be the best dressed teachers in China :)

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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  25. divulge away! share your blog and i'm sure they'll be logging on for all your adventures just like we are :) and rachel, you've got the teacher look on lock <3

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  26. You look great! I love your curls in front- very cute!

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  27. You guys look fabulous! Wow, those are some rules for "teacher clothes"...I guess my teacher clothes wouldn't make the cut...ha!
    Debbie
    www.fashionfairydust.blogspot.com

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  28. You look so cute and I love your little curl! You both look very stylish. :)

    http://howtomakehome.blogspot.com

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  29. Oh my goodness how cute are you two!?

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  30. You guys are so cute!!! This post has gotten me super excited for the school year from your point of view. I show your posts to my husband all the time now, hoping that they will convince him that we could teach abroad a year or two, after his graduation. I have my heart set on somewhere in South America... we shall see!

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  31. Teacher clothes! It's nice that you've embraced it instead of run the other direction.... definitely helps to have that dress collection! In Czech Rep I don't have to wear any teacher clothes but I always wonder how I would cope with it if I taught in Asia. I love ESL teacher blogs-- looking forward to reading more about your journey :)

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  32. Cool! I was a high school English teacher for a couple of years (before I decided it was not for me), and one of my favorite parts of work was getting dressed each morning. Compliments from trendy high school students inflated my ego, of course. :)

    Love the dress! Very retro!

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