How far should our teachers go when it comes to dressing for the classroom? I refer particularly to our female teachers. They are the ones who tend to raise some eyebrows in this regard.
Despite the widely held notion that teachers are expected to be the standard bearers of conservatism in conduct and appearance, a growing number of our teachers have rejected this, especially the dress part. Instead, it’s all about the latest fashion; it’s all about being seen as sexy; and in the world of social media, it’s all about attracting “likes”!
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the competent authorities have set clear rules on how public officers, including teachers, are expected to dress for work. According to the Civil Service Orders, the following mode of dress is acceptable for women:
Dresses of sober style and cut. Pants suits and pants with tops.
Shoes – no slippers.
Some may convincingly argue that the Civil Service Orders are woefully out of date and are not befitting the times in which we now live. Hence, we must prepare to embrace contemporary style and fashion in the workplace.
For some teachers, modern fashion means the skimpiest of the skimpy dresses; the shortest of short skirts; the tightest of tight pants and the exposure of as much bare skin as the market can bear. I must admit that they all tend to look absolutely fantastic, gorgeous, beautiful and indeed sexy!
The questions remain: Are these teachers going too far? Should the authorities put some limit on how sexy our female teachers are permitted to present themselves in the classroom?
Please, tell me, how sexy are teachers permitted to be?
The time has come for a Teacher Licensing board. One with a mandate to remove persons from the classroom based on evidence of moral/ethical impropriety rather than a criminal activity ( where the burden of proof is higher). A board can also mandate the comletion of a specified number of hours of training/ refresher/ upgraded skills in order to renew the license. Information is dynamic. The same . The students have changed, the work environment has changed, the pedagogy has changed but some teachers are suffering from traditional paralysis.
A board is better positiined to address issues such as being improperly attired for the profession rather than the MOE/CPO
Other issues include teachers taking so much time off to complete their online studies tat the expense of the students and quality instructional time.
Then there are the others who abuse their authority and form sexual relations with their charges. There are many ethical issues that a Teacher’s Board mandated with the authority to grant licences for persons to enter the classroom can address. If you don’t have the license or it has been revoked/suspended then you will be removed from the classroom!!
Teaching is a cyclical system..You teach like how you were taught…and if you did not have great teachers with good values who you can emulate…then you will end up with some of the specimen who are currently in the system.Mediocrity breathes mediocrity !!