Image via WikipediaSummer holidays have finally come to an end and I am teaching again. The difference in atmosphere between Australian schools and English schools hit me straight away. First of all was the lax dress standards. On my first day teaching in England I wanted to make a good impression on the new school and therefore came in a collared shirt - so much for my standards of looking presentable, I was “busted” for wearing jeans. Dress standards at my Hertfordshire school were strictly slacks and collared shirt, on top of that I noticed ties were more or less obligatory as well, judging by what all other male teachers were wearing.
I told a this story of my surprise to other members of staff when in England. Explaining that the only time I ever felt out of place for wearing jeans in an Australian school was when every other male member of staff were lounging around in t-shirts and shorts. Of course, I got the impression that English teachers just considered this a wild exaggeration of the notorious “she’ll be right”, “no worries” attitude of Australians. In fact, by the end of my year in Hertfordshire, I’d even begun to doubt the veracity of the story myself.
But sure enough, walking into the staffroom this morning, on a 36 degree day, what sight do you imagine met my eyes? Yes, shorts and t-shirts!
“Mate, you’re gonna have to lose the tie.”
Was the reception I got entering the staffroom. On the other hand, female members of staff complimented me on the collared shirt and tie and took jabs at the other men to follow suit. But the banter was playful and self deprecating throughout. I’m not sure whether to continue trying to maintain a good standard of dress code or to just cave in and go back to jeans and a polo (I was never really t-shirt and shorts material).