One exciting thing about writing my own blog now is that I can participate in blog events and celebrations like the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up your Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can visit the blog and read other people’s stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.
Digging through my dresser, I pull out t-shirt after t-shirt and begin stacking them on the floor. Don peeks into the bedroom when he hears my dramatic sighs and drawer slams, “Are you OK?”
I said, “It’s another theme day at school. Today, we are supposed to wear Christmas attire for the staff holiday photo. I am looking for that Charlie Brown’s Christmas shirt I used to have. I thought it was in here somewhere.”
Don rolled his eyes, “Another theme day?”
“I know. This is the fourteenth one this year. (Yes, I am keeping track.) It’s ridiculous.”
It might surprise you to learn that I am clothes horse (shoes, too). My conference roommates can testify. I feel more professional and put together when I dress up a bit. Growing up, my mother taught me that when you are “a curvy girl” you need to “try a little harder” when choosing outfits, so that you don’t look like “a slob.” She still expresses her dismay that I don’t wear hose and a slip every day.
I am more relaxed at school than I was when I worked in a office, but I want to choose my clothes based on weather, personal taste, and mood–not theme days.
Don helps me unfold shirts looking for Charlie Brown. I continue ranting, “Today is Christmas colors–red, green, gold, silver, white or purple (?) clothes. Thursday is Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Friday is Polar Express Day. We are supposed to wear ‘school-appropriate’ pajamas. I bought school-appropriate pajamas for Pajama Day. I guess I need holiday pajamas this go-round.”
At my school, we are expected to participate in school-wide events and celebrations. I know that kids enjoy it when their teachers wear fake mustaches (Mustache Day), slippers (Slip Past Drugs Day), and university gear (Generation TX Week) along with them. It’s fun. The school year is long. Fun is good.
Concerned that teachers are weary of the endless theme days, our administrators have offered an additional perk. If we participate, we can wear BLUE JEANS. I’ll wear anything to school if I can pair it with blue jeans. Said no teacher ever.
We still can’t find the Charlie Brown shirt. I look at the mound of school shirts spreading across the floor–field trip t-shirts, Field Day t-shirts, UIL Team t-shirts, blood drive t-shirts–all shirts I only wear for school, usually once on the day of the event. Since I am looking for my Christmas t-shirt in here, I must have classified it as a school-only shirt, too.
Frustrated with the entire exercise and running out of time, I decide to opt out of Christmas Attire Day and suffer my colleagues’ ribbing all day because I ‘m not participating. I am sure someone will take pity on me and loan me their extra elf hat.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. No really, I can’t tell you.
I think teaching should be fun because teachers enjoy the work we do. If the only enjoyable days at school are the days we could wear our pajamas, there’s a problem. Perhaps, I just resent the loss of one of the last pieces of autonomy many teachers still have–the ability to choose what we wear to work.
My husband and I worked our way through school, taking low-paying food service and hospitality jobs. I have done my time wearing the same clothes as my co-workers. I want to wear my nice clothes.
As I leave for work, I show off my black pants and sweater to Don, “Hey, the sweater has a little green it. This counts, right?”