Friday, June 22, 2018

The Two Hour PD that Ruined the School Year

 by guest blogger Charter Chess Champ

Recently a couple of colleagues of mine were commiserating on the school year. How had it gone so wrong for everyone? Why did every day see a drop in morale, sudden resignations, and dangerous student fights that put the safety of the staff at risk? 

Finally we boiled it down to one thing. “You know, when I look back, it all went downhill in August, when we had that two hour PD about dress code.”

A little context here. In August a brand new principal walked through the doors promising to fix everything that had been lacking in the school in years prior — discipline, structure, test scores, graduation rates. She had a bright smile and was full of new ideas. Many of the most skeptical staff were won over.

And then the two hour PD on dress code happened.

A human resources lady called us in for a professional development that was deemed so important we all had to sign in and take a google survey at the end of the PD to affirm our attendance and that we had paid attention to the PD.

The PD laid out, in excruciating detail, exactly what staff could or could not wear. No stone was left unturned. On Mondays, we all had to wear the student uniforms, complete with the requisite black shoes. Men could not wear polo shirts — all shirts had to be button-downed and collared. No plaids. Shirts had to be tucked in “with the leather belt visible.” Women had to wear dressy blouses — no cotton sort sleeved shirts. We were not allowed to wear any clothing that had any kind of writing on it — the theater teacher (and myself) loved wearing shirts with lyrics from Broadway shows that we loved. No, no, no. No sneakers under any circumstances, not even gym teachers. No open-toed shoes. Heels recommended.

All this would have been okay had the principal not addressed the staff with a cheery, “Just dress like me.”

We looked at her. She was indeed dressed to impress. She was wearing a designer dress with a price tag that was probably over a teacher’s bi-weekly paycheck and on her feet were $800 Christian Louboutin red-bottomed pumps.

For those who don’t know, red-bottoms were shoes worn by Louis XIV ( Not only was red-dye expensive, but red-bottomed soles meant the royals never had to dirty their feet unlike the common people of the Third Estate. 

It was a real Marie Antoinette “let them eat cake” moment. And in one throwaway phrase, she lost the respect of the staff.
blog comments powered by Disqus