It just drives me crazy that teachers can't dress like professionals, and seem to take offense whenever it's suggested. Personally, I think students, parents, administration, and our communities would take us more seriously if we looked as intelligent as we are.
A couple of months ago, I had to take my daughter to the ER and the doc comes in with scraggly, long hair that didn't look washed. He had some scruffy hair on his chin that was supposed to be a goatee I guess and a cheapy, gaudy earring in one ear. DH and I both had our doubts about him. Though later, discussing it, we realized our distrust was due entirely to his appearance.
The same applies to teachers. Americans don't see us as professionals because we don't look professional. I've seen teachers wear sweatpants (not coaches), the husband's gigantic tee, and even house slippers. Yes, I know, especially in the lower grades, you need to wear comfortable clothes in order to interact well the kids. But really? Are slacks so much less comfortable than jeans? Are the only comfortable shoes tennis shoes? No blouse is as cozy as a team T-shirt? I'm not asking that we start wearing suits and heels, but I think business casual would be fine, and save the jeans for Game Day Fridays and weekend casual for the weekend!
Thanks for letting me rant. :)