edited: Thursday, April 26, 2007
By Beth Elaine
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2007
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The colors I choose seem to make all the difference in whether students listen or not.
Maybe it's me--how I act when I wear clothes I like. Maybe students respond instinctively and unconsciously to color. I'm not sure. I do know that it matters what I wear.
When classes have been unruly, I'm more successful with dark, tailored clothing. The fact that kids comment shows they're tuned in. If my clothes are light and fluffy, they are uncontrollable. Same if they're revealing. I once accidentally paired a tank top with a sweater that caused it to hitch a little low. That didn't happen when I wore the tank with a suit jacket, but this sweater was crocheted, and tied rather than buttoned. That day, students weren't looking at my face. I'll never wear that combo again!
In contrast, one of my co-workers has marvelous control over her class regardless of her colorful feminine wardrobe. However, she is a tall, regal black woman with dignity (and attitude) that commands attention. Her clothes are never revealing, but often fashionable. I'm a medium-sized white woman with blonde hair, and "imposing" is not a look I can pull off. Worse off yet, I think, are the sweet young teachers who always look sultry. They can't control the kids for a moment.
I've come up with colors for all occasions--black when they're bad. Brown when we must work, work, work. Colors when we need to use creativity. And no matter what I wear, facial expressions should be calm and controlled, as my voice levels should be.