When you went to school years ago, all of the male teachers, even the coaches, unless they were actually out in the field, wore a shirt and tie.
And there was a reason they did it.
Homer Kruckenberg explained years ago that if you wanted to have the respect of the students, you needed to dress like you deserved it.
They saw enough of adults trying to dress like them. They didn’t need to see it at school.
Mr. Kruckenberg — that was what everyone called him and all the rest of the male teachers, too, in the day — didn’t show up for a school event without a tie. John Mohn, when he was working in the middle of the night with a yearbook or newspaper staff, still had his tie on. Always. And he was Mr. Mohn, even at 1 a.m.
That is just the way it was. And it was a good way. We didn’t need more “friends.” We needed teachers. Adults we could respect, whether we “liked” them or not.
Apparently what they were doing is starting to make sense again.
Elsewhere in the state, in Wichita in particular, they are talking about dress codes again, but not for students — though they certainly need them.
No, these dress codes are for the teachers.
According to a recent Associated Press report, “the proposed guidelines were developed by the Wichita Educational Administrators Association.
“The group’s president, Wilbur Middle School Principal Mark Jolliffe, says the guidelines are partly intended to demonstrate the importance of professional dress to staff, students and the community.
“The code would encourage principals and other administrators to wear collared shirts, tailored trousers and skirts or dresses of what’s described as ‘appropriate length.’
“Items on the don’t-wear list include sweat pants, beach-style flip-flops, T-shirts, visible underwear and visible piercings other than earrings.”
Well, it’s a start.
That whole thing about no sweat pants, not showing your underwear, and what-not, you’d hope wouldn’t be an issue for someone who is supposed to be training the next generation, but let’s face it, these rules are needed.
There was a reason that we respected people like Mrs. Rose Kelly and Miss Mary Esther Tonkin. It was because they deserved it. And they acted like it — every single day for their entire career.
They wouldn’t have had it any other way, and neither should today’s educators.
— Chuck Smith