It’s July. I’m sitting in a Monday morning briefing and, as I look down, I realise that I must have missed the memo about the trip to the beach. For among the strappy sandals and Birkenstocks I note, with horror, that there’s an actual teacher wearing sliders in school.
Were it reasonable to suggest that seasonal changes in weather should dictate the shoes we wear to work, then I’d have been striding into my lessons in October in my purple wellington boots and around about now, I’d be digging around in my closet in search of last summer’s flip flops.
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But it’s not reasonable, is it? Why should the weather I have to navigate on my way into school determine what I wear once I’m in?
Imagine me scratching my way across the parquet flooring in my crampons in January because it’s icy outside.
No: we must uphold professional standards – starting from our feet up.
I’m hereby banning all inappropriate footwear from the workplace no matter the weather. And if you’re prone to being a sartorial maverick, I’m setting the following sentences for your crimes against fashion:
Probably the least offensive summer footwear you could have chosen to stumble into work in. They’re certainly pretty robust but, no offence Gavin, nobody wants to see your hairy big toes.
Sentence: Six weeks of breaktime playground duty. When you’re not confiscating footballs, or worse, you can spend the time thinking about what you’ve done.
2. Flip flops
Flip flops are the most dangerous summer shoes you could have chosen. I once saw a teacher catch her flip flop under the wheels of her desk chair and break her ankle – really, I’m saving you from yourself.
Sentence: Remove the chewing gum from the underside of all the desks in school.
3. Socks and sandals
So you’re sticking your fingers up at both health and safety AND sensibility? I suggest you pick your battles.
Sentence: Loss of any gain time. You will be down for cover and, yes, that includes drama.
The only people allowed to wear Crocs to work are doctors and other healthcare professionals who rate the holey horrors because it’s easy to wipe blood and other bodily fluids off them. Now I’m not sure what you’re doing in your classroom, but I’m pretty sure that’s not something you need to worry about on a day to day basis.
Sentence: QTS revoked. You went too far.
Rebecca Foster is head of English and associate senior leader at Wyvern St Edmund’s Learning Campus