Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hats Allowed?

My new school allows teachers to choose their policies on two highly contentious teenage possessions: hats and cellphones. I feel like I need to give the administration a little shout out for giving teachers the space to decide what works in the classroom, but I don't know what to do about hats!

I was raised that men always took their hats off upon entering a building. Women wearing ball caps also took those off. This action communicated respect to the people around you, especially your host. It also showed professionalism.

One of my colleagues pointed out that disallowing hats for that reason is making a cultural value judgment. What if your home culture doesn't equate respect with removing your hat? I definitely agree with being as open to other cultures as possible in the classroom (with the caveat being that I think it's also my responsibility to teach how students will be expected to act at jobs and college). I also like being able to see a student's face at all times.

So, what would you do?


annkemery said...

Maybe if you let them wear hats, then the excitement will wear off after a few days or weeks, and they'll stop wearing them?

Leslie said...

I guess I would ask myself why the students would want to wear hats. As someone who only wears hats once in a while for outdoor activity (or during the winter when I permanently have a hat on), I don't know why people wear hats. I guess like many other things in high school, they're to look cool and unique, but I don't really know. Then I would consider if a) that has value in the classroom and b)how that is perceived outside of the classroom (places where they might want to be taken just as seriously).

But I don't know...I look bad in hats.