I have gotten a very cool opportunity to experience a charter school atmosphere for the next three months. Starting Monday, I am a full-time 5th grade teacher. I have 26 students, and they are a lot of fun. I spent the last week with them, shadowing their teacher (how many schools pay for the long term sub to shadow the teacher for a week so the transition is smoother???), and also got to sit in on all the parent-teacher conferences.
I found myself unconsciously comparing charter and typical public schools in my mind. I have promised myself that I will keep an open mind and wait until the end of my time there to make an official judgment.
One of the things I have been comparing is the presence of a strict dress code. Yes, it is a uniform school. Students and teachers are required to conform. At some levels, I love it. I get 10-15 minutes extra sleep because I don't have to figure out what I'm wearing, iron, etc. However, I miss being able to wear my personal style.
Here is the dress code, in all of it's specifics and generalities.
-White button-up collared shirt
-Navy blue pants, skirt or dress
-Fire-engine red accents
-Navy, brown or black shoes (socks must show). No boots or heels
So in some ways, I feel stifled, but not completely. I can still do my hair nice. Accessories are allowed (hooray for belts, scarves and headbands!!).
My class is fun. One kid (whom I have already nicknamed Mr. Messy Desk, or MD) asked if he was my favorite student. Wish I had had the presence of mind to ask if I was his favorite teacher...