This week I will be giving my 8th graders the following writing prompt for their spring district writing assessment.
“Dress for success” is a phrase all of us have heard before, but it means something different to each person. Write an essay explaining what “dress for success” means to you.
I love that this prompt includes the phrase “is a phrase all of us have heard before.” Really? All of my 8th graders are supposed to be familiar with the phrase “dress for success”? I’m thinking back to occasions when my students have had to dress up. I have quite a few students who attend church (although I’m not sure what their weekly attire includes), and I have several students who have attended a quinceanera or two but aside from that…
This is what I have witnessed at H.M.S in regards to students dressing up:
- School Sports Teams and Game Days: Like most schools, on game days, our student athletes “dress for success.” This usually includes the boys wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a tie which usually ends up tied around their head Rambo style or around the neck of the girl they have a crush on. I have also witnessed these same dashing gentlemen dive rolling into my classroom while wearing their “dress for success” attire. My favorite is when they use their ties to snap each other in a locker room fashion. Today, I had two girls from the soccer team, who were “dressed for success.” One had on a skin-tight skirt that didn’t quite reach the length of her finger tips, and the other one had on a short ruffled number that was a little two free-flowing each time a student passed her in the hallway.
- End of the year 8th grade promotion. In our school we have promotion vs. graduation (due to the fact that students don’t really have to pass anything to be passed along to 9th grade- don’t even get me started on this). For this event… oh boy. Here are a few high lights from past years.
A blue circa-1980’s prom/bridesmaid’s dress worn over a sports bra.
A bright red “pimp suit” complete with a hat (that had a feather in it) and red suede shoes.
An outfit that can only be described as “Sandra Dee” at the end of Grease when she turned slutty and took up smoking.
Now to be fair, the majority of the kids do dress appropriately when what they are to wear is explicitly spelled out to them, but the behaviors I witness while students are dressed up, is what baffles me. So, when I see the phrase “dress for success,” I’m not sure that my students really get the reasoning behind dressing up. I’m sure their essays are going to be stellar.