I have just started a PGCE, and in a few short weeks I will be in a secondary school observing and eventually teaching maths lessons. On Saturday I went shopping because in order to be a secondary school teacher I needed some smart outfits, and I barely had enough to last a week.
What I ended up buying was three new suits, and couple of new shirts, a bunch of new ties, and two new pairs of smart shoes. The sum total of this was just shy of £300, which was well within my budget (yes, I did make a point of setting myself a limit before I went shopping), and I’m very grateful for the generous support the government gives to new PGCE students which allowed me to afford the new clothes.
The trouble is, what I could have done instead is gone to ASDA and picked up two new suits, a couple of shirts and ties and a new pair of shoes, and it would have cost more like £150.
So why did I spend twice as much? Well I have two main reasons, the first is that what I bought is undoubtedly much more comfortable and of a much higher quality so it will last longer. The second reason though is that I want to look good in front of the kids I’m teaching. Part of the desire to look good is because I know what kids are like, I know that they will respect good smart dress and mock shabby run-down looking clothes, and I don’t want there to be an uneccesary barrier to teaching them. However I also want to look good because frankly I know that their opinion will matter to me, and I rather like looking good.
Is this wrong? I don’t really know…