I was thinking about school uniforms the other day as I got into mine. OK I don’t really have to wear a school uniform but my students do. So I wear pretty much like what the male students have to wear. It’s easy. I have a bunch of khaki pants, a bunch of blue shirts, a bunch of white shirts and a bunch of ties. No thought at all has to go into dressing. And I’m ok with that. I have a lot more important things to think about in the morning. Like my lessons for the day and how to make them interesting. And breakfast.
People have been telling me for years that uniforms don’t let students be creative in how they look. Fair enough but I really want them spending their creative energy on school work. Problem solving, creating interesting essays and computer programs. In short let them get creative on clothing other places. This usually goes over poorly. Apparently for some people looking cool is more important than being smart.
Regardless I started thinking about some of the more creative people in the world. Two who came to mind are Steve Jobs and Dean Kamen. Have you ever seen a picture of Steve jobs not wearing black pants and a black shirt? Few and far between. I’ve read that he had a closet full of identical shirts. It’s as hard to find someone who doesn’t think of him as creative as it is to find a picture of him dressed “interestingly.”
Dean Kamen (inventor of things like the Segway HT, FIRST robotics, and many more things) is always seen wearing jeans and a denim shirt. He seem to have lots of those as well. Apparently he thinks he has more useful things to put his creative energies to than how he is dressed. You should see his house by the way. VERY creative house. But clothing? Jeans and denim shirts.
I’m sure there are many more examples. Vera Wang the designer creates many creative dress designs but is usually seen in basic black. Again her creative energies are elsewhere. I think a lot of people are glad of that too!
I see uniforms as a way to save students time and let them focus on more important things then what to wear at school. In fact perhaps the question people should ask is “why is it more important to be creative about school dress than school work?”