what would you wear for voluntary work in a school?

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  • Hiya im hoping to return to a job and college. Im training to become a teaching assistant (hopefully) in a primary school and doing 2 days in the school and one evening in college. what would be classed as acceptable outfitwize for the school? many thanks x

  • Trousers and shirt, or tshirt depending on what age group. I did reception class, so I was jeans and t shirt, with a spare in my bag, I went to college straight from school usually with glue and glitter up my jeans :) I loved the cutting and gluing

  • No, I was just helping out before college, (If I went back home after dropping the kids off, I would not get back out to college at 12) But the teaching assistants dressed the same as the nursery nurses and teachers, so smart casual. Just go and have a nosy what they are all wearing :) Good luck and I hope you really enjoy it, I miss little ones.

  • I agree, something smart casual, something comfy (you'll probably end up sitting on the floor) and something that doesn't show your cleavage when you bend down to talk to a child (you would not believe how many boobies I saw when I was working with little kids! eek!) Maybe don't wear denim or trainers on your first day, some schools don't like it, there's no harm in asking once you're there if there's anything they have a policy against you wearing.

  • Take a jumper just in case you split your trousers bending down to ear level of the little en's. I once invited a classroom of infant school kids out to a farm visit I had organized. The school kids walked the short distance to the farmers fields & I along with the farmers wife, collected them from that point with the tractor and trailer. We had planned on driving them round the farm showing them the different types of crops grown, before going back to the farm yard. Elf and safety first ~ I was the one sitting at the back of the trailer to stop kids falling off. The tractor stopped in the yard and I lowered myself off the trailer. I got my trousers caught on the trailer tie down hook and it ripped the arse out of my trousers. Well you could imagine how funny the kids would have found this. Without anyone noticing, I discreetly tied my sweatshirt around my waist and saved the day.

  • My work takes me into one or two schools most weeks. I've noticed that men in many primary schools have gone back to wearing jacket, collar and tie. Smartish and comfortable (with an accent on the latter) works for me, but then as a visitor to schools my jeans and open necked shirts are not under the same kind of scrutiny as might be the clothing of someone working in any institution full-time. Classroom assistants working with very young children in some schools are given the option of wearing a protective smock over their clothes. They don't look great, but they save your best jumpers from paint (red's the worst to get out!). Every school has a slightly different point of view on these matters. If you are worried about it, best follow the advice above and ask. With any luck, you'll get a helpful answer. You'll soon find out if something is deemed "controversial". Good luck. I hope you enjoy it.

  • I would have thought - "fit for purpose" would be appropriate - neither too formal; nor too casual, - friendly but practical - projection can be everything

  • A friend of mine has a placement in primary, she wangled it as she already has an ordinary degree in Law, I worked with kids for 10 years and couldn't get in anywhere as a TA even with 2/3 of a OU degree bit sore on that still.
    She agrees with body armour; comfortable shoes, she usually wears boots, flat ones, so she can stick a notebook right down her boots to jot things down as women's clothes are notoriously bad for handy pockets. Trousers or leggings and a cardi over a blouse or top.
    Horibble term but - smart casual.

  • I would just try to match whatever the other teachers are wearing I guess! Black jeans, shirt, hoodie...that's what I've seen most teachers or TAs wearing when I volunteered in a school. The kids wear all kinds of colourful stuff! A few had these school backpacks from over at Ergobag, which I wore for fun once and it went down a treat with the kids :P

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