David Thompson
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November 01, 2021

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Alice

Are there any actual *grown ups* left in the teaching profession?

David

Are there any actual *grown ups* left in the teaching profession?

I’d imagined that one of the functions of dress codes and broader expectations of workplace professionalism is that they help to filter out the delinquent narcissists. People who just can’t get over themselves. Say, 30-year-old men who like to bemuse 12-year-olds by playing dress-up in class, announcing how “non-binary” they are, and painting their nails.

And not in fact “white supremacy.”

Previously and somewhat related.

See also.

pst314

I’d imagined that one of the functions of dress codes and broader expectations of workplace professionalism is that they help to filter out the delinquent narcissists.

Yes indeed.

I have had innumerable conversations with "nonconformists", explaining to them that clothing (and so many other things) function as social signals, announcing that you are a member of the culture and that you can be relied upon to uphold innumerable standards of behavior. This was a concept that they did not want to accept, but then they also disliked the idea that social signals are essential to every human culture.

pst314

So, David, did the chocolate biscuits hasten your recovery? Or are they just a good analgesic?

David

So, David, did the chocolate biscuits hasten your recovery? Or are they just a good analgesic?

Still feeling rough, and can’t decide whether I should turn the heating up or down. But, being selfless and heroic, I thought I’d better make some attempt to be a good host.

[ Emits feeble kitten cough. ]

Captain Nemo

I'm so lucky that, as a pupil at school during the late nineties and noughties, I avoided all this whacko crap. I must be from the last generation actually taught useful things by largely competent professionals and not stupid theory by vapid attention seekers like the thing above. Looking back, I suspect most of my teachers politically were probably soft-left Blairites and traditional liberals, but I don't know for certain because they left their politics outside the classroom. I did have the occasional older teacher who'd come out with a "spicy" take on things - my year 7 classics teacher proffered the now heretical opinion that Bach and Mozart were objectively better than the (c)rap my fellow pupils were listening to. The one thing they all believed in, or seemed to, was the importance of access to good culture. My music teacher had a rack of classical music CDs he'd lend out, free-of-charge, to anyone who was interested. The library was well-stocked with an extensive non-fiction section and an equally good selection of classic and contemporary fiction. The library was subscribed to all the main broadsheets and a wide choice of periodicals. It's possible that my school (one of the few surviving selective state grammar schools) had more than something to do with it. It could just have equally been the fact that my teachers believed in giving us an education in all senses of the word. I think it a great shame that those who come after me will be denied all this by the likes of the moron above.

pst314

Sorry, David. I suggest moderate heat, plus regular steam inhalation and salt water gargles. And more gallons of hot tea with honey, of course. But no chocolate biscuits until sore throat and coughing are done. Doctor's orders. [ quietly slides packet of biscuits towards self ]

WTP

When not telling the world that “professional dress codes are inherently racist, sexist, and rooted in white supremacy,”

Well TBF he dresses better than a couple of teachers I had back in the 1970's, one a Princeton graduate who had scored 1600 on his SATs, many of my-age co-workers, and a few Gen-xers that I have seen In leadership positions including the last one I last worked for. And his argument that professional dress codes are racist, etc. is just the modern parlance for the excuses for doing away with such that I have seen since my college days. See, what one wears is absolutely no reflection at all on who they are or the respect that they show for others. Zero. That society has gone to hell in parallel with these declining "superficial" standards is simply correlation and not in any way, shape or form causation. No need to prove it, it simply is true because all right thinking people think so. But now that we understand that you think there is a need for some sort of standard for how people dress, we can now dismiss anything else you have to say as the rantings of an old fuddy-duddy.

David

they also disliked the idea that social signals are essential to every human culture.

Well, it does make you wonder about Mr Segal’s focus on the task at hand and his priorities, which seem to extend no further than himself. Or themself, I suppose. It doesn’t seem unfair to wonder if the children - the children he’s employed to educate - exist primarily as a captive and uncritical audience, there to applaud his self-preoccupation. And the only video I could find in which Mr Segal speaks of what the children in his care have learned in class – a topic you’d think might crop up occasionally - involved the children feeling obliged to regurgitate his contrived pronouns.

pst314

See, what one wears is absolutely no reflection at all on who they are or the respect that they show for others. Zero.

And yet these same people are likely to be very enthusiastic about adopting the customs of whatever culture they visit. Not guaranteed but likely. Which suggests that in addition to narcissism a certain about of oikophobia is also present.

bobby b

Nonconformists don't seem to actually dislike conformity itself, but conformity to people with whom they disagree. That's why my generation's nonconformists all wore long hair and sloppy clothes. They decried conformity while mostly just wanting to be the ones defining the codes.

He doesn't want to end uniforms. He just wants to be the one to pick them.

pst314

He doesn't want to end uniforms. He just wants to be the one to pick them.

Yes. And for all the nonconformists' pious talk about "tolerance" and "diversity", they tend to be a very narrow-minded, bigoted bunch.

pst314

This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.

anon a mouse

as a pupil at school during the late nineties and noughties

Off of my lawn, fetus!

But there was a rather, er, "chesty" teacher of "social studies" who favored the "halter top" (those of you on the wrong side of the Atlantic pond will need to search the interwebz for that bit of clothing. Probably best not done in public) back in my skrool days. So much for dress codes.

She was highly thought of by the male population. Very highly.

Sam Duncan

“He’s 30, by the way. And a teacher, obviously.”

With blue h... [click]... yep.

“regular steam inhalation”

I was sceptical of steam; I'm generally of the opinion that if it doesn't come in a blister pack or a brown bottle, it can't possibly do you any good, but my God it does. A little menthol crystal doesn't hurt, mind you. (Emphasis on the “little”. A big one will hurt.)

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Dress codes being a wipipo invention is utter BS. Show up at the court of a Ming emperor, or in Cetshwayo's royal krall, in some clown suit and you would likely be killed on the spot.

Besides, for this crowd, dressing like idiots is as much a sign of conformity as a business suit.

David

as much a sign of conformity as a business suit.

A uniform of sorts is certainly being displayed.

David

With blue h... [click]... yep.

Self-knowledge ain’t for everyone. I’m now wondering what it must be like to be a man in his thirties whose regular purchases still include blue and green hair dye. Or a man in his thirties who regularly films himself miming to pop records and who uploads the results to TikTok in search of approval.

Darleen

I’d imagined that one of the functions of dress codes and broader expectations of workplace professionalism is that they help to filter out the delinquent narcissists.

The DA office I worked at was located inside the courthouse ... which makes for some interesting people watching. Usual refrain when seeing people brought to court with neck and face tattoos "Yep, that's the person I would hire for the front counter at my business, alright."

ccscientist

Dressing nicely (not necessarily formally) is indeed a social signal. It signals reliability and lawfulness. A young black man (a journalist no less) reported on an experience he had. He had dressed in a coat and tie for some event and gone out to do some errands. He was astonished to note that for the first time in his life people held the door open for him, smiled at him, and asked how are you. He didn't seem to grasp the significance quite, danced around it.
As a teacher or employee, dressing nicely signals that you are there to work, not to relax, that you take your work seriously. We have a shortage currently of serious people. Business meetings in my industry tend toward casual but there are no holes in pants and shirts are tucked in.

Darleen

He didn't seem to grasp the significance quite, danced around it.

There's an actual organization, created in 2013, dedicated to getting boys into professional attire and telling them why it makes a difference.

Daniel Ream

clothing (and so many other things) function as social signals

It turns out you can judge a book by its cover.

asiaseen

She was highly thought of by the male population

The art teacher at my (boys') boarding school was a handsome lass. She favoured low-cut dresses which, shall we say, flowed. That she was always bra-less was somewhat unusual for the early 1950s but much appreciated when she leant over to comment on one's artwork.

Asking for a friend

I am glad to hear that there are no dress codes in, say, the Muslim world, or in China, or North Korea.

I mean why dress at all? Isn't that just an oppressive body-shaming tactic of white, Aryan people who evolved in cold climates where covering the skin was necessary for survival in winter?

WTP

I mean why dress at all? Isn't that just an oppressive body-shaming tactic of white, Aryan people who evolved in cold climates where covering the skin was necessary for survival in winter?

OK, before this crap gets totally out of hand, I want to point out that the use of penis-wrappers would be a blatant act of cultural appropriation. That is all.

Dan C

clothing (and so many other things) function as social signals

I recall a saying from engineers: the design reveals the intent of the designer.

These people intend on sowing confusion and chaos.

pst314

That she was always bra-less was somewhat unusual for the early 1950s...

I'm astonished that she was able to get away with that in the 1950's.

...but much appreciated when she leant over to comment on one's artwork.

How much did that affect knowledge retention?

Daniel Ream

The art teacher at my (boys') boarding school was a handsome lass

Yes, well. She knew exactly what she was doing, and if it were a male teacher thrusting his groin at female students in a suggestive manner he'd have been strung up by the nearest flagpole.

pst314

I want to point out that the use of penis-wrappers would be a blatant act of cultural appropriation.

Remember Eldridge Cleaver's bizarre codpiece/penis sheath pants? (nsfw)

ccscientist

We had a high school french teacher who dressed like a french street-walker, and not that well done either. Not revealing exactly but quite inappropriate.
My experience with people with sloppy appearance is that their thinking is sloppy too. Signals.

pst314

She knew exactly what she was doing

Of course she did. No patience with women who pretend that they are not aware of exactly how revealing their chosen clothing is.

I wonder if she sometimes offered extra after-school "coaching."

Bill de Haan

“professional dress codes are inherently racist, sexist, and rooted in white supremacy"

That's not white supremacy. If anything is white supremacy, it's tolerance of these sorts of shenanigans.

This 30 year old man should try acting like this in front of 12 year old children in countries which aren't "white supremacist", like Nigeria, Viet Nam, Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan, and see just how tolerant those utopias are to people like him.

Sue Sims

Ah well, let's give him one thing: he's not wearing a nose-ring. (Admittedly, that black nail varnish is a pretty decent substitute.)

Captain Nemo: most grammar schools are still delivering an education. (I retired from one four years ago.) Don't despair too much!

WTP

I've noticed that when the subject comes up regarding female sexual abuse with younger boys, 12, 13, 14 or so, the crap I have to take for pointing out how predatory and abusive such a thing is, especially in a school or similar social setting, has decreased steadily over the last 25-30 years. Why it's almost as if it really is a concern. I used to be a real idiot. Today, not so much. So there's that.

Sue Sims

I suspect that most women would regard male teachers who sleep with a student as creepy predators, but a man might think back to his own schooldays with (e.g.) bra-less art teachers or (e.g.) under-dressed French teachers and feel that the seduced student could well have been him...

Or am I just being horribly unjust?

pst314

Ah well, let's give him one thing: he's not wearing a nose-ring.

I have carefully refrained from asking a few acquaintances what message they intend their large ear plugs to send to everyone they meet.

pst314

I've noticed that when the subject comes up regarding female sexual abuse with younger boys, 12, 13, 14 or so, the crap I have to take for pointing out how predatory and abusive such a thing is, especially in a school or similar social setting, has decreased steadily over the last 25-30 years.

Me too. I used to know a lot of men who insisted that female sexual abuse of boys was an impossibility. One of them liked to quote Zorba the Greek to the effect that God would not forgive the refusal of a woman's invitation.

Sam Duncan

“There's an actual organization, created in 2013, dedicated to getting boys into professional attire and telling them why it makes a difference.”

There's still hope for the world.

a different james

Dressing nicely (not necessarily formally) is indeed a social signal. It signals reliability and lawfulness.

I have given up trying to persuade people of this. It is one of those issues where most people's views seem to be visceral, whichever side of the divide they are on.

There is another aspect which puzzles me.

The young and beautiful can wear anything- if anything raggedy and ill-fitting clothes just accentuate their youth and beauty.

Those of us who are well into middle age and whose looks and athletic physiques have long gone cannot afford to wear shapeless tee shirts and ill-fitting denim jeans or, Heaven forbid, tracksuits if we have any pride in our appearance. And yet 90% of the men my age that I pass on the street are dressed like this. In the last 10 years the horror has been compounded by men my age wearing shorts the year round. Middle-aged Irishmens' legs are barely tolerable at the height of summer but in December????

In work I am one of a handful of staff who still wear the suit and shirt and tie- even though I am middle management rather than senior. On dress down Fridays I used to make a special effort and wear my best work suit.

Senior management? Mostly round-shouldered middle aged men who refuse to wear a tie or a suit and have that washed out, shapeless look that most Irishmen acquire in their 40s.

It is strange because most of the women my age that I have worked with agree with my view that suit, shirt and tie are a middle-aged man's best friend- especially if they fit properly!

I take some small comfort that two of the most recent graduate recruits whom I supervised have bucked the tie-less trend and, most days, wear a tie in work.

I remember being on the Tube in London in 1988 and seeing a man wearing a bowler hat heading to work in the City. Will I be that oddity on the train some day soon when I wear a tie on my way to work?

Sam Duncan

Open thread, eh?

I hardly ever buy stuff on Amazon. Over the last six months, I've bought a DSL router, an HDMI cable, and a pair of pyjama trousers. Today, I received an email: “Purchasing on Amazon for work? Amazon Business offers a free upgrade for business purchasing...“

Just what kind of business does Amazon think I'm in?

Daniel Ream

Or am I just being horribly unjust?

You're being horribly unjust. Try talking to one of the seduced boys some time, a couple of years after the abuse, and see how cavalier your attitude remains.

But then, women not taking male victims of sexual or physical abuse seriously has ever been a fact of life.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Just what kind of business does Amazon think I'm in?

With that stuff, an OnlyFans influencer.

pst314

Person of Diversity firebombs a New York deli. Employee narrowly escapes being burned alive. The traditional penalty for such a crime is death. As it should be.

ComputerLabRat

Just what kind of business does Amazon think I'm in?

The "New Normal" work from home in your pajamas 'cause it's Lockdown, Fear the 'rona business?

Nikw211

Also, open thread.

I have no idea who Senator Josh Hawley is.

But I do know The Guardian.

    Hawley is the son of a banker who attended private school before studying at Stanford and Yale [ ... ] Given his background, he has repeatedly raised eyebrows for railing against elites.

And apparently better than The Guardian knows itself.

I mean Holy shit, talk about stones, glass houses, etc.

Sam Duncan

“The "New Normal" work from home in your pajamas 'cause it's Lockdown, Fear the 'rona business?“

Actually, I never thought of that. You might be on to something there.

Daniel Ream

“The "New Normal" work from home in your pajamas

My boss keeps insisting that everyone turn their cameras on during meetings. Given the plethora of cats, poor webcams, and people whose home desk faces a large bright window, this has had ... mixed results. Given that it would take less than $100 to do so, I'm sorely inclined to invest in a ring light and a greenscreen and start matting myself into local newsroom broadcasts, famous movies, nature documentaries, etc.

David

Mr Segal responds to his critics.

Captain Nemo

Captain Nemo: most grammar schools are still delivering an education. (I retired from one four years ago.) Don't despair too much!

I very much hope that you are correct in your assessment, Sue. Unfortunately the one I attended is, in the wake of the George Floyd incident, showing increasing signs of heading down the "woke" path. A direction which does not fill me with alacrity.

Sam Duncan

Trusted news source.

“I'm now reporting from Springfield in Massachusetts, where people have gathered to protest the tax on tea”.

“I'm now reporting from Austin in Texas, where President Kennedy has just been shot”.

“I'm now reporting from Albany in New York, where two planes have been crashed into the World Trade Center”.

Baceseras

Trusted news source

Emily Latella

ComputerLabRat

Mr Segal responds to his critics.

Mxr. Segal: "like...I can back it up with research and evidence honey. my literal degree is in this #equity #diversity."

I'm not sure that's something to brag about, sweet cheeks. Unserious person with unserious degree, behaving unseriously, and in charge of kids' minds. Nothing to see here, move along now.

A degree in diversity and equity in education or whatever he was banging on about (thankfully my browser automutes twitter and tik tok) likely contains very little "research and evidence", although they may have redefined research to mean regurgitation, and evidence to mean ideology. Yet it's held up as some kind of mic drop, and Mxr Unserious there expects to be applauded for it.

Earnest Canuck

"Penis wrapper" sounds like a condom, "penis sheath" like a foreskin. The most upright members signal seriousness with a penis gourd. Yali Tribe Male Penis Gourd very rare long Phallocrypt Fiber Twine custom  stand | #1934925184

pst314

Earnest, your link to that image did not work. I suspect that the host does not allow external links to its images. Better to just link to the page itself. In this case with an NSFW warning. Or, when you really want the image to display here, link to a copy that you have uploaded to postimages.org.

pst314

Well that's weird. After refreshing this page several times, Earnest, your image appeared. I have no explanation.

pst314

Need to get that image off the screen.

Sue Sims

Captain Nemo: I may have to take back my defence of current grammar schools if OFSTED has anything to do with it: https://unherd.com/thepost/dumbing-down-exams-again-wont-help-students/?mc_cid=81aad1cf6e&mc_eid=4c63ace9e3

Stuart Hughes

You're aware a lot of air conditioning in office spaces around the world is set not just for comfort but actually cold enough that wearing a wool suit that would be ideal for damp old Britain isn't impossibly sweaty? Came across that during my MSc thesis work. Bonkers.

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