21 Thoughts Student Teachers Have When Shopping For Classroom Clothing

21 Thoughts Student Teachers Have When Shopping For Classroom Clothing

Unfortunately, "There are so many options!" isn't one of them.

Finding classroom-appropriate clothing is a real struggle for teaching majors, especially if your university or placement school has a strict dress-code. Here are 21 thoughts every student teacher has when searching through the racks at Target (or Walmart, or Kohl's, etc.).

1. Does this dress make me look like I'm 40?

2. Is "right above the knee" long enough?

3. How would I ever match this to a top?

4. How many times a week could I wear these pants and get away with it?

5. Why is everything sleeveless????

6. I'm not even gonna bother trying to match jewelry with this outfit.

7. Why is everything so sheer????

8. Okay, there is way too much black in my cart.

9. Maybe I should try wearing colors again?

10. Except, the last time I wore yellow the kids said I looked like a banana.

11. Black it is.

12. Oooh! That'd be cute for Friday night!

13. Wait--stay focused.

14. Oh, I'm suuuuure I'll be able to sit on the floor in that pencil skirt.

15. What's my school's policy on open-toed shoes? Aka--can I just wear my Birkenstocks every day?

16. Is this dress marker, glue, and booger-resistant?

17. Can I just wear t-shirt dresses every day?

18. This looks like one of my kids designed it.

19. Woah! Thirty-five dollars for a blouse???

20. I'll have to take an extra shift next week to pay for this.

21. *Sigh* Why can't teachers just wear scrubs?

My advice? Avoid the stress and frustration of in-person shopping and look on Amazon for some age and setting-appropriate clothing. I practically have a whole closet full of things I've found on there. (Plus, students can get free shipping!)

Cover Image Credit: Busca Tu Bienstar

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The 10 Commandments You Must Follow To Avoid Retail Customer Hell

You do not want to be THAT customer.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have worked in a grocery store for six years. Working in retail teaches you a lot about people, and unfortunately, most of it isn’t good. Customers don’t seem to realize (or care) that what they do is seriously annoying.

As a retail worker, I beg you to please adopt these ten behaviors so your cashier won’t hate you.

1. Thou shalt not pay for a costly purchase in only coins.

You say that it’ll empty your overstuffed coin purse. I say it's irritating having to count out $22.38 in varying amounts of quarters, dimes, and nickels as the line grows longer. Please go to your bank – or even the customer service desk – and exchange it for bills. It’ll make your transaction a lot faster and easier.

2. Thou shalt not blame the cashier when the computer price and shelf price don’t match.

Cashiers don’t set the prices, and they don’t put them in the system, either. So it’s not our fault when your can of soup does not reflect the price of the mix and match sale.

3. Thou shalt not crack unoriginal jokes known well to all cashiers.

“You’re checking my $100 bill? I just made it!” “It isn’t in the system? It must be free then!” Just stop. They’re not funny, unoriginal, and I’m tired of fake laughing.

4. Thou shalt leave the store before closing time.

If you come into a store late at night, it’s always polite to ask when the store closes or look at the posted hours. If it’s close to closing time and you plan on buying a lot, either get only the essentials or come back tomorrow. Nothing irritates the closing staff more than the customer that sticks around for 20 minutes after closing time.

5. Thou shalt not blame the cashier when your credit card declines.

It’s not the machine or the cashier. It’s you. If you “always have a problem with your card at this store,” then maybe that’s a sign that you need to make sure your finances are in order.

6. Thou shall show your cashier ID when you buy alcohol.

As much as you’d like to believe it, we’re not asking because we think you look young. It is the law, and it has been in many states since the early 2000’s. Instead of grumbling about how it is offensive or stupid, just show the cashier your ID. It will go much faster for both of us.

7. Thou shalt not be on your cell phone during the entire transaction.

Would you talk on your phone while your waitress is trying to take your order? No, because it is not only rude, but it’ll make the process longer. Why do you do it to your cashier?

8. Thou shall interact with your cashier.

Nothing brings on the awkwardness quite like when I ask a customer a question, even a simple “how are you,” and they don’t answer. If we’re asking you a question, it means that we would like to have an answer. Even if we’re trying to make a small talk, amuse us by responding. We’re paid to be friendly to you.

9. Thou shall retain control of your hyperactive children.

It is disruptive for both the employees and the other customers when your little terrors are running around the checkout area and picking up everything in sight. Please, for the sake of everyone, be a parent and reign your kiddos in. If you need any more of a reason, if you come in often enough with misbehaved children, the employees will remember you as the woman/man with the hooligan children and will avoid you while in the store. You do not want to be THAT customer.

10. Thou shall return an item to its original place if you decide you don’t want it.

We always teach our children to put their toys back in their spot. This same logic should be applied to items in your shopping cart. If it’s too far away or you don’t remember where it goes, then give it to an employee. It’s not fun finding a bag of frozen chicken patties on the shelf or a can of fruit in the freezer.

Cover Image Credit: John Friel / Flickr

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I Worked In Retail And It Ruined My Outlook On Humanity

Maybe the customer isn't always right

I started working when I was 16 at the local concert hall in Naples. I spent four years there as an usher and worked my way up to be a Floor Captain. I had more responsibility and made sure to assist my fellow ushers with any patron-related issues.

I started working at this place because I wanted to help people further enjoy the world-renowned live entertainment that would visit the popular venue. Had I known then that people were going to make me see the world differently, I probably would've avoided retail and customer service for as long as I possibly could.

I know that being a young adult with no experience makes getting a job in retail a lot easier than trying to work in an office as an assistant or a temp. It's easy to train people at our age and we don't complain about paychecks as much as the average 30-year-old employee would.

However naive and young we are, though, we are still human and we do have feelings. We tend to feel hurt when customers talk back to us, insult our work ethic, or are just straight up rude. But who wouldn't?

I have been called some nasty names, whether it was from the time I worked at a retail clothing store or at a grocery store. Being a cashier is probably the most painful torture we have to endure.

Having to stand all day, sometimes without a mat to cushion the hard tile beneath us, having to hear the complaints of our "terrible" store, or having to call a manager when the customer begins to make us feel a little too worthless.

The worst part is, I was always told I'd be perfect for retail or customer service because I was personable, I wanted to make the customer as comfortable as possible, and because I had a warm and welcoming disposition. So I thought, I must be able to do really well in a job where I have to smile and help people.

And then I got hired and all my predisposed notions of helping people and smiling and making their time at our establishment worthwhile went right out the window. Sometimes the hardest part to handle is when you try your best to fix the problem they come to you with, and then they dismiss your idea.

Don't get me started on managers. Let's say that a customer is returning an item and wants another item that is defective for half price. You explain that because they're the same price, you can exchange them and they'd still be getting the item for free.

However simple this explanation is, they would rather have it their way. As soon as you call a manager to set the customer straight, they undermine you and make you out to be the bad guy. That makes a lot of sense, right?

Sometimes I want to work in a small cubicle with only my colleagues surrounding me so it's not a surprise what I may have to deal with every day. Working in customer service or retail has disappointed me thoroughly and I only wish I could have the same vigor I had for wanting a job in this type of business.

I know I'll have to endure the pain just a little longer, but one day I'll be able to look back at the lousy times I had in retail and thank the lucky stars that I'll never have to hear, "Do you work here?" Especially when I'm wearing a uniform and nametag.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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