Monday, September 1, 2014

First Impressions

Today is Labour Day, the last day of summer vacation and the night before the first day of school. It's my eighteenth year of teaching and my eleventh year of teaching at my current school and the thought currently preoccupying my thoughts is ... my hair.

I know that sounds extremely shallow and vain, but I have reason to be concerned.
I think it's safe to say that I'm not your stereotypical teacher-librarian. I don't wear my hair in a bun and I don't shush the students when they come into the library. A noisy library is a productive library, in my opinion, and my short hair is usually colored a vibrant red. This summer, I decided to try something quite radically different, with the possible eventual goal of returning to my natural hue (which I'm not sure what it is, exactly, but I'm guessing is white/grey/salt-and-pepper). This is the result of my hair experiment.

It turns out that lightening red-dyed hair is very tricky. The super-short sides are blonde and the top is what my stylist told me is "rose gold", a highly sought-after shade. We were originally aiming for a pearl-grey with white, but this is cool as is.

I like experimenting with my locks, because the results are never permanent. However, not everyone I know feels the same way. My good, kind, old-fashioned father will be horrified by the change. Whenever I used to colour it red or purple, he'd ask "why can't you pick a nice dark brown?". He's convinced that the main reason why I did not get selected for a job position I applied for in the past was due to my less-than-conservative hair colour. (Note: he hasn't seen the blonde hairdo yet, because when I went to his house recently, I was wearing my wig as part of my "Anna from Frozen" costume for Fan Expo Canada.)

With an Olaf cosplayer - I'm blonde under the wig

The opinions of the interview team don't concern me as much as those of my newest students or their parents. Will my new style be off-putting or disconcerting? How important is it for teachers to "look the part"? Educators are encouraged to dress professionally and appropriately - does this count? Will I be taken seriously? Maybe this can be a great introductory lesson on "judging a book by its cover" for media or perceptions on librarians for library. I'll comment on my own post to explain how the reaction went.

1 comment:

  1. Here's the comment I promised to post on the student reaction.
    Kids are so honest. Some loved it. Some asked me to go back to the old way.
    One student was traumatized and asked if I was wearing wig, then called me "Mrs. Not-Mz-Molly" for the rest of the week. When we did our "what's the same / what's different" activity for media class, all three Grade 1-2 classes mentioned my hair. The Grade 2-3 class focused on the fact that I'm now wearing a Minecraft lanyard instead of my Scaredy Squirrel one.