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PGCE Placements - Shoes!

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    I know questions have been asked before about what to wear for PGCE interviews etc but now that I have a place, I'm trying to decide what to wear for the placements. I'm ok for clothes, I've been 'in the workplace' for the last 10 years so I have loads of work clothes but I can't work out what shoes to wear!

    I'm tall enough so I don't need heels (plus I can't walk in them anyway!) but I know I'm going to be on my feet loads so want something comfortable but I'm confused...any ideas?

    Thanks in advance
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    Hi!

    I'm tall and don't do heels either, so my usual footwear of choice for all occasions is a ballet pump. I think good quality leather ballet pumps in a sensible colour are fine for school - they go with trousers and skirts so they're good all rounders. I will stress buying good quality ones though - with a proper sole and slight heel, otherwise if you just have the ones where you can feel the ground through the soles, your feet will be killing you by the end of the day with all the standing and walking you have to do. I get mine from Office mainly, though if you want to spend a bit more Hobbs and Russell and Bromley do great ones that last a long time.

    However, with smart skirts and dresses I do feel that sometimes you need a slight heel, so I get mid heels from Marks and Spencers or Clarks. I know they're not typically the go-to place for classy shoes, but they've both come on a lot in the style stakes in the past few years. For us tall girls, they have great GENUINE mid-heels (Topshop's 'mid heels' are stilettos in my book!) that are really comfortable as well as being stylish. They're the only heels I have found that don't make me feel like a wobbly giant!

    As context, I am 26.

    Hope that helps!
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    Second the ballet pump idea. As a tight student I just get cheapy ones from new look or similar which, to be honest, have served me well. However if you can, definitely spend a little more and get something which will really last and be comfortable.

    I think it depends as well on which age range you are teaching. Personally as an early years specialist I wouldn't go near heels as with the combined clumsiness of myself and the lack of common sense of 30 four and five year olds, I massively fear standing on one of their little hands as I try to dodge through them or climb over whatever amazing construction they are building. Also being outside for a lot of the day in FS I am definitely going to invest in a good pair of boots. Pumps are lovely but when it's wet or snowy, they're just not ideal. If however you are in upper primary or secondary, you are probably going to be mainly inside and so this is not such a problem.

    Hope you find something
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    It will vary depending on the age range and the school you are in.

    On my first placement, I stuck to ballet pump style schools, but with a supportive sole etc. Those and black boots with a slight heel [under trousers, as it snowed a few times].

    For my current placement, I have been wearing trainers, sandals and flip flops [on occasion] lol. Trainers are required when teaching PE and the head doesn't mind you keeping them on. And, there is no real dress code. The head wears jeans and a polo-shirt. My class teacher wears hiking boots, jeans and a jumper. The male class teacher in the year above wears shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt every day. I'd look very out of place in formal/business wear lol. I tend to opt for black trousers, a blouse-style top and any of the shoes mentioned [depending on the weather and what I am teaching that day].
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    Pft, female teachers (or just generally females in professional workplaces) have it so much easier than men. "Oh we'll just wear flip flops" :rolleyes:

    As a word of warning - find out what your school policy is - although the person above says it's fine to be casual at her school, all schools are different. At ours you need to look professional and flip flops (although sometimes worn by certain female teachers) are despised by most staff and think it looks unprofessional.

    If male teachers must wear shoes, trousers, shirt and tie, female teachers should also have to at least look some way professional in terms of their attire.

    Obviously this does not apply to PE teachers!
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    (Original post by dobbs)
    Pft, female teachers (or just generally females in professional workplaces) have it so much easier than men. "Oh we'll just wear flip flops" :rolleyes:

    As a word of warning - find out what your school policy is - although the person above says it's fine to be casual at her school, all schools are different. At ours you need to look professional and flip flops (although sometimes worn by certain female teachers) are despised by most staff and think it looks unprofessional.

    If male teachers must wear shoes, trousers, shirt and tie, female teachers should also have to at least look some way professional in terms of their attire.

    Obviously this does not apply to PE teachers!
    I did say that it depends on the school. :rolleyes:

    Plus, the main teacher who wears flip flops at my school is a man! He wears flip flops and shorts all year round.
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    (Original post by dobbs)
    Pft, female teachers (or just generally females in professional workplaces) have it so much easier than men. "Oh we'll just wear flip flops" :rolleyes:

    As a word of warning - find out what your school policy is - although the person above says it's fine to be casual at her school, all schools are different. At ours you need to look professional and flip flops (although sometimes worn by certain female teachers) are despised by most staff and think it looks unprofessional.

    If male teachers must wear shoes, trousers, shirt and tie, female teachers should also have to at least look some way professional in terms of their attire.

    Obviously this does not apply to PE teachers!
    I second this - flip flops are actually banned at my school for health and safety!


    I personally think little flat shoes are fine. I never spend money on shoes for school - they just get wrecked.
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    Flat-ish black pumps in the nice weather and black ankle boots with a little heel in the cold weather - can't go wrong! Both relatively cheap from a Clarks retail outlet. Sorted!
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    (Original post by affinity89)
    I did say that it depends on the school. :rolleyes:

    Plus, the main teacher who wears flip flops at my school is a man! He wears flip flops and shorts all year round.
    I know, I'm just reinforcing it

    Although it's my personal opinion, I would not like a teacher who wears flip flops and shorts (unless a PE teacher, but still should be trainers, not flip flops!). Teaching is meant to be a 'profession', not a holiday with your mates :rolleyes:
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    Whilst working as a Cover Supervisor, I normally wear these, because they're comfy and hardwearing... Click image for larger version. 

Name:	81iwJTmzzIL._SL1500_.jpg 
Views:	33 
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ID:	153885

    Sometimes the kids comment on them, because they are kind of funny looking and make my feet look huge, but I love them
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    (Original post by dobbs)
    I know, I'm just reinforcing it

    Although it's my personal opinion, I would not like a teacher who wears flip flops and shorts (unless a PE teacher, but still should be trainers, not flip flops!). Teaching is meant to be a 'profession', not a holiday with your mates :rolleyes:
    It does depend on the school though. I see from your sig that you are secondary teacher. I am on placement at a small village primary school. The atmosphere will be completely different lol.
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    (Original post by rachelsays)
    Hi!

    I'm tall and don't do heels either, so my usual footwear of choice for all occasions is a ballet pump. I think good quality leather ballet pumps in a sensible colour are fine for school - they go with trousers and skirts so they're good all rounders. I will stress buying good quality ones though - with a proper sole and slight heel, otherwise if you just have the ones where you can feel the ground through the soles, your feet will be killing you by the end of the day with all the standing and walking you have to do. I get mine from Office mainly, though if you want to spend a bit more Hobbs and Russell and Bromley do great ones that last a long time.

    However, with smart skirts and dresses I do feel that sometimes you need a slight heel, so I get mid heels from Marks and Spencers or Clarks. I know they're not typically the go-to place for classy shoes, but they've both come on a lot in the style stakes in the past few years. For us tall girls, they have great GENUINE mid-heels (Topshop's 'mid heels' are stilettos in my book!) that are really comfortable as well as being stylish. They're the only heels I have found that don't make me feel like a wobbly giant!

    As context, I am 26.

    Hope that helps!
    Thanks, that's really helpful. I'm a couple of years older than you but I was thinking similar kind of things. I quite like Marks and Spencers shoes! I need to find something comfy because I get super grumpy if my feet hurt!

    I think I need a shopping spree Where I work now is surprisingly casual but I've worked in some mega smart corporate type places so clothes wise I'm just going to go somewhere in the middle. I live in flip flops but I think I'd feel weird teaching in them. I think it's going to be lots of pairs of black chinos with smart leather pumps and shirts (I have a tattoo I have to keep covered!)
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    Honestly it depends on the school and age group you teach.

    I am a KS1 primary teacher and I pretty much wear whatever I want, Uggs, flat boots, ballet pumps, sandals. I always wear flat shoes (I don't really wear heels anyway) because I think heels on little fingers must be ouch. I actually don't think I stand that much, I tend to do half my input stood up and then sit down to explain the task and when I am working with a group I am sat at the table with the kids.

    I think sandals or shoes that don't easily slip off are better, I don't wear flip flop style sandals because sometimes I do have to dash across the playground and they are not so easy to move fast in! I often take my shoes off for circle time. If you teach littlies beware of shoes with bits for the children to fiddle with because they will! I avoid shoes with zips and frilly bits for this reason.

    I have smarter days and more casual days, my school is very casual and anything goes. Other schools are much stricter. Your best bet is to go smart and then see what other staff wear and go from there.
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    (Original post by mmaize)
    Your best bet is to go smart and then see what other staff wear and go from there.
    I think when it comes to placements / observations / first days at a school this is the best advice to go for - no-one will ever criticise you for being "too smart" but you could be criticised for being "too casual".

    For example - for my PGCE I had to do a placement for 2 weeks in a Primary School, I went wearing shirt and tie and realised it was far more casual than that so I took my tie off and unbuttoned my top button - far more relaxed. If I'd turned like that initially I would not have had a tie to 'smarten up' if I needed to

    Just like a job interview! Always aim smarter than you think you should be!
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    (Original post by dobbs)
    I think when it comes to placements / observations / first days at a school this is the best advice to go for - no-one will ever criticise you for being "too smart" but you could be criticised for being "too casual".

    For example - for my PGCE I had to do a placement for 2 weeks in a Primary School, I went wearing shirt and tie and realised it was far more casual than that so I took my tie off and unbuttoned my top button - far more relaxed. If I'd turned like that initially I would not have had a tie to 'smarten up' if I needed to

    Just like a job interview! Always aim smarter than you think you should be!
    I agree. The issue I'm having is that although where I work now is really relaxed (jeans, flip flops) my background is pretty corporate so the middle ground is somewhat blurred! I think I'm just going to go with 'work clothes'!!
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    (Original post by abbyheat)
    I agree. The issue I'm having is that although where I work now is really relaxed (jeans, flip flops) my background is pretty corporate so the middle ground is somewhat blurred! I think I'm just going to go with 'work clothes'!!
    Just imagine you're going for a meal with your boyfriend's family. What would you wear? Something smart casual but not professional. That'll do

    Can't be more specific than that I'm afraid, being male
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    I think its a trousers/knee length skirt and tights + smart top (nothing that could be considered low cut by even a prude!) + ballet flats and a nice cardigan situation. Then take a look at what other people in your department / around your age are wearing. Bear in mind teaching assistants may be dressed more casually - in my school TA's can get away with leggings!
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    [QUOTE=dobbs;37929016]Just imagine you're going for a meal with your boyfriend's family. What would you wear? QUOTE]

    A tutu, rugby shirt, roller skates and a top hat. Or is that just me...?

    I kid, that's a good way to think about it, thanks
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    I currently work in a reception class, flats or wedges are a must. I have a pair of boots I love, but they have a button that is really annoying when I sit cross legged as it digs into my ankle.

    Also, if this is your age group I recommend getting proper leather shoes rather than cheap ones. I say this because I kneel a lot, to be at the same height as the children, and have ruined many toes of cheaps shoes, but can polish over scuffs on my clarks.

    It was typical that the one day I wore my (slight) heels I had to march a pupil round the playground at pace until he'd calmed down - 6 laps later I wasn't happy!

    We are allowed flip flops, but it is amazing the number of children who seem to stand on your toes just because they are bare! (or do I just not notice it in proper shoes?)

    Men seem to wear the clarks trainer/shoes style.
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    (Original post by abbyheat)

    A tutu, rugby shirt, roller skates and a top hat. Or is that just me...?

    I kid, that's a good way to think about it, thanks
    I think that outfit would go down tremendously well in a primary school actually hah!

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