You are moving to a different community with different norms, expectations and culture. What is appropriate and accepted in your town or city may not be the norm in the remote community.
To show respect and to be accepted in community as well as to maintain your professionalism it is important that you consider your outfits in remote communities. As with all outfits there are times and places for everything.
It is likely that your remote location will be hot during the day. So natural, breathable materials will be the best choice remote. Cotton, hemp, linen, bamboo materials are great options.
You are likely going to be around red dirt or dusty outback locations- reds, browns, greys and blacks are all practical colours. Creams and whites will be the coolest options but hardest to clean.
Consider which items of clothing you will be upset if they get damaged- are these the best ones to wear to school with little sticky hands?
As a general rule in community choose clothes that:
– Keep privates private (avoid showing cleavage or buttom) and avoid see through items.
– Be mindful of swimwear and observe what locals wear- this may be one piece bathing suits or it might be shirt and shorts.
– School wear should include shoulder and cleavage coverage (as much for sun protection as for respect) and skirts or shorts should be to the knee.
-Be aware of inappropriate prints, labels or slogans.
– Your employer will have specific clothing expectations as well- such as no denim or school shirt or enclosed shoes. Check your employee handbook, with the union or administration if not sure.
We are role models and educators.- our wardrobe could be a source of information and education too. You might choose ethically sourced, organic, GOTS or OTEX certified clothing. You might choose Aboriginal designed Aboriginal owned clothing labels. You might choose second hand or upcycled options. You might choose locally made, Australian made. You might choose to avoid animal products such as leather, feathers or skins. You might want to reduce waste by buying Eco Period undies. You might sew your own outfits. We can have the power to create change in our communities- and these discussions count too.
– Cool long sleeves tops and cool long sleeve pants for days out in the heat or to avoid mozzies on hot nights.
– Track pants and a jumper for cool desert nights and chilly mornings- crazy I know. You might need a beanie and scarf for a few weeks too!
– Shorts, business skirt and teacher skirts
– Short sleeved tshirts
– Runners or hiking boots
– Enclosed work shoes
– Sturdy sandals
– A pair of comfortable flip flop thongs
– Broad brim hat
– One conservative workout outfit
– Board shorts, rashie, or one piece swimsuit
– The Barefoot Investor’s Scott Pape points out that we often keep our underwear for way too long- now might be a nice time to splash out on a new pair of breathable bamboo underwear, new set of Eco Period period undies or just your favourites again.
Unexpected Outfit Needs
– A dress up outfit for random dress up parties
– 100 days of school outfit
– Halloween costume, Saint Patricks Day, Christmas party outfit
– Spare clothes to donate to the school ball, or the cold weather drive or women’s shelter
What other tips do you have for new remote teachers about clothing for their remote teaching placement?
This article was written by Hakea Hustler- remote teacher with over 8 years experience in remote schools.