(My professional look on Sunday after I let some 2nd graders play with my hair after service. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain one’s dignity and work with children – but there should be a dignity inherent in the work whether it is with children or adults.)
With a hat tip to Beauty Tips For Ministers, here is my version for religious educators. Embrace the whimsy every now and then. We are still professionals, but professionals who work with children and are approachable and fun.
So here are my Top Ten Beauty Tips for DRE’s on Sunday:
1. Remember you may get involved with a messy arts or crafts project. Keep a change of clothes and a nice apron at church for those times, and avoid really expensive dry clean only clothing.
2. But simultaneously remember that the adults need to see you as a professional. Dress a teensy bit nicer than the norm in your congregation. In my congregation, I can where a chino skirt in the summer, but not during the church year, and never ever denim, and I end up aimed dressier than the congregants. A dressy teacher outfit, here. Some congregations though, you might need a suit to be dressed nicer than the crowd … judge your context.
3. Limit yourself to one item of whimsy. Wear the necklace a child made for you, but not the same day you let them put pipecleaners in your hair.
4. Shoes – you are going to have to walk a lot, and stand a lot. Can you in these shoes? If not, but you simply must wear them because they are so fabulous, better bring along another pair for the clean up shift when everyone else has left and you are cleaning up the classrooms and your feet are killing you.
5. Any chance you’ll sit on the floor in any classroom? Can you do that in that skirt without wildly inappropriate flashing of leg?
6. Any chance you ‘ll hold a baby? Will your jewelry hold up to yanking? Do you want the dangly earrings ripped out of your earlobes?
7. OK – you’ve almost got an outfit picked out. Now look at it and imagine what a teenager will think of this outfit? If you get an intuitive cringe, back to the drawing board.
8. Add a UU touch. You are modeling a UU Identity, and what does that look like? Be classy about it (chalice necklace or pin, not slogan T shirt), and when folks ask where you got it encourage them to order one too.
9. I like to consider the season and the liturgy, and try to match my colors accordingly.
10. Now, lay it all out the night before, because you’ll be rolling out of bed way too early in the morning to decide then.