This week thousands of kids will return to educational establishments all across the Metropolis. Teachers will try and locate their high vis vests from under a mountain of red and green pens, dried out glue sticks and books hidden from the evil eye of the senior manager. When did this fashion trend begin? And why?
I cannot remember a single teacher in my kindergarten, primary or secondary school sporting a high vis vest. Not on trips and not in the playground, nowhere. But then again I was educated in a different country. Until a few years ago, a high vis vest was something I associated with a building site or a road trip through Europe where certain countries make it mandatory to carry those vests in the car.
In terms of educational establishments I recall first seeing tiny people on trips walking around in them. Maybe to make it easier for the teachers to spot their little ones. These days however, teachers are made to wear them and they have to wear them not only on trips but also in the playground and now, get this, inside the building whilst on duty. Yes, I worked in a school where we had to wear them whilst on duty inside the building. Why? Apparently, so that students knew they could approach us. As if this vest makes you more approachable or gives you some sort of credibility. No idea. The few times I didn’t wear mine, guess what? Nothing! Nothing happened. I still did my duty and students still approached me. They are not stupid. They spot a grown up with or without a high vis inside a building.
Now, don’t you think that all teachers have the same high vis vests! Nope. That would be too easy. There is a clear hierarchy like everywhere else in educational establishments. The higher up in the feudal system, the cooler your vest. To be clear it turns into a proper jacket, not some flimsy little vest. No, no, no. And in some places you even get a Walkie-Talkie. How cool is that? You can feel like you work on some undercover mission speaking to other agents trying to maintain law and order. Only difference, everyone can see you and because you wear the big boss high vis jacket, nobody will mess around near you.
As I stated earlier this fashion trend is not just reserved for inside the building or the playground. It’s for all of you to enjoy because the owner of the high vis vest tends to stroll out of their establishment, either of free will or because it‘s part of their duty. Pay attention next week, around 3.30 and 4 in the afternoon. High vis vests will parade down a high street near you. Like trendsetters on the catwalk. On occasions they have been spotted near the entrances to underground stations, near bus stops and even inside chip shops telling students to go home, tuck their shirts in, wear their blazer …
Hm, let me overthink this…
#felicityfauxpas #observationsfromthemetropolis #highvisvest #duty #teaching