As a young classroom teacher (those were the days!) I would spend months planning my Book Week costumes and they became more and more elaborate each year. As the full weight of just what it meant to be a teacher became clear, the days of going to 90s raves and weekend music festivals in all my glitter/tulle/coloured hair glory disappeared and instead I put my love of OTT outfits into my Book Week costumes.
Kid costume ideas here.
Being now slightly worn down by life, and of an age where too much glitter isn’t going to work for me, I’ve tamed my costumes slightly; but I still love a good Book Week outfit. Last year I was fortunate to be able to go as myself, having been illustrated into a book which made the CBCA Notables list, ‘Lucy’s Book’. That was wonderfully handy, but I won’t get away with this again (every second year?). However, if you are a teacher librarian or librarian you could go as me and I would find that exceptionally funny.
If you’re here on this blog then you have clearly already thought about dressing up for Book Week, which is wonderful. I talk all the time about reading role models, and Book Week is one of those times in the school year where I want all teachers, support staff, grounds staff and classroom volunteers to try to up the reading anti; to bring books to life, celebrate and have fun with books and demonstrate that you believe in the power of books and reading. If you have staff reluctant about reading – share this article, make it easy, make it fun and DO IT FOR THE KIDS (did I hook you in yet?!).
Click on costume images or book covers and titles to purchase.
Over the last few years I have been The Snow Queen (title image above), Raina Telgemeier from ‘Smile’ (below – I had my braces put on that year so it was perfect!) and Miss Lillibet from ‘Our Australian Girls: Meet Alice‘.
Simple Teacher Costumes
If you’re after something easy/subtle/affordable/just ticks the box so your colleagues will leave you alone (!), a basic prop or generic costume can quickly be tied in to any number of books.
Mrs Wishy Washy is a personal favourite book of mine from back in the day, and it’s still one that is used in Prep and Year One classrooms around the country. My neighbour went as her a few years ago and she was gorgeous – laundry tub, hair tied up and cute dress. Carry the book in your laundry tub if you’re worried they won’t know who you are!
In terms of your students knowing who you are, it’s not probably practical to walk around all day carrying your book, so I think a book cover or character lanyard like mine pictured when I was Raina is a good idea. Sometimes it’s nice for them to guess who you are, but it’s also good to promote your book. Pictured with me is #bestteachingpartnerever as ‘A Proper Little Lady’.
‘Harry Potter’ – it can be as simple as glasses or as elaborate as the whole get up. Whether you want to be Harry, Hermione, a Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor or Hufflepuff…or my personal fav for a teacher, Albus Dumbledore – there are plenty of accessories to choose from. Personally I think the Albus Dumbledore hat is a winner. Be subtle (if you must) and go the HP pin – I love the range from Book Geek (not sponsored but FREE shipping code for my readers is CBD). Also REALLY love their ‘Books Turn Muggles into Wizards shirt’ for a HP costume.
‘The Cat in the Hat’ is always a winner and the large hat is most excellent for display purposes post costume parade. I’ve had one for years now on my desk.
‘Where’s Wally’ – how cute are my library staff last year as Where’s Wally? You can go all out like them or be subtle and go the Ruby Olive earrings. Ha!
It’s always good to bring to life a character you’ve been reading about as a class. I know lots of Year Four and Five classes have been reading ‘Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables’ as a class novel and you would pretty much be the coolest teacher ever if you came as him, preferably on his unicycle. Full review here.
Last year my homestay student, the gorgeous Rachel, was Kumiko from ‘Kumiko and the Dragon’ and I think this would be a perfect outfit for a teacher – see that teeny little dragon toy on her shoulder? So cute! ChickPea is pictured as Annabelle from ‘Piccolo and Annabelle’ and come to think of it that would also be an excellent teacher outfit. See how I’ve shoved a photocopy of the book cover in her hair? I’m all about having the book cover to identify who you are!
This year I am going as the black swan from ‘Swan Lake’ as 1) it is shortlisted in the Picture Book category of this years awards and 2) it is my favourite book and 3) I feel a bit like a black swan…so it’s a no brainer! I’m doing black puffy skirt (anyone got one they can lend me?!), black feather scarf as below, long black gloves, black feather headpiece and will have a book cover lanyard.
If I wasn’t going as the black swan I was thinking I would be the main character from ‘I Am Peace’ as this is a book I’ve read lots with the preps – Year Six students as we look at mindfulness…see here for more about the book.
Principal of the Junior School, Ms Louise McGuire as ‘The Naughtiest Girl in School’. BEST BOSS EVER.