I’ve had something on my mind lately that was triggered by getting a new tattoo! Yes, I got some new ink to go with my other four. Every time I think about getting a tattoo, I have to think about my career. If you guys didn’t know, my major is special education with an emphasis in elementary. This means that I have to be very particular with where I get my tattoos, just in case. Although none of mine are offensive, most are related to family actually, I have to worry about this in my workplace.
I have never understood the idea that having tattoos somehow makes you unprofessional or unable to do your job. I like to think that I am a pretty good teacher. I have gotten excellent grades in all my courses, praised by my professors, and given awesome feedback from master teachers who have observed me. I honestly feel that I will be an asset to whatever school I start working at upon graduation… but do my tattoos make me a bad teacher?
Does this mean that I cannot connect with my students? Do they keep me from being able to teach my kids how to spell a word or complete a math problem? Do they stop me from understanding their problems? Do they keep me from being active in their lives, in the classroom and in school activities? Does having them keep me from being on level with their parents and communicating well? No… I don’t think so. I think I can do all of these things while having five or even twenty tattoos. Yes, I agree that they need to be respectful and acceptable for students to see, if they are visible when wearing clothing, but I do not think that that we should have to work to cover the art that we put on our bodies.
I am proud of my tattoos. They all have meaning and they all mean something to me. I do not think that this problem only happens in the area of education, but I do think that it seems to be a more persistent problem in this field, due to being around children who watch and follow our every move (even in high school).
So, let me ask you… do my tattoos make me a bad teacher?
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