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Teachers And Tattoos- A Complicated Relationship

Posted by Ann V. On 2016 May 27th

Teachers And Tattoos- A Complicated Relationship

Gone are the days when tattoos were popular only amongst gangs and prisoners. But these days have not gone so far, as tattoos are still considered to be social stigma by many experts. As soon as tattoos started becoming famous amongst people, a question was raised whether it should be allowed in workplaces or not. Many were in favor of this and many were against this idea.

Out of all the professions, one filed in which tattoo is becoming famous is Education. Even teachers are interested to express their feelings via the medium of tattoos. For decades, teachers have decided not to get visible tattoos as it was thought they were setting a bad example for students. But is this a reality?

One should understand that tattoos ooze out because of feelings, not because of hatred. Restricting or allowing it won’t affect the students. However, attitude towards tattoos is changing these days and is being accepted in society. Even students feel teachers with tattoos won’t harm their attitude or education.

The article shares opinions of various people: Teachers, Parents, Management, Tattoo artists on whether tattoos should be allowed on teachers or not.

“I have three tattoos – an arrow on my arm that shows how a sine function works, a Celtic band around my arm and a Möbius strip on my back. However, I understand from the professional point of view that not everyone wants to see them. The school rules say I should cover them and I’m happy to go along with that. We ask students to follow a dress code, so it is a bit against the grain if you do the opposite.”

  • PatrickMaloney1

“I'd say, as, with anything you bring into the classroom, it should be appropriate to the context. I know a few teachers with visible tattoos and their tattoos are pretty abstract/artistic.

I think the fits under the general "should tattoo be allowed in the workplace" debate and my answer, once again, is yes as long as it appropriate to the context. I know a lot of older people think that tattoos are tacky but it's not something that holds up to me.

My parents associate tattoos with poor people and frankly, knowing what a tattoo costs, that association makes no sense to me. If anything I associate tattoos with coffee snobs and professional cyclists.”

“I wouldn’t be put off if my child was being taught by someone with tattoos. But it’s a balance about being a professional. Other things like being smart and not wearing short skirts are more important. Part of being a teacher is about teaching pupils to respect people’s differences and not judge them by their looks.

Children are very open. If someone was tattooed head to foot they would notice it, but it’s a good talking point.

I’m more concerned about whether my child’s teacher is effective and professional than what they look like.”

“I have six tattoos, which are not visible at work. The one on my wrist is covered by my watch strap. I put my watch on, drew lines, and said it has to be between these lines.

I have spoken to a lot of parents who say, why cover them up? But there are people who would make a judgment of me and my school as they have preconceived ideas about people with tattoos.

I’m the most high profile person in the school so it’s different for me. We ask other people – particularly frontline staff working with children – that where possible they cover them, but don’t insist on it. People should be free to express themselves but at the same time, do I know the work I do as a headteacher is more important than my right to express individuality? Yes.”

“I have over 100 tattoos and when I was teaching I had about 40 – symbols of pi with the numbers all around my elbow, calculators, plus and minus signs. I had two sleeves and a chest picture and some on my legs but I always respected the school’s philosophy of never showing them.

More teachers should have them on the show. Most of the tattoos I do have some sort of meaning and story behind them, so it could be an icebreaker with some kids. You could say, “this is celebrating that I’m happy being lesbian or gay”. It could start a discussion.”

It is an open-ended question whether teachers can wear visible tattoos on their skin or not. Tattoos do not play any role when it comes to the inculcation of bad attitude amongst children. Float the comment section with your opinions on it.