It seems almost everyone has a tattoo nowadays. Doctors, grandmothers, and even the people who teach our kids. I know quite a few public school teachers with tattoos. Some are hidden behind clothing never to be seen, but others have more prominent tattoos that just cannot be hidden unless they wear an opaque full-body suit. Some even have piercings or dye their hair funky colors.
Heather Warren is a children's librarian in Philadelphia whose tattoo is inspired by kid's books. She shares my love of Where the Wild Things Are. A librarian with tattoos of kids' book illustrations -- sounds like she's in the perfect career. Which is one of the reasons no parent should worry about if she's fit for the job.
I have two friends -- both history teachers -- who have tattoos that reflect their greatest interest, which is of course history. They have famous sayings, Presidents, relics from the past, and they are excellent teachers, very passionate about their work and giving kids the best education. They are both active in students' extra-curricular activities and are respected by the kids and the faculty. If they were discriminated against because of their tattoos, there would be two effective teachers out of work. And isn't that what we want for our kids? A teacher that will get through to them? Make them want to learn?
There are far too many other things about our education system to worry about then to concern ourselves with something that adorns the teachers.
Our kids are going to be influenced by all sorts of "undesirable" behavior. Maybe you think tattoos are a sign of someone who partakes in "undesirable" activities. But when we really think about it, all we need to concern ourselves with is how well a teacher can perform their job. What they do in their personal life (provided it's not some horrific bad news headline type of activity) should be their own business. Even if that business is a tattoo visible to students. Something seen as "cool" to the kids could actually make a child pay attention more. Maybe the cool, tattooed teacher is the one teacher who gets through to a rebellious child because she feels that teacher "gets" her.
Not wanting your child being taught by a teacher with tattoos is sort of like a vegan family saying they don't want their child's teacher to be a meat-eater. I have tattoos, so naturally I'm against any discrimination toward those who have them, too. But I know it happens. I've had it happen to me. Hopefully most parents aren't concerned.
Should teachers be allowed to have visible tattoos? Or is that bad influence on kids? Would you worry if your child's teacher had tattoos or piercings?
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