tattoos and teachers - ProTeacher Community


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tattoos and teachers
Old 03-12-2006, 06:18 PM
 
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I was just curious to hear others opinions on tattoos and teachers, or just thoughts on tattoos in general. Does anyone have a tattoo? If so, what are they?

I currently have two. I have four four-leaved clovers with the stems twisted together to represent my husband, me and our two boys on my right calf. My other one is on my right arm and matches my husband's. It is a small tribal heart with a 10 in it to represent our 10th anniversary. I am thinking of getting an apple on my ankle to represent teaching,and an icthus on my upper right chest for my faith in Jesus Christ.

I would love to hear from you, no matter your opinion.


 


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I've got 'em!
Old 03-12-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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I actually have three of them! They are all located either on my hips or the upper part of my thighs (where the leg joins the body's trunk), so others (and my parents! !) wouldn't see them. One is a smiling dolphin coming out of the water (represents my sorority), one is a sunflower with a bee, and the other is a sexy Tinkerbell (my nickname). I would like to get one on my ankle, but I know many schools and districts frown upon this. I also used to have my belly button pierced, and when I taught my first year, it showed by mistake while we were doing exercises in the classroom. Luckily, no one has said anything about that. I no longer have it pierced.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:05 PM
 
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I have one, a fairy on my lower back and sometimes my students will say " I can see her FEET Mrs. !" They always want to see the whole thing but I won't show them. I have seen many teachers at my school with ankle tattoos though. I am thinking about gettting some waves on the bottom edge of my foot but I am afraid I won't like being able to have others see it.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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i don't think i would ever get one because i'd be afraid to pick ONE thing to have on me FOREVER. i also don't think i could settle on a place for it....wouldn't want it too conspicuous (but then what's the point?)

i think that our skin is beautiful, and i feel sad when i see those people who have covered themselves with ink. it distracts me from really seeing them as people--their persona. i don't think any less of people for having so many tattoos, but i feel sorry for them and what i perceive to be a loss of part of their being (although i recognize THEY don't view it that way).
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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You asked for honesty. I don't like them and it would affect my first impression of a teacher - same as it would anyone else. I see them as sort of rebellious.

It wouldn't, however, affect whether I wanted my child in their class, keep me from seeing their good side, or really change anything other than my initial impression.


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Old 03-12-2006, 08:14 PM
 
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I agree with MKat and tia-I don't like them either. I think if a teacher has one it should be covered up during class.
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:26 PM
 
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I have a tattoo but it is on my hip so it's not visible at all. It's the Leo symbol. I love my tattoo and have never regretted it. However, I did take my career into consideration when I got it. I did not want something that would be clearly visible to everyone because I didn't want people forming opinions based on that.
 
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No way for me!
Old 03-12-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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I also agree with tia, MKat, and Tounces. If a teacher has a tatoo, it should be covered up at school. One of our teachers has one on her ankle, and it easily shows when she wears sandals to school. I have nothing against this teacher...I think a lot of her and she's a great teacher! I just don't think it's appropriate for our students to see...just my opinion!
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:15 PM
 
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Don't have one, don't want one and don't like them. Growing up the only people who had tatoos were soldiers and freaks so when I see them I still think that way. I have friends who have them and I don't think less of them. They just aren't for me.

To the poster who wanted a tatoo for religious purposes, if you're christian, I'm pretty sure the Bible has a passage against this.
 
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Old 03-13-2006, 02:56 AM
 
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What about a beautiful necklace to represent and remind you of Jesus?

I don't have any tatoos and don't want any, but I have nothing against people having them. It's a personal choice. I agree with the other posters that teachers shouldn't have tatoos showing. We are role models for our students. it isn't that we should be anti-tatoo, but I wouldn't want to in any way encourage tatoos with children and teens. The younger people are when they get tatoos, the less judgement they use for their choice of tatoo, and they are pretty darn permanent.
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In my opinion
Old 03-13-2006, 04:10 AM
 
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I think they are fine, as long as they are covered. Many other professionals have them, why can't teachers? I personally do not have any because I am not a fan of needles, but wish I was brave enough to have one done. Many of my friends, who are teachers, have tatoos. They are covered by clothing, so children don't even know they are there.
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:41 AM
 
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I have one, but it is covered. I don't think it makes me any less of a person, but as teachers, we are role models. I would not want the kids to see it.

There is a teacher at school with an ankle one that shows all of the time. I don't hold it against her at all, but to me it is unprofessional and I certainly took this into account when getting mine.
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Tattoos
Old 03-13-2006, 06:16 AM
 
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Very interesting question and responses.

My students' parents are in the military and the majority of these soldiers have tattoos. They are very commonplace in this environment. I'm aging myself, and as I read the various responses, I think several others did , too. The generation I'm in, in my opinion, sees tattoos as something that "others", not in a professional career, might have gotten when we were younger. When I was in college, not one of my friends, nor anyone I can remember had one. We also heard our parents talk negatively about them. (Not one of my friends' parents had a tattoo, either.) So, when we got into teaching, it would have never crossed our minds to get one. In fact, having our ears pierced more than once showed a daring side to a teacher. :-)

However, tattoos are very much a sign of the times. Perhaps this is a "fad" that will go for a bit longer, but they're definitely very acceptable in our society. It was also interesting to read about those that have a tattoo in a place that can't be seen while working. Perhaps that's because of the values you received from your parents, or the idea that having a tattoo is great, but being careful as to where it shows. In any event, it's my opinion that they are "okay" for others...not for me, nor my two children, ages 23 & 25. Our senior in college daughter says she'll get one...and I've responded with, "When you can afford to pay for it, and then to have the funds to have it removed when you are 50+ years old"!

To each his own. Those that have them...enjoy them. Those that don't...don't be too judgmental.
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:31 AM
 
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Teachers are to be role models to students. Showing off tattoos make an impression, even if it isn't immediate. Because we work with children, we have a greater responsibility than those in other professions to not advocate "rebellious" ways. Don't let them show!! The most rebellious thing I have on my body is double pierced ears.

BTW, I don't have anything against people that have tattoos. My very best friend (and maid of honor at my wedding) has several. But she is not a teacher.
 
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re wilmart
Old 03-13-2006, 07:57 AM
 
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Very interesting you brought up the military and tatoos. The Air Force has had a policy for about 5 years now. If you have a tatoo and it can't be covered up, they won't let you join.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:58 AM
 
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I think they are gross, but it doesn't determine who is a good teacher or not. There are lots of worse things I could think for a teacher to be showing.
 
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I have two!
Old 03-13-2006, 08:58 AM
 
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I have two tatoos and I love them both. I have a shamrock on my lower back and a Celtic weave around my ankle. I don't show off the one on my ankle on purpose, I never think about it. I've never had a parent come up to me and ask me about them. I've had kids tell me about thier parents tatoos. No one sees the one on my back, the kids don't even know that it is there. My mom is a principal and she says that tatoos don't bother her because I have them. I love both of my tatoos, they represent my Irish haeritage. I always say that it doesn't matter who I marry, how many kids I have, where I live, or what I do with my life, I will always be Irish (and proud of it). I've had my tatoos for six or seven years and I still love them and would do it all over again.

Just a side note...My sister hates them and is 26 years old. She swears that she will never get one. I'm 28.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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I have three tattoos and I love them. Some of my students have seen the one on my lower back. It really doesn't surprise any of them. Most of them, if they see it, say "oh my mom/aunt/cousin has a tattoo there too..." and that is the last time they mention it. These are first graders. My other tattoos are in spots that cannot be seen.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:47 AM
 
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I take a hard line about tattoos too. I don't like them. I think they are a waste of money. That being said I realize that it's an evolving world and everyone doesn't share my point of view. I can overlook tattoos that aren't too showy or big. I have private negative feelings about people who have a lot of ink but realize it's really none of my business. I think unless you are one heck of a super-duper teacher, it would be wise to limit tattoos to places where they don't show all the time or to keep them small and not too much in the foreground of your appearance. Your tattoos shouldn't enter the room before you do. You know what I mean?
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I have 2 and I"m drawing my 3rd
Old 03-13-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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I have an eclipse on my lower back, a fairy on the top of my foot (not my ankle), and I'm planning one for my shoulder. My back is rarely seen, occasionally somone will say something about the one on my back like they can see color or something but not what it is. I won't show them (the kids I mean, I will show other teachers in the lounge or something). The one on my foot is harder to hide and is seen more. Most of my shoes hide part of it but rarely all of it. It isn't a big deal. I don't know if feet isn't a place that people look or if it just isn't a big deal but only occasionally will anyone say anything and then when they do it's dropped.

All of mine have very special meanings and I'm not ashamed of them nor do I regret them for an instant
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Not for me
Old 03-13-2006, 02:20 PM
 
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They are not for me, but I would not hold it against anyone who had one. I would like to see a teacher cover his/hers at school just because they are not very professional looking. What you do on your own time is your business. To each his own!
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How do students see your lower back?
Old 03-13-2006, 02:29 PM
 
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Some of the teachers who responded commented that the students have seen the tatoo on their lower back. My question is how? Are your pants too low, or your shirts too short?

Teaching is about professionalism. I do not put bumper stickers on my car nor do I paint artwork/make a statement on my skin.
 
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tattoos
Old 03-13-2006, 02:52 PM
 
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My personal opinion! Don't like them or want one. I think it looks cheap and takes away from a person's natural beauty.
I also don't have or never will have any kind of piercings!
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Nope!!!
Old 03-13-2006, 03:55 PM
 
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Nope! None for me. I actually think some are very cool, but I am too indecisive so I wouldn't know what to get. Plus there's the pain issue. I absolutely cannot handle ANY pain. Another thing is I don't want to be a granny with a tattoo. I also cannot stand the idea of them fading like they do. Otherwise, I'd get one in a heartbeat!!!
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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I don't have any tattoos, although my bellybutton is pierced. None of my students know about it, though. When I student taught, the teacher next door had to wear a band-aid over her ankle tattoo when she wore sandals. I personally don't think that students should see those things on teachers, although I don't necessarily think they're bad. I guess it's just because it's questionable.
 
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alternative
Old 03-13-2006, 08:00 PM
 
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There is a safe, impermanent, painless alternative to tatoos-Henna tatoos made from a powder from plants. You could change your tatoo, have one only in the summer if wanted and no students would need ever know.
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:23 AM
 
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I have one on my lower back. I believe they should be covered up in front of students. Mine did show once as I reached for the overhead screen. I couldn't believe it. I don't wear that shirt to work anymore. However, none of my kids were upset. Some said nothing, some commented about people they know having them. Although this doesn't make me want to show it off....it does put some reality into things. Kids are dumb and they haven't been sheltered from this stuff. They have seen and heard much worse.
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They don't match everything
Old 03-14-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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A young lady who is a close family friend was planning on getting one. She changed her mind, though because of something that happened one day when she was shopping. She told us about a time she went to get a prom dress and was watching this beautiful girl with her mom trying on an amazing wedding gown. She said the young girl was absolutely gorgeous until she turned and you could see her tatoo(s). The dress and look went from totally gorgeous to totally tacky in the blink of an eye. She never went to get the tatoo. I work with several teachers who are very smart dressers. While their ankle tatoos may look fine with cut off jeans and a t-shirt all summer, they don't do a thing for the professional look in the classroom. I can think of better ways to spend my money I guess. My daughter does have one on her lower back.
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Tattoos
Old 03-14-2006, 03:27 AM
 
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I personally would never have one. For one thing I couldn't take the pain associated with it. The other thing I think about is how will it look for an 80 year old to have a tattoo? I just can't imagine my grandmother with a tattoo. Maybe by the time we're all grandmothers everyone will have one and it will be normal. My friend that teaches in the next room has two. One on her ankle and one on her lower stomach. The kids obviously see the one on her ankle, but it's never been an issue.
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comment on shirt and pants
Old 03-14-2006, 04:05 AM
 
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no, my pants are not too low and my shirts are not too short. I am an active teacher who actually gets up from the behind the desk and interacts with my children, which occasionally might involve bending far over to give them something on the floor or acting out things with them etc. The two centimeters of skin that occasionally peeks out on my back shows the very bottom of my lower back tattoo.
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Old 03-14-2006, 05:38 AM
 
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Sometimes accidents happen and when reaching up to grab the overhead, down to hand something to a kid on the floor, or whatever a bit of skin shows on many people, even those who are conservatively dressed. Once when I was trying to put a jacket on in a tight spot, something happened with my blouse when my arms went through the sleves of my jacket and one of my 6th graders even noticed my belly ring which shocked me. It was the first time since I had gotten it that it had shown.

It is going to be a personal decision for everyone and eventually come down to personal likes and dislikes.
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none for me
Old 03-14-2006, 06:21 AM
 
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I don't think they look professional at all. I don't think their a good idea and don't like them. But that's for me. I've asked many people that I see over 40 or 50 that have a tattoo and they all regret it. So...when I meet someone who's 50 or 60 and still are happy they got it, that's when my opinion may change. Most people are in their 20's or 30's and in 30 years may regret it.

My son did get one in college. and then joined the army(where they must be covered or you can't get in) He since has 2 more-i absolutely hate them. But he's the one that at age 60 or 70 will have to deal with it. He has already talked about removing one of them. Personally, I just don't think that's too smart-shouldn't have got them in the first place!
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I Like Them. . .
Old 03-14-2006, 06:36 AM
 
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when I see them tastefully done on other people.

I think if I ever get one, it will be a henna tattoo. I don't want anything permanent because I know as I grow older my skin will sag, the ink will fade, and it just won't look or feel the same. My ex-sister-in-law got one. She put my nephew's name on her neck (OWWW!!! ) in large stylized letters. All I can think is, "What have you done?" She's in her early twenties and thinks it's cool. I'm in my thirties and think "There goes a lot of job prospects."
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Would love to have one
Old 03-14-2006, 06:43 AM
 
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I want one sooo bad but am such a wimp. My husband has six, and each has some symbolism that is important to him and has become so for me with the exception of one. I think they make him beautiful and more masculine. My opinion.

I want a tattoo but can't decide what or where. I do not want it to show too much so that I feel embarrassed at work, but what is the point if noone will ever see it.

I love the idea of the four clovers to represent each member of the family. I don't think I'd do clovers, but would you mind much if I stole your idea of representing each family member?? I might actually tough it out for that meaningful symbol.
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I have one, too
Old 03-14-2006, 08:01 AM
 
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Although - like another poster said - I took my career choice into mind when I got it and it is hidden. I'm all for tattoos - love 'em, but definitely don't htink it's something that kids should see their teachers with at school. Just not something that I personally want to teach that it's okay. I know, sounds hypocrytical - but - I wouldn't want my own kids to do it - at least until they were older.
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tattoos and teachers
Old 03-14-2006, 04:36 PM
 
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I love tattos, as far as I'm concerened it's body art. While i wouldn't get another brazen tatto that is on a really obvious place on my body, I think I'm going to get another one. I have the Christian symbo of the fish on my hip.
Tattos are just a personal expression of what someone thinks is beautiful.
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not for me
Old 03-15-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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I don't have anything against tatoos, I just don't want them on me. I agree with the poster who said they don't put bumperstickers on their car or tatoos where they can be seen because of professionalism. I am very active in my local NOW chapter and do many union activities, but I won't join local protests or do canvasing because I don't feel the need to explain myself to any students/parents I may run into. I live in a smallish town, and my beliefs could cause parents to think differently about me. My job is hard enough without the added prejudice.
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Wow, what a response!
Old 03-15-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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This is just what I wanted to hear. I would like to thank everyone for their responses so far. I almost went and got my apple yesterday, but I just didn't have the time.

I agree that the tattoos should be covered and not shown to the students. They need to make that decision for themselves and we are too influential in that area.

To those who don't want the pain--it actually doesn't hurt that much. I was sooooo nervous on my first one, but when she started I kept waiting for it to really start hurting. It does hurt some. It is like a cat scratch and only for short bursts. It heals fairly quickly, but the one on my calf itched liked crazy. The one on my arm healed fine with no itching.

Tylana, of course you can use my idea. Tattoos should be meaningful and represent something to the person.

Would love to hear more views. Thanks again everyone!
 
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Tats are Trashy
Old 03-16-2006, 02:15 PM
 
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and unprofessional too in my opinion. Why disfigure what God has so beautifully created? In the movie Wedding Crashers there's a scene where Vince Vaughn sees a woman with a tat on her lower back and says "Bulls Eye" meaning she's (how can I say this delicately .. ) easy. When I saw that I thought BINGO... that's exactly right. This is not a message we should be sending to our kids. I think they're exposed enough to this stuff in the real world. Teachers should be models for taste and decorum... not trailer trash.
 
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Old 03-16-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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I've heard lower back tattoos called "skanky lower back tattoos" in a few contexts.

Is anything nastier than a tongue piercing?
 
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Old 03-16-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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my district will allow you to have them, however they must be out of the childrens view at all times, which i think is fair.
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tattoos
Old 03-16-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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I have one but its on my hip so no one sees it. It is a rose.
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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This is actually a question. I live in Canada and I know a math teacher of Czech Republic descent who is around 26-28 years of age and she has a tattoo of a flame on her lower back. What does it tell you about her and what does it mean.

P.S. I saw it because she was bending over to give a student something and her back started showing which is where I saw the tattoo.
 
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Reaction to Henna "Body Art"
Old 04-03-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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One of my students had a henna body art tatoo. The child had a terrible allergic reaction which made the skin look as if it were scarred! It was awful because everyone kept asking, "OMGosh! What happened to your arm!"

I agree that if you tatoo, please cover it up. You wouldn't announce other intimate details of your personal life to your students, whether or not you were proud of them. To tatoo or not to tatoo should not involve teachers as pro or con models to students.

Personally, I'd be afraid of contracting hepatitus (or possibly AIDS). I don't want any tatoos, and hope my children won't either.

I don't hold it against people who choose to have tatoos (or not).
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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I find interesting, but nevertheless disappointing, all the holier-than-thou responses against tattoos. As a teacher, yes, I am a role model but whatever happened to individuality? Why should children only be exposed to conformist role-models? Shouldn't they be encouraged to also think independently? Those old-school taboos attached to tattoos are ridiculous and are on their way out right along with the old-school administrators, managers, bosses, and assorted old-farts who perpetuate them. I have four tattoos of my own design, two of which are exposed because they are on my wrists. Each is an expression of my independence and my abilities and I am proud to show them off. They do nothing to hinder, hamper or otherwise interfere with my teaching because with OR without them I remain, as I have always been - a dedicated teacher. How sad that some of the previous posters, teachers of all people, could be so close-minded!
 
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:58 PM
 
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Personally, I have one tattoo on my lower back. It has shown maybe once or twice in those situations where I moved very quickly without thinking like others mentioned.

To be honest I'm offended by the idea that there are obviously people on this board who believe that I am "easy" or trashy because of this. I am most definitely not easy and certainly not trashy. I chose to get the tattoo for my own reasons. All I can say is that I would hope with the wide variety of students, parents, coworkers, etc. we have contact with on a daily basis, that we would be a bit more open-minded.
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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Well, I agree with Superteach, whoever he/she is, as well as cangirl, who claimed that "Tattos are just a personal expression of what someone thinks is beautiful." I don't have any personally (I just haven't found anything worthy of permanence, yet), but I obviously have an affection for henna. I would want it to be done very well though, so I'm waiting to find the right person to create a design. I don't think I would have a problem wearing henna in the classroom.
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What about the BIG ones?
Old 10-10-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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I have a half sleeve (covering the entire part of my shoulder to my bicep). I keep it covered because, frankly, I am scared of them being seen. I am sort of worried that it will affect my job. I am just a student teacher. I mean, will this affect my career as a soon-to-be teacher? My tattoo is something very symbolic to myself and it means so much and trust me, my tattoos are not finished with. My tattoos don't change my passion for teaching, nor does it change my feelings about my love for kids and wanting to help the community.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:31 PM
 
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My tattoo means a lot to me. Its a portrait of my mother. Its my way of making sure that she is with me where ever I go, because I lost her a few years ago to cancer. If any of my students saw it (its on my back, so they wont), I would tell them about it. And tattoos are everywhere, and I know I would be hard pressed to find a student who hasn't seen any tattoos in their life. As far as I'm concerned, as long as the tattoos are tasteful (no gang symbols, weapons, naked people, etc), and not distracting to the students, I dont think they need to be covered up.
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i have tattoos and they are fine.
Old 01-09-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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i have 2 3/4 length sleeves of japanese design, they are VERY amazing looking and have nothing that could be taken in an offensive manor or looked at in a bad way.

my first one is a japanese snake design with black and white waves and cherry blossoms with a taoist snake that wraps around (the head is a little mean looking so that is up by my shoulder) and it comes about 3 or 4 inches past my elbow and stops.

on my other arm i have a geisha on my upper bicep that has an umbrella and she has her eyes closed and there is wind that swoops around my arm and ends also a few inches past my elbow.

when i interviewed i did ask about the tattoo policy prior and i understood that personally i am always into wearing long sleeves most of the time anyway and if i pull them up its only a quarter way up my arm so my tattoos are RARELY visible. i thought about this when i was young and originally wanted full length sleeves, but thought about my career first.

i interviewed without obviously showing the tattoos to the interviewer because that is a personal thing they really didnt ever ask to KNOW about. i was pretty aimed at covering up which was easy for the first few months since i started in fall =)

after that i started sometimes rolling up my sleeves to a point where they were visible somewhat but it never caused an issue in my teaching or in my relationship with co-workers or administration.

i teach technology so i guess people expect me to be a little bit different than everybody else anyways lol!
 
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:32 PM
 
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Some people said that the body is beautiful and tattoos are too permanent... Well, I have to say that I have some not-so-beautiful permanent marks (stretch marks, 6 scars from surgery, and eczema), so it's nice to have something that I actually wanted on me.

Mine is on my lower back. I take offense to those who say that this is "skanky". I have only ever had one man in my life... and that is my husband.

Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions; however, no one is perfect, and no one should judge...I can only hope that those people are not putting stereotypes on their students! We of all people should know that you can't judge a book by it's cover!
 
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I am Getting My First one TOMORROW
Old 06-06-2007, 06:51 PM
 
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I am getting my first tattoo tomorrow. I am getting a Celtic cross on the outside of my forearm. I am also studying to be a Chem secondary Ed. Major. I agree and disagree with the popular opinion. Yes tattoos are a personal thing and should be hidden from the work place, but you can not expect to hide, protect, or simply foce our childeren not to see them. If tattoos are really this big an issue maybe we should put some more energy into anti-drug, alcohol, teenpregnancy, and numerous other problems which plague our schools.
 
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If you're willing
Old 06-09-2007, 10:07 AM
 
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to take the chance of getting Hepatitis C, go ahead. Just make sure you are ready to lay your life on the line for a tattoo. You might want to do some reading up on commercial tattoos and the risk of Hepatitis C (a killer). It is not always passed through dirty needles, but can be passed through infected ink and other ways too. Don't want to put a damper on your "self-expression" but my loved one and I are walking through HELL because of this disease.
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Recently got one
Old 06-10-2007, 04:22 PM
 
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I just recently got one and was very concerned about showing it in school. I finally decided that I am an adult and what I choose to do to my body is my business. I did get a flower (one that has a specific meaning in my life) and it is on my shoulder. I can hide it however, I do have some shirts that you wear a camisole under a sheer shirt. There will be a time when the students see it and I don't think there is a problem with that. I will obviously not flaunt it purposely but if the kids see it, so what. I am sure that at least one my students parents have one and even if they don't it is my prerogative to get one.

In fact, I went to get it with a colleague who got one (her third) and the vice principal in one of the other schools in my district has one on her ankle.

It is sad to me that there are people out there that think I am a bad person because of this. Having this tattoo does not change me as a person, teacher, or mother.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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...at the people who keep trying to spook everyone with the specter of Hep C. Newsflash! It is 2007 and the tattoo industry is regulated by state health departments. This requires a number of health and safety practices that make it nearly impossible to contract a cold, much less anything more serious in a tattoo shop. Many even participate in bloodborne pathogens training. A reputable shop will be more than happy to provide proof of their licensure and sterilization practices.

If you have a personal dislike for tattoos, that is your right, but it is a shameful disservice to spread ignorance and misinformation in an effort to make your point.
 
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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I am learning to be a high school teacher and I have birds tattooed on my shoulder/bicep. My arguement is why is it that teachers who have tattoos are promoting an unhealthy, rebellious lifestyle? Administrators should be more concerned with severely overweight teachers. Dont you think that that is a far more unhealthy and dangerous lifestyle to be promoting?
 
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the facts jack!
Old 08-09-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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Ok. I am recently a teacher assistance at a Christian private school. I have a tattoo across my neck from my rebellious teen years ( stupid mistake) I see how many parents look at me when they first meet me and its not very pleasent. Im also a man so that doesnt help much either, but it is easy for me to gain their trust with the parents because of my personality and love for my students. It breaks my heart to hear my kids say they want tattoos, so I explain to them where the first tattoo came from. ( when God cursed Cain for killin his brother Abel). The bible also says we should not mark or pierce our bodies. Look it up.
All Im saying is if your a christian, a tattoo is not an option. But its your choice just be prepared for some criticizm. People can be simple minded sometimes.
 
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dont be cruel
Old 08-09-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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you speek with much ignorance. It is obvious that you are very simple minded.I dont condone tats either but you are clearly stating people with tats are some kind of whorish trailor trash thats up to no good. I agree that once a person is a teacher they should be positive role models for our kids, and having tats everywhere wouldnt cut it for me. But your totally out of line judging everyone who does have them. see what ur bible says about judging people
 
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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Tattoos don't look very 'professional' but neither do jeans and I love to wear jeans to school.
I hate the lower back "tramp stamp" type tattoos. But if your tattoo is on your lower back...no one at school should ever see it anyway. So if you like it...I don't see why having it would make you less of a professional.
My principal ( a woman) has a couple of small tattoos. One is on her ankle and I am pretty sure everyone has seen it. She does a great job and I have never given her tattoo a second thought...until now.
 
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love thy self
Old 08-19-2007, 06:09 AM
 
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I am teacher and have several tattoos, including a rather large one on my right foot, ankle, calf. I plan on getting another one on my left leg and it will be 10-11 inches top to bottom. It has no negative effect on my teaching-in fact, I believe that it strengthens my teaching possibilities. Students are interested in body modification and it starts many conversations. As a second language teacher, it certainly allows me to have something interesting to discuss with students! It also shows my students that I will not judge them and because of this, many of them feel comfortable talking to me about things that they would not discuss w/ a more conservative teacher. I am shown respect in my classroom because that it what I command-tattoos or no!
In a society whose educational system is now based on pedagogy that takes individual differences into consideration at all time, I can't even believe that being an individualist teacher would be a bad thing.
 
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I have one
Old 08-19-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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I have a small rose on my ankle. I forget about it sometimes unless someone mentions it. It's kind of hard to see because I have brown skin, I guess. I've had it for so long that I guess it's not a big deal. Sometimes my students will ask if it's fake. However, I went two school years without a student mentioning it. Trust me, the second graders that go through my school are not shy about asking for anything. I don't even know if my principal has seen it.

With that being said, I saw an aide with one on her upper back right under her neck. I thought that it was very unprofessional.

I also worked in a food stamp office (medicaid/welfare, too), and I had a client that had her name tatooed across her chest (low cut blouse). The letters had to be about 3-4 inches tall with a star over the "i" in her name. I was horrified. Especially when I saw the one on her neck. I guess that's why she had a hard time getting a job.

P.S. I had a parent with a piercing on her tongue. Needless to say, this was a first for me.
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Love them!
Old 08-19-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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I have a small tattoo right below my right ankle and I love it! I think tattoos are great! Which most people think is strange because I am usually pretty conserative. I think tattoos are sexy and really want my hubby to get one.

As for teachers having them...I am totally cool with it!
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teacher tats
Old 08-25-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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I have been thinking a lot about this issue. I start my student-teaching cohort in January (I'm 35/career changer) and I have tats of my five kids names on my left ankle (it's pretty big) but very pretty and feminine. I also have on tat on my left shoulder and a very small diamond stud nose ring. Does this mean I have to wear pants all year? and what about my nose? It's a symbol of my faith. Should I have to remove it? What do you think?
 
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modified teachers
Old 10-06-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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No, you should not have to remove it. When I was going through my student teaching experience, I talked w/ the office at my university and explained that I did not want to work in a school that would request that I not be who I am. They worked with me and I had no problems. Like I posted earlier, I have tattoos and not only small ones. I also have my eyebrow, nose and tongue pierced (I did take the tongue stud out when teaching in primary b/c I teach ESL and we were working on pronunciation-I did not want to spend time trying to explain my tongue stud to small children. I have since reinserted the tongue stud and have no problems with middle and high school kids or parents.) You have rights as a human being to be modified and no one should expect you to remove a part of yourself as part of your education. If it does happen, however, I recommend using a retainer in the hole for your piercing until your student teaching experience is over. As far as the tat goes, you can wear pants, skirts w/ cute tights or even find some fun socks that the kids will enjoy
Love your modified self and your modified students, too!
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Piercings!
Old 10-06-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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I'm glad to read that someone else has piercings! I had a tongue piercing when I did my student teaching and wore a clear retainer for 99.9% of the time ... until I forgot to wear it towards the end, I was in a HS setting, it was briefly noticed, a few comments were made by the students and we went on. I've since removed it but am dying to redo it, once I get a job of course!

My ears are pierced 3x on the both lower lobes and 1x on the upper cartilage on both ears. I don't wear gaudy earrings ... and it has never ever been an issue! Ocassionally a student will ask if it hurt, but thats usually it. I do not discuss them, just quick answer and move on!

I also have a nice size Gerbera Daisy Tattoo on my upper middle back, it is usually covered, as most of my professional clothing is not low cut in the back.

Don't even get me started on the type of music that I like and types of concerts that I go to!
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Tattooed teachers
Old 10-08-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm a tattooed teacher. I have a sleeve on my right arm, a smaller tattoo on my left arm, and tattoos on my inner wrists and little fingers.

I cover most of them up with long sleeves, but I don't mind that the students know I have them. I only cover them because of the current anti-tattoo climate, I feel that I should be allowed to show them off as I wish as they are a part of me, and an important part of my life. It helps me with debates on uniform issues - I can explain that as part of the "teacher's uniform" I cover my tattoos up, and it helps them to understand the policies behind uniform - and that they're not the only one affected by it.

Also I'm experienced. Kids today are interested in body art, piercings, tattoos and modification, and they will respect the advice of a teacher who clearly knows about the subject much more so than a middle aged parental type who just says "it's wrong so you can't do it". They appreciate advice from people who clearly know what they're talking about and I have personally dissuaded at least 3 youngsters from getting tattoos done.

As my (also tattooed) colleague says, we're working within a community, and the wider community is becoming tattooed, we should be reflecting that. We're good teachers, the kids really like us, and we are effective in the classroom, tattooed or not.

In addition, a colleague has a birthmark on her arm the size of my tattoo. I could say I was offended by the sight of that, and it's often on show, but I don't. I don't see my tattoo to be any different other than the fact that I chose to adorn my arm with it. It's certainly prettier than a birthmark, yet has a stigma attached that to me is outdated and unreasonable.
 
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NO! Remove nothing!
Old 10-08-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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Lonibone - you should remove NOTHING! Those of the names of your children! What business is it of an administrator, a parent, the janitor or anyone else? Like me, you are a career-changer, and like me I am sure you know the value of choosing a profession you are committed to rather than allowing the profession to force itself on you. Let your teaching and your commitment to children speak for you. Anyone who has a problem with your tattoos has their priorities in the wrong place.
 
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Kids are dumb???
Old 11-14-2007, 03:44 PM
 
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I am a 10th grader in high school, future math/engligh teacher, future humanitarian, and not dumb. My opinion on tattoo's is, if you want them, get them. My honors english 2 teacher is my best friend and she has a Bible verse on her ankle. I love that she can express herself in our humble little high school.
Once again, kids are not dumb.
 
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pre-professional
Old 01-30-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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Personally, as a pre-professional, I have a huge tattoo on my back, where it is not visible to my students, no matter how I move in the classroom. But I think it is not fair to teachers that we cannot have visible tattoos. I'm not asking for huge visible tattoos to be OK, but small tattoos in a secondary education environment should not be a problem... I plan on getting a small apple tattoo on my foot and/or ankle when I finish my first or second year of teaching. And once I get that tattoo, I will show it to my students if they ask about it and I will explain that I got it because I am a teacher. I love my profession and that apple will be the blatant signifier of my love for the profession.
BASICALLY - it isn't fair that teachers, especially secondary education teachers, have to hide their tattoos. We teach kids that probably have more tattoos than we do. It isn't like I'm promoting children getting tattoos.
I got my first tattoo in honor of my pop-pop, who passed away six years ago. I was 18 when I got that tattoo and my mother did not want me to get one. She ended up loving it almost as much as I did. I want my second tattoo to represent the person I am; A TEACHER!
 
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I've got one too
Old 01-31-2008, 05:23 AM
 
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I have a bumble bee on my ankle. During warmer weather I know that I've had kids see it. I've even shown it to kids.

The bumble choice was because of my Mary Kay days believe it or not. This was when I was about 36 years old and just starting to discover how to open up as a person. In Mary Kay the bumble be is there sort of mascot. They say that because of the bee's shape that aerodynamicly is shouldn't be able to fly. The bee doesn't know that so it flies anyway. I chose the bee to remind myself that I CAN do things even when I think I can't. Like get a tattoo whey you are becoming an old lady of 36! lol

Yes, the kids have seen it. Most of the time they just go on to tell me what their mom/dad/grandma....you name it have. These days it's not so much who has a tattoo. It's more telling what the tattoo picture is. Regular people get nice pictures. They might be cute or sentimental. The rough people will tend to go more with the scarey skulls and blood. The really tough people will get the gang symbols or the tear at the eye to show how many people they killed. But honestly, it's just ink. Just a permanant way to carry a picture that means something to you.

For those of you that don't approve. Did your grandpa get one during the war way back when? Did that change the kind of person he is?
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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I currently have two tatoos, both on my shoulders and I do not think it should be of concern if I put one on my forearms for students to see. As a world history teacher, the obvious counter reaction to all this "bible" and "God's beauty" arguments would be: In the history of the world, who decided that body art is unacceptable?

Ear peircings are permanent but accepted....you will always have punctured the skin that "God created you with." Where in the Bible does it say that ear peircing as a permanent damage to the natural beauty of a person is acceptable but tatooing is not? Prove me wrong Jesus Freaks...

We are taught these days and this generation to "connect" with our students to engage them, and I don't think this means revealing an overly personal side of ourselves, but letting our personality show and not being "robots" in the classroom is important too.
 
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C'mon, now!
Old 02-06-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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I'm really surprised at the responses about tattoos being trashy, slutty and even un-Christian! God's mark on Cain was the original tattoo???!!! Where do you people come from?
 
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Wow ...
Old 02-06-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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Quote:
For those of you that don't approve. Did your grandpa get one during the war way back when? Did that change the kind of person he is?
I do approve of tats ... your post just reminded me of my Grandpa's tattoos. He died so long ago and I do miss him dearly. He was a merchant marine and had the Anchor tat w/ some writing above it. He also had a big pic of a 1/2 naked woman, covering his inner lower forearm, which I recently found out that tat was of my GRANDMA (she's still alive .. but I was shocked, not b/c of taste but because I didn't know my Grandma was that HOT!) No one told me that when I was a kid!!!!
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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I am a high school teacher, and I have three tats. All of them are normally covered up, but I have a couple of warm-weather tops that let the edges of a couple of my shoulder tats show. No one cares -- I teach at a kinda tough urban Latino school, and a lot of the kids are inked, so they ask me for a lot of advice -- most of which consists of "Live with your plan for at least a year, and stay away from "home" tattooists."

My lower back tat has been glimpsed a couple of times -- stretching to get a book, etc, but its position on my body is definitley inapproproriate to be seen. My shoulder tats the kids know about and are interested in -- one's a Celtic triple-spiral and the other is Minerva's owl from a 5th c. drachma.


I am one of 5 staff to have open tats at school, so I don't feel any kind of backlash. In fact, I feel it might help me establish rapport in the beginning.
 
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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I have 4 tats. Neck (star), ankle (flower), lower back (butterfly), and hip (frog on a mushroom) ... I love each and every one of them. I am going to get one on my foot. Every one of my locations is covered by clothing or hair. The kids have seen my ankle and my lower back. They don't say a word - they think I'm a "cool" teacher, HAHA !!!! Having a tattoo doesn't make one less of a role model - it is how we act with our students and out in public when our students are around ... My principal has them (non visible) and so does a couple of other teachers. I do not regret any one of mine and plan on more - they are quite addictive
 
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I have 2
Old 04-05-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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one on my ankle... that matches my husbands(star) and one on my lower back, vine with flowers that surround my kids names. I dont regret getting them and my students also think I am "cool"!
But I must say, when getting them...they hurt like heck(not the word I wanted to say)
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personally
Old 04-05-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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I don't care for them and TRY not to judge others who have them, but I am human and sometimes I -GASP- judge others who have LOTS of tatoos even though I know I shouldn't. Guess I'm human after all. I also have NO piercings whatsoever and don't want them. I often think of all the money I've saved over the years by not getting tattoos or piercings.
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Tats
Old 04-05-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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I have none, but my daughter has seven (trefoil, two skulls - good and evil, broken star, "mom" in Japanese script, some word - romance I think - on the back of her neck, and a Transformer logo - the good ones.) She wants a half-sleeve with a Geisha (which is what my grandfather called her when she was little). I survived through the one on the foot, I rolled my eyes at the star, I cried at the skulls (they're on her wrists, and about two inches long!), I panicked over the "mom" because it go infected... the other two she doesn't even know that I know about - she hides them now because I freak out.

However, as she said, there are so many people her age with tattoos (she's 23) that what my generation has issues with, her generation is just going to see as normal...

She has piercings too... and various colors of hair...

Should teachers have them? Why not... having a tattoo, or a piercing, or even pink hair - does not effect my ability to teach. And as I stated in a recent school survey about dress codes.. "distractable" is relevant. Blue hair may distract most 40+ folks.. but I'd say most 18 year olds don't even notice it any more..
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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I teach high school chemistry, physics and biology and have a number of tattoos on my back, arms and legs. I have tattoos from the Marines and others one can only describe as geeky. I have the whole periodic table on my back, a chambered nautilus on my right shoulder and an MC Escher design on my lower stomach, among others.

Of the faculty and staff I've encountered, there seems to be little acceptance of body art among them. They feel their professionalism obligates them to denounce this "rebellious" practice. I see it as expression of character. It doesn't make you less of a teacher to wear your heart on your skin. Just make sure that it is tasteful, if not, tactful. As teachers, we are responsible for the model we set, and I keep my tattoos in places that dress shirts can cover.

Tattoos are the business of their owner. No one should be quick judge so harshly something they know nothing about.
 
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I agree Superteach!
Old 04-21-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I would have to agree with you entirely, Superteach. I am 22 years old, a teacher fresh out of university, and as years go by I'm finding tattoos are becoming more and more acceptable. Most of my friends who are of my generation have tattoos. I think society think so badly of them because many years ago only criminals and bikers had them, but now they are becoming more of a normality. I find it very sad that society is so closed-minded and judgmental towards people on how they look. Any smart person knows that physical appearance says nothing about the person inside. I think tattoos are simply self and artistic expression, and think it would be wonderful if kids could be taught to express themselves creatively and be individuals, instead of being exposed to such conformist role-models.

That being said, I DO try to hide my tattoo as often as I can (It's on my upper back between my shoulder blades, VERY visible & obvious if I'm wearing a dress or low-back top, or if my long hair is tied up.) I hide it because I'm a newly-employed teacher I haven't yet had the opportunity to show my skill and don't want to jeopardize the impression my new colleges have of me. Which is quite sad really because I love it.

Also, I teach high school kids, 16-18 year olds, who I think can make up their own minds about things like tattoos, and won't be hypodermically influenced into getting a tattoo by seeing one on their English teacher.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:50 AM
 
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Welcome to PT, Miss Kate. It is so nice to have you.

I would disagree with you however about the connection between the inner and outer person. Physcial appearance and the choices you make do reflect your inner person. The colors I wear, the jewelry, the style of my hair, etc. are choices I make to let the world I live in instantly "know" who and what I am. Any smart anthropologist will tell you this.

It is not unreasonable for an employer who has a very short time to make a decision about whom s/he will employ, to base decisions on all the signals. Since tats are associated with a inner person who tends to be rebellions and outside the box, conservative employers i.e. school systems will shy away from that individual. Depending upon the employer, tats can be career killers.

I would like you to come back to us in a few years and tell us what it was like to teach a classroom full of sixteen year olds who were bent on being individuals, creative and non-conformists. In theory it sounds great. In reality it is chaos. I sincerely believe that there is a time and a place to be individuals, creative and non-conformist, but, I think students need to respect the fact that there is a body of knowledge one needs to learn, a personal discipline that has to be developed, and dues that have to be paid before they have earned that privilege.

Last edited by biyubelle; 04-21-2008 at 04:21 AM..
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:34 AM
 
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I have two tattoos.....one on each shoulder and im getting my last one across the top of my back. I also have both my ears pierced. I have my tattoos covered up and no earrings in at school. I feel guilty even wearing cut off's when I play basketball with the high school kids i coach during practice, but I dont see any harm in doing what you want as long as you're professional about it while you're at work.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:59 AM
 
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Oddly enough, I wore capris to school today for the first time since the fall and my kids have been going crazy asking me about the tattoo on my ankle. Its of the Eye of Horus, and they only care because they forgot about it. As soon as the newness of it's visibility wears off, they'll forget all about it. I don't think that I'm less professional because I have it. Heck, one of my kids chose tattoos for his freewriting this morning. At least I'm giving them topics to write about!
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School Doesn't allow Them
Old 04-21-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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My school will hire you with a visible tattoo but will tell you that they must be covered at all times. We have a teacher that always has to wear long sleeves and one that must wear pants past her ankle because of tattoos. I do not necessarily disagree with their policy. They will hire a good teacher even with a tattoo but it must be able to remain covered at all times.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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I have a quarter arm sleeve, a tatoo on my leg, one on my finger and my wrist. Sometimes they show. I am a great teacher , my kids have seen some...the one on my arm I do cover. I agree that they should be covered. However, I also explain to kids that there are bad people with tatoos and bad people without tatoos , and good people with tatoos and good people without tatoos. Alot of my students parents have tatoos. What? Do you want to teach our future to judge people that have tatoos as BAD people? I hope not!!!
 
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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I think they are great. I currently have two and I am in the process of designing a third. All of my tattoos are on my back and are easily covered. I was 38 when I got my first tattoo and I love them.

My performance as a teacher has nothing to do with my tattoo. THe choice to have them was personal for me. I choose to cover them as a personal choice.
 
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tats & piercings
Old 05-29-2008, 10:24 AM
 
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I'd love to get a tat. I'm in my early 20s and will my starting my first teaching job in the fall. I've always wanted to get a tatoo of the symbol of Aries (my sign) either on my left wrist or on my right shoulder. What's stopping me? A look at the future. When I'm 60 and wrinkled I don't want to be going, "ew". Plus they are to expensive to remove.

That's why at 18 I pierced my naval (with birthday money from my mother). I can always remove it later, whereas a tat is harder and more expensive to remove.

I have nothing against tatoos. My last two ex's both had tats (though they were both soliders - one had a tat on his upper arm and the other had about 13 in various hidden places such as his chest and back).

I've love to get one, but then I think about the future and how hard it is to remove it. What if I don't want it there in 20 years?
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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Tats can be debated forever. I think it depends on you and the school system you are in. I have two. They were pre-teacher era. They are there to stay. They are no different to me then the red birthmark I have on my face. I cover this up and I can cover my tat on my ankle if I needed. I think if you like them great and if you don't great. Each to their own.

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Old 06-03-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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I believe that tattoos are a personal choice. I am a huge Christian, and have planned out and designed four tattoos so far that I am getting. One on my left shoulder blade, a band around my left arm, the African symbol of life on my right foot, and another band around my right ankle. All my tattoos are Christian ones. The one on my shoulder will be a cross with palm tree leaves behind it with a sun bursting through. Written in the cross will be the date of my baptism with a four leaf clover in the middle to represent my 90% Irish heritage.
I also plan at some point to get a small of an X, I'm not sure where ill get it yet. which is inspired by the band three days grace . My faith is huge to me. I am going to be youth leader at Living Hope church, I have younger siblings and I'm going to be a teacher, most likely preschool or kindergarten. I believe that individuality is crucial in our society. We are constantly telling our youth to stand above the crowd and be who they are. By conforming to what conservatives want us to be we would be denying who we are. although most of my tattoos will be easily covered up, I will not be afarid to ware carpi pants or a appropriate length skirt.
For years I have listened to the debate on tattoos, and for years I have heard that anyone that works with children shouldn't have tattoos. This is my life, and this my body. I want to be a good role model, and if I conform Im showing them that they have to be just like everyone else.
 
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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I think people shouldn't judge a persons tattoo's until they understand the reasons behind it.

I see many tattoo's for loved ones who have passed away, and I'm very touched by that. I would like a tattoo myself, but since I plan on being a teacher, the one I would like would be WAY to visible. (And it wouldn't be a memorial).

However, in the memorial stance - People will say: "Surely there are better ways to remember someone?" or "I'm sure those people would be happy to know that."

I would think that the person has done everything possible to remember their loved one, and then some (The tattoo). And if someone put a picture of rememberence of me on their skin; I'd be flattered, and touched.
 

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