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Teachers With Tattoos

Are they really okay?

One of the most talked about topics nowadays is the rise in teachers or people who work in a school having visible tattoos. For years, teachers have decided not to get visible tattoos or tattoos period because it was thought they were setting a bad example for students. 

That's because tattoos are mostly associated with prison and violent gangs. That's not the case. If anything, tattoos started out as a ritual that had many purposes for many reasons. They mostly used as a way to celebrate the coming of age of a man or woman, depending on the culture. Nowadays people get tattoos that mean something to them and most of the time they're pretty harmless. I myself have tattoos, one of them being completely visible. It's just some Hindu writing and a flower mandala to hide some scars from high school. My students ask me about them and I tell them what it is. I've had a few parents asked me about my tattoos instead of being repelled by them. They tell me as long as I do my job, the tattoos don't matter. That gives me great comfort because I plan on getting plenty more in the future and still continue to teach. My administrators have seen my tattoos but they haven't said anything about them and I doubt they will since there's no blood, daggers, skulls, that kind of stuff visibly tattooed on my body. 

Then you have those who aren't fond of tattoos. I'm not talking about my co-workers; a good amount of my co-workers have tattoos. I'm talking about family members. My grandmother hates the fact that I have tattoos. I love getting tattooed and I planned on getting plenty more tattoos. She believes that the body should be clean and pure whereas I think the human body is like a canvas and it should be decorated. When I told my mother about my first tattoo she literally had a breakdown—it was that bad. And she's not happy that I plan to get more either, mainly because it's expensive and she really doesn't see the point of it. 

In a professional sense, the ideal professional was clean-cut and dressed well with no tattoos. But nowadays more and more people are getting tattoos including professionals in high ranking places. Now most of them get them in places you can't see. But I've seen a few that have them on their wrists that are barely visible. More and more teachers are getting tattoos. I work with quite a few teachers who have visible tattoos and guess what, they are some of the best teachers I have ever come across. These teachers know how to teach and actually get their students to listen and do what they need to do. Education is a field that is always changing because the way children learn is always changing. And so we need creative teachers who know how to engage their students. And teachers with tattoos are some of the most creative teachers I have ever met because they know how to think outside the box. 

I'm pretty sure they have gotten crap for having tattoos as have. I was at the gym one day and a couple of old ladies saw my tattoos. They asked me why I got the tattoos. I told them why. Then they proceeded to tell me that I shouldn't have them because I was a girl and a teacher. They also told me I needed to set a good example for my students and I wasn't doing that by not making smart life choices. They noticed my wedding ring and asked how my husband felt about my tattoos. Then I showed him my first tattoo, smiled and said, "You kidding me? He started my tattoos by paying for this one!" They just had a look of sheer horror on their faces and then shut up. 

So it is quite clear that different people have different opinions on the matter. But at the end of the day it doesn't change the fact that I am good at what I do, my students trust me and I can relate to them in a way some people can't.