Teachers Flashing Tattoos

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Dear Dr. Spilchuk 
/ Online Consultant, ISR

tiger-tatto84314753Dear Barbara,
 As a teacher of many years’ experience overseas, I have recently noticed a tendency for NQTs to arrive at a new posting flashing tattoos, nose rings and several ear piercings. They seem astonished when told that school rules require them to cover up and remove such studs. This year one young woman was very unpleasant about it and took every opportunity to ignore admin rules and display her tattoos as boldly as possible. In many countries, students and parents react to tattoos with horror as a sign of low social status or membership in some sort of triad. A number of my colleagues feel that tattoos and nose rings have no place in an international school – especially as rules forbid students from having them. Parents have complained that tattooed teachers are bad role models. I agree.

QSI schools prohibit hiring smokers — Will there be a need for school to ask if applicants have visible tattoos and nose rings in the future? What do other teachers and administrators feel, and how do they deal with this issue?

Hello ISR Fan,
I believe that we can all make personal choices for our makeup, jewelry and body art on our own time and in appropriate places. However, within schools, particularly International Schools, teachers need to set a higher standard than what may be acceptable for students. Teacher body jewelry and body art that has the potential to distract students from focusing on learning is just not in good taste and in many cultures, it is deemed highly inappropriate. My suggestion to teachers is for them to share this type of jewelry/art in more private locations.

Best,
Dr. Barbara Spilchuk / Online Consultant, ISR

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