Teachers, and the People They Are

October 29, 2007 at 10:42 am 1 comment

Something struck me the other day.

Once you become a teacher, you’re a TEACHER, and your life stops being your own. You’re like a politician. You’re a public figure.

If you like to spend your weekends at the mall in safety-pinned-together black clothing and dramatic monochromatic makeup… you can’t do that if you’re a teacher. How could you?

In some communities – maybe most – a teacher would have to think twice about attending a rally or marching in a parade. If you’re a teacher in a really conservative state, you wouldn’t want to ride the local Democrat’s float. You wouldn’t want to be on the street corner holding up a sign decrying or promoting anything controversial – and what uncontroversial things are worth rallying and protesting for?

DR told me about how she once went to the fair and had a single plastic cup of beer, and about all the guff she got from her students the next day. That’s a single beer in the hands of a responsible, non-driving, of-age adult.

And then there’s another part of that issue, something that came up in my “Teachers and the Law” seminar a few years ago. It’s the whole “teachers promoting various things” question – more specifically, religion.

It’s cool for a student to wear a religious symbol, for instance, and it’s cool for a student to decline to do the Pledge. But teachers are on stage – all eyes are on teacher – and if the teacher doesn’t do the Pledge, or wears a crucifix, isn’t it arguable that he or she is trying to push an agenda? That through example, the teacher is promoting something?

I’ve been looking around the teachers at CHS, and haven’t seen a single cross necklace.

So my question is… can you? Is it a bad idea? Legally, I’m fairly certain a teacher has the right to wear a cross – but then again, parents have a legal right to complain, and in a right-to-work state, the school has the right to show you the door. In my state I have a hard time imagining a problem with Christian symbology, but other states are more fussy about these things…

And I guess the other question, the personal question, is are you ready for this?

Because I kind of like being who I am. And “who I am” isn’t always 100% teacherly. Not in the most extreme of ways, but I do like to wear funky clothes on a weekend. Things like that.




Catching Up, Part 1 Starting a Classroom Library

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. mrs t  |  November 15, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    I also like being who I am and sometimes that means I dress kind of funky. I know exactly what you mean about teachers pushing an “agenda”- parents will complain about anything and everything. I don’t think we can be completely sterile and not stand for anything- what would our students learn from that?


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

I am striving to maintain anonymity on this blog so that I may more freely interact with my fellow edubloggers. If you know who I am, please help me protect my anonymity in your comments. I use pseudonyms or initials for everyone I write about to preserve their anonymity as well.

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