Tattoo for male primary School teacher.

(72 Posts)
TheRobsit Sun 10-Feb-13 19:35:37


I am starting a BA in September for Primary Education and am currently in school and was thinking of getting a cross tattoo on my left lower forearm. I already have a tattoo on my left shoulder but obviously that one isn't visible.

I've been thinking about getting this one for a while mainly because I like the look of it and yes I am christian and also my Gran died a few months ago which kind of solidified my thoughts on getting it.

Just wondering what people thought? Do you think its appropriate? It is a small tattoo (maximum 5cm by 3cm) on the inner forearm.

Do you think people would have a proplem with it etc?

(Sorry for all these questions all at once but it is permanent so I want to make sure I make the right choice and dont spoil my career prospects).

Personally, as a mum to a primary school child, I wouldn't give a monkeys uncle as long as you were a great teacher, worked hard at what you did and kept your religious beliefs personal in a secular school.

LynetteScavo Sun 10-Feb-13 19:39:25

I am a tatoo hater.

I would suggest getting it where it won't be seen while you are teaching.

I wouldn't mind if you were my DCs teacher and had a tattoo, though , as long as you were a good teacher.

bamboozled Sun 10-Feb-13 19:43:36

Am an early years teacher - always taught in primary schools, rather than nurseries.
I would say don't. Just being honest but lots of parents take exceptions to the strangest things -
Can you have it somewhere that it would be always covered up while at work, rather than on your forearm?

meditrina Sun 10-Feb-13 19:44:42

Well, I'd generally prefer no tattoos visible in what you are like to wear teaching (which would probably include short sleeves for games, or rolled up for messy).

But the design you describe shouldn't be a show-stopper. The no-nos in a school are anything on face/neck/hands, or anything that includes offensive language or nudity.

missmapp Sun 10-Feb-13 19:47:05

At my school staff are not allowed to have visible tattoos , they have to be covered with a plaster- not sure how common that rule is though .

ravenAK Sun 10-Feb-13 19:57:05

I know lots of teachers with tatts & have one myself. Planning more.

Some schools do expect you to cover them, so you might want to re-think the location unless you'd be happy slapping a plaster on it every day you're likely to roll your sleeves up...

I doubt the school could enforce it as a dress code, but it doesn't help your career in the early stages to give the HT excuses for unreasonable prejudice (mine actually winces if he catches me in my New Rocks before the kids arrive, which I wear if it's rainy or snowy & change out of long before I reach the classroom...)

BabyRoger Sun 10-Feb-13 19:58:41

Wouldn't bother me at all if my child's teacher had a tattoo.

AmberLeaf Sun 10-Feb-13 20:01:45

Wouldn't bother me at all, but it will bother some parents. who have nothing better to do

I think it would be wiser to get one higher up your arm so it can be covered by shorter sleeves.

MaybeOrnot Sun 10-Feb-13 20:03:05

People are selective in their acceptance of tattoos. I'd wait to have it done once you've established yourself,in whatever career you choose.

LegoAcupuncture Sun 10-Feb-13 20:03:07

Wouldn't bother me, as long as you were a decent teacher, that's all that would matter.

bamboostalks Sun 10-Feb-13 20:08:30

Do not get a visible tattoo. It may affect your career.

lalalonglegs Sun 10-Feb-13 20:22:18

You're still at school - is it even legal to get a tattoo? I am a tattoo hater and, while it wouldn't put me off you as a teacher, I would think it was a shame that you had disfigured yourself in this way. You may decide that teaching isn't for you and want to go into a more conservative profession where it would definitely be frowned upon. Don't do it.

Fairylea Sun 10-Feb-13 20:25:29

Wouldn't bother me in the slightest.

In a profession like teaching where your image can actually be slightly alternative and go in your favour I'd go for it.

My dh is covered in tattoos and has never had a problem even in management positions.

I think people are seriously stuck in the dark ages if they think tattoos affect professional advancement so much nowadays. It really is quite a non issue for most employers.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 10-Feb-13 20:27:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lalalonglegs Sun 10-Feb-13 20:33:31

I think you are wrong, Fairylea. I expect your husband is so good at this job that he is promoted despite his tattoos. I have worked in a very liberal profession (journalism) for 20-odd years where visible tattoos would definitely have been problematic and, thinking about it, I can only think of one colleague who had any sort of tattoo at all. I was talking about tattoos a couple of weeks ago with some friends who work in law and banking and they said tattoos would put them off a candidate (they are both high enough up the ladder to be recruiters). Lots of people are like me and hate them and think, rightly or wrongly, that it is a vaguely stupid thing to do.

slambang Sun 10-Feb-13 20:38:46

I've been a primary teacher alongside colleagues with tatoos (and funnily this in no way affected their teaching skills!)

But I'd really (personally) feel a bit uncomfortable about a cross in a very visible body area. Not because I have anything against religious symbols personally, but just remember you'll be teaching children and dealing with parents of all different religions and none. Most people may not be bothered, but some may feel it's a rather blatant sign that you are a member of one particular exclusive 'club' that they are not members of. It may cause some people to feel or to look for favouritsim / hostility / discrmination.

I taught in some very multicultural schools with teachers of various religions. Most found it easier not to advertise their own personal religious beliefs when dealing with families from so many different backgrounds.

Get your tattoo on your bum somewhere else.

NewFerry Sun 10-Feb-13 20:56:11

As a parent I would prefer that my DC teachers do not have visible tattoos in primary school.
I'm trying to articulate why, and I think it's because I really dislike them and would find it difficult to explain to a young child why a teacher that we should both respect would have something which I don't respect, in a way that keeps the child's respect for the teacher but at the same time acknowledges that neither me nor DH like them and we would be unhappy if DC chose to get one when they were older.

I am more relaxed about tattoos on teachers once DC are in secondary school (as mine are). But I do think they give out an unprofessional message especially in a school which has a strict school uniform policy as our faith comp does.

Jenny70 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:10:56

I am not a tattoo lover. So my perspective is from that angle, just so you know.

My DS had an excellent teacher in Yr3 that was covered in tattoos - flames down both his calves, many celtic symbols visible on forearms, and more piercings than me, LOL. His initial appearance did make me double take, but I was more than happy to let him demonstrate his teaching ability, which was incredible. Didn't bother me in the least once I saw he could teach and inspire the kids.

I would say we live in an area without many visible tattoos, certainly most teachers are dressed very conservatively etc. But obviously he got the job, and our quite conservative head teacher obviously didn't discriminate.

But if she had a choice between 2 excellent teachers, would she choose the one which is least likely to be a problem to parents? Probably.

If I was recruiting and interviewing - and I'm not a teacher - and there were two candidates of equal ability, I'd avoid the one with the tattoo of a religious (any religion) symbol. I'd be worried that they would be evangelical about their religion in the workplace.

ravenAK Sun 10-Feb-13 21:11:36

You see I find that quite odd, Newferry.

I really dislike fake tan, & those really long, French polished nails, but it simply wouldn't occur to me that they would cause any adjustment in my level of respect for someone who has them.

It's probably useful for OP to know that there are indeed people out there who think this way though.

aPseudonymToFoolHim Sun 10-Feb-13 21:15:15

tattoo acceptance in the workplace

And I wouldn't have a problem with it

thegreylady Sun 10-Feb-13 21:21:28

I would have it on your upper arm just to be sure.

drjohnsonscat Sun 10-Feb-13 21:22:13

Quite honestly? No, would prefer no tattoos. DN's teacher has v visible tattoos and I don't like it. Of course it doesn't affect her teaching ability in the least but I think teachers do things other than just teach - including model standards of dress and demeanour for most working lives and that's why I'd rather no tattoos. Just my view.

Poffleski Sun 10-Feb-13 21:24:22

Really wouldn't or think anything of seeing a tattoo on a teacher. Only thing that might make me take note is seeing a religious tattoo. As someone else said it might make me think you'd be evangelising in class. To be honest though I would probably catch myself thinking that and tell myself off for being an irrational judge pants.
The fact that you're asking this also suggests that you're not 100% convinced about where to put your tattoo. Could it be worth relocating it if you're desperate for it immediately? Then in a couple f years once you're established and more confident with your choices have an additional piece done?
Good luck with your course.

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 10-Feb-13 21:28:05

I wouldn't like it to be brutally honest. I just don't think my daughters need to see them. My husband has two and I hate them.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 10-Feb-13 21:28:54

Some schools and parents won't care, some will instantly dismiss the idea of you as a teacher. Where I used to work, a man with a tattooed cross would have been seen as scary and linked to the NF by the children.
So, you could choose to have it in a place you could cover, or be prepared to be judged and not employed, or decide that a school with those views was not for you anyway and use your tattoo as a filter. smile

I wouldn't have one personally, but I don't find them offensive on other folk, if that's what they want. If you were my DSs teacher I wouldn't have a problem with it. Some people are very high maintenance though so have it somewhere where they can't moan about it.

WhatKindofFool Sun 10-Feb-13 23:32:57

It could prejudice people against you so I think you would be better having it done somewhere that is easier to cover up.

WhyCatcher Mon 11-Feb-13 08:23:47

wouldn't bother me at all, in fact I would see it as a positive. What would worry me would be the indoctrination of my child in religion - so if that bit is under control, then no worries.

adeucalione Mon 11-Feb-13 08:39:58

Surely the compromise is to have the tattoo you want, but in a less visible location?

Personally I wouldn't do anything that might inhibit my chances of getting a job.

coldcupoftea Mon 11-Feb-13 08:44:53

As a parent I wouldn't have a problem with it. My DD's teacher has a lovely tattoo!

As someone soon to be looking for a job however I would be reluctant to get a tatoo in a visible area, or at least be prepared to always wear long sleeves, if requested by the school.

seeker Mon 11-Feb-13 08:52:37

Don't do it.

Don't have a tattoo of any sort- particularly a "statement" tattoo where it can be seen.

People- the person posting is still at school- we should most certainly not be telling him or her that it would be absolutely fine to have a visible tattoo. Rightly or wrongly, there are people for whom it would make a difference in employment term, and it is very irresponsible for adults to be telling a 17/18 year old anything different.

sue52 Mon 11-Feb-13 14:59:16

You are only 18. Wait a few years or at least until after you have qualified and have gagued the impact a tat will have on your employment prospects. I would not have wanted to see any sort of tatoo on my child's primary school teacher.

noramum Mon 11-Feb-13 15:06:58

I have a tattoo so I can't say I would automatically see a teacher negative wearing one.

But, in most professions, a tattoo should be at a place where it can be hidden easily to avoid confrontations. Mine is at the ankle and if necessary I can wear trousers (which I do most of the time anyway).

I would put it on the upper arm or shoulder if you really want it done.

socharlottet Mon 11-Feb-13 15:12:26

hmm.i wouldn't.Tattoos are still perceived by many as being 'common' and nobody wants a chav teaching their dc

pinkyredrose Mon 11-Feb-13 17:13:51

socharlottet a chav?

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 11-Feb-13 18:35:41

If you want another tattoo why not put it somewhere that isn't on show.

Hopefully you will be a good role-model to your pupils, and surely you wouldn't want any one of them copying you as soon as they are able to.

From a personal point of view, when I see a tattoo on someone they immediately go down in my estimation. My rational for this is a) so many people regret having them done b) they look terrible on old skin (particularly on older females) c) an awful lot of illiterate dorks have them - sorry but true!

lappy Tue 12-Feb-13 22:06:22

My daughters year 2 teacher has bright died orange hair, she rides a massive motorbike and once wheeled it onto the playground for them to see, has tattoos right across her shoulders and arms and is the best teacher ever. Very popular with the kids and parents and was quickly made head of infants after just one year at the school. When her husband had a bad accident all the kids made him get well soon cards and when he recovered he popped in to thank them and bought them chocolates. He was kitted out in his biker gear, many piercings and tattoos a plenty. They loved him and he's since accompanied them on several school trips/residentials. Good to let kids make their own minds up about people I say. They generally won't be put off by tattoos.

Lostonthemoors Tue 12-Feb-13 22:16:01

I wouldn't do it!

Muminwestlondon Wed 13-Feb-13 18:27:57

My daughter had a male TA in reception who has visible tattoos and piercings and no one even mentioned it.

Personally as an atheist, I would judge a teacher with a cross tattoo as a rabid religious freak - frankly unless it is a Christian school I think it is inappropriate where you are likely to teach in a multi faith schools.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 19:02:43

"Good to let kids make their own minds up about people I say. They generally won't be put off by tattoos."

They won't.. But potential employers might be.

socharlottet Wed 13-Feb-13 22:33:47

Pity the kids aren't the ones recruiting then.Just put it somewhere less visible.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 22:50:32

Agreed. But Colonel Bufton-Tufton, won't been Chair of Governors since 1957 won't like it.

seeker Wed 13-Feb-13 22:50:57

Who's been, obviously.

libelulle Wed 13-Feb-13 23:02:15

I wouldn't care about the tattoo per se, though I don't like them. But I would care about the crucifix side of things. Such a big obvious statement about your faith would make me think 'arg, religious nutter'. And I'd prefer not to have one of those teaching my kids. Unreasonable maybe, but that would be my reaction, sorry.

LittlePushka Wed 13-Feb-13 23:02:15

I am not tattooed myself, and I never will be. However, whether my childs teacher is tattoed is completely irrelevant to me as a parent and , frankkly, none of my business! It would not bother me in the least. I would be more bothered by educational establishments who would outwardly teach social and religious tolerance, yet at the same time not practice this by being at best judgemental and at worst discriminatory of its staff(or potential staff).

However, what is more on point though, is that i think if you yourself are questioning the issue, you should wait until you yourself (not me or any of us lot) are genuinely not bothered about what folk think about your tattos....surely only then is it time to get one, anywhere?! Good luck with your course smile

ravenAK Wed 13-Feb-13 23:08:00

You'd have long sleeves on for your interview with Colonel Bufton-Tufton.

(He'll have dismissed you anyway for not being a nice young filly, tbh).

Once you have the job - assuming the interview process doesn't require a strip-search - at some point your sleeves will be rolled up for slooshing around in the sandpit purposes or similar, someone senior will spot the tattoo, & you may be asked to cover it. The sky will not fall in at this point.

But it wouldn't hurt to wait nonetheless...seeker's right that you're quite young to be contemplating a fairly visible tattoo.

jennysnootie Wed 13-Feb-13 23:13:08

I'd have a problem with any religious symbol if it were a secular school. Not a problem with a tattoo per se.

LittlePushka Wed 13-Feb-13 23:40:20

PS It was the tattoo issue I referred to. That it would be a cross and therefore a proclamation of your faith would not trouble me either. I would no more think of you as a religious nutter or unfit to teach my child than I would have a problem with the sight of a sikh with a turban or a jew with a cap delivering any public (or private for that matter) service.

To encourage diversity is to encourage tolerance and acceptance - and that can only be a good thing. smile

DSM Wed 13-Feb-13 23:49:22

How awful that so many of you ate teaching your children to judge by appearances. Bloody disgusting IMO.

DSM Wed 13-Feb-13 23:50:03

Well said littlepushka

Wolfiefan Wed 13-Feb-13 23:53:53

I would not have an issue with this in the slightest.
BUT.. I work in secondary and my school has just issued a dress code for staff that says all tattoos must be covered.
Really can't see the issue. (Unless you have "bollox" across your face!) Tatoos are body ART.

BrittaPerry Thu 14-Feb-13 00:00:57

It's the religious aspect that would make me worried, as a parent. Obviously if people choose to show their religion, then they have weighed that up against the disadvantages. Having a tattoo takes the choice away from you.

I know someone with a big tattoo on her leg (a child friendly one) and she has to wear trousers. She wore leggings once, under a skirt, and got given a verbal warning as the head didn't think it was appropriate wear.

SignoraStronza Thu 14-Feb-13 00:03:20

Wouldn't bother me at all if my child's teacher was tattooed unless it was a shit tattoo

BrittaPerry Thu 14-Feb-13 00:04:37

Jenny - no such thing as a secular state school in the uk. One of the main reasons I home educate. But that is a whole other thread.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 14-Feb-13 00:11:02

Couldn't give a rats arse what tattoos a teacher has as long as they are a good teacher. The best Primary teacher my DC's had was the lady who had a dragon tattoo on her ankle that I loved.

SHE was the most kind, caring teacher in the whole school.

clabsyqueen Thu 14-Feb-13 00:11:24

Britta perry - I'm not sure you're right. I know that unfortunately a broadly Christian collective worship is required on a daily basis in community schools (while perhaps presumed to be secular by most people) however a school with a broad mix of faiths can apply for "determination" which allows them to drop the daily act of collective worship. It's a bit a farce really - someone from SACRE comes along and checks if you can still inspire awe and wonder without referring to God. I honestly don't know where to start with my issues with the whole system...except to say I can see why you home school for this reason

BrittaPerry Thu 14-Feb-13 00:43:00

Ooh, I'd never heard of that...

It isn't the main reason, but I know that the only school offered to DD was catholic, where they were actively leaving non catholics out of major things, and that I went to what my parents thought was a secular school, but had creationists coming in and teaching all their stuff as fact. My parents didn't know as they assumed it was just just the odd prayer in assembly.

AlphaAndEcho Thu 14-Feb-13 01:02:26

If you like it then go for it I am a professional with quite a few visible and no one has ever bat an eyelid at them

CelticPromise Thu 14-Feb-13 07:40:35

My sister is a primary school teacher and has a tattoo on her hand. It hasn't caused her any problems. It wouldn't bother me if a teacher had tattoos, I would probably like it. And I don't think displaying a cross makes you a ' religious freak' either.

atacareercrossroads Thu 14-Feb-13 07:43:09

Wouldn't bother me in the slightest, am mature enough to understand having a tat doesn't automatically make you a rough un!

It wouldn't bother me personally but for your future career success, I agree you should keep tattoos where they are not visible.

Muminwestlondon Thu 14-Feb-13 08:50:56

I am not teaching to "judge by appearance" as DSM claims. My children see people wearing headscarves, turbans and skullcaps and don't think anything of it. We live in an inner city and that is normal. If someone wants to dangle a cross or Star of David around their neck that is up to then. By the way DH has a (male) colleague who wears a very large wooden cross and he was immediately wary because he thought it indicated that the guy was trying to evangelicise everyone - but once he got to know him it seems he just likes wearing it and is a lovely person. I think the point is that some expressions of religious affiliation are seen as "normal" and some come across as if the bearer has something to prove.

OP asked whether having a cross tattooed on their forearm was appropriate for a primary school teacher. While I don't particularly care what body art teachers chose, I would definitely form an opinion of them if it was a cross rather than some other design and I don't think that is the reaction that OP intends.

seeker Thu 14-Feb-13 10:04:47

"How awful that so many of you ate teaching your children to judge by appearances. Bloody disgusting IMO."

What a deeply,deeply stupid thing to say.

libelulle Thu 14-Feb-13 10:34:44

Displaying a cross doesn't make you a religious freak per se, but a large tattoo of one on your arm kind of suggests a certain, erm, form of attachment to your religion. I didn't say I'd rush in and demand they be sacked, but I'd certainly be wary.

As for judging by appearances, DSM, well, let's for the sake of argument assume that the OP wanted a tattoo of a cross on his cheek, and another on his forehead. If you claim you wouldn't judge such a person by their appearance - well, I don't believe you. Though you don't have to be so extreme really, we all make judgements (both positive and negative) based on appearances all the time, and if you think you don't, you are deluded in a minority of one.

TroublesomeEx Thu 14-Feb-13 11:34:41

My tattoo is somewhere that can't be seen by the children. It does mean I have to be careful and can't wear certain clothes.

My tattoo is completely inoffensive, but I don't think it's appropriate to have it on show at school. I have facial piercings too but I remove/have removed them for school.

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Thu 14-Feb-13 11:43:47

Don't do it.

Put it somewhere you can hide it if you must get it.

JenaiMorris Thu 14-Feb-13 11:55:55

Like others I couldn't give a stuff about a teacher having tattoos but I would be a bit hmm about a cross.

jennybeadle Thu 14-Feb-13 12:02:36

Sorry, I meant non-denominational, not secular, but secular was quicker to type. blush

Astelia Thu 14-Feb-13 12:03:36

Same opinion as Tigger here.

My school has a strict dress code (I don't know why they don't just give us a uniform and be done with it TBH), it includes no visible tattoos.

Astelia Thu 14-Feb-13 12:04:10

PS I am writing that as a teacher not a student!

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