I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled postings relating to Induction/Institute to solicit some comments from current corps members and alums that relate to expressing yourself in the workplace. I have small, not very noticeable tattoos (back of neck & inner wrist), as well as a few piercings (three in one ear & four in the other, and a very very tiny nose stud). Anyway, I’m wondering what you’ve had to deal with in terms of removing piercing(s), having to cover up a tattoo, etc. I know it depends on the region as well as the individual school. For example, back in Detroit (my hometown as well as my placement area), it has been my experience that most schools don’t seem to allow much individuality with their teachers’ style of dress or body modification. However, in nearby Ann Arbor, MI (where I went to college) and in Seattle (where I live now) it’s not uncommon to see a teacher proudly display their body art. I’m hoping that my school allows people to be themselves (within reason, of course. It’s not like I would ever expect things like miniskirts, assless chaps, or spandex to be allowed). I actually dress pretty conservatively, in and out of the workplace.
My piercings/tattoos are so small that they aren’t a distraction anyway; most people don’t even notice them. I also wear a silver ring on almost every finger; though this is not body modification it may not be acceptable at my school. I’ll be very annoyed if I have to remove my stuff, but I’ll deal with it. After all, it’s not about me. It’s about the kiddos. I’m just saying that I can work just as hard to close the Achievement Gap with my nose stud as I can without it. Having a body without holes or ink has nothing to do with whether or not you will be an effective teacher and impact your students.
For anyone who has any experiences to share, please do so in the Comments section. Thank you, and please excuse the lack of cohesion in this post. I’m typing exactly what I am thinking and I’m not really bothering to edit it so it will flow better or make more sense.