Worried About Being a Gay Teacher

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    Jan 06, 2010 6:39 AM GMT
    Hey everybody,

    So I'm finishing up my last year of college, which means I have to start student teaching. I'm feeling an insane amount of confusion as to whether or not I want to be a teacher; however, I'll just post the one concerning being a homo. I'm usually really open about my sexuality, and I've been out at every job I've ever had. With being a teacher, I feel like it isn't a "problem" once, but every year since I am always getting new students. Another thing I'm worried about is I really enjoy the gay life; I have accounts on gay.com and manhunt.net and I enjoy going on there, chatting with guys, and sometimes meeting up, etc (I'm sure you all know what it's like). Whenever I think about being a teacher, I get claustrophobic and being gay is adding to that.

    So does anybody have any experience with gay teachers / is one? Sorry for the verbose post, but teachers are long winded :p
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    Jan 06, 2010 6:46 AM GMT
    Nah, don't apologize...

    I can say that you will always have the possibility of parents unfairly lashing out at you.. or students, depending on what grade you are teaching. Hopefully you have a thick skin by now.

    The confidence you exude is what people will see, the more unsure of yourself you are, the easier it is for that class clown's comment to ruin your week... If you're that funny, relatable, confident teacher - well even the kids will be able to look past whatever else you are.

    Cool is cool to a kid... regardless. The less you have to hide in front of the kids, the more they will want to be your friend, the more you will be able to reach them. icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 06, 2010 2:47 PM GMT
    I guess it all depends how mature your students (and co-workers!) are... I teach mostly post-grad students, so it hasn't been much of a problem to be pretty open, and in fact can sometimes be sort of positive - as it makes you a lot more human and approachable, rather than just the guy in front of the class. And I wouldn't really like to be anything else.

    What might be helpful, is to contact your union or similar LGBT support group. In the UK and for universities, that would be UCU - check out http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=1939 for some good resources, or http://www.schools-out.org.uk/ for more school specific information. Hope that helps :-)
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    Jan 06, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    I am studying to be a teacher and I hope it goes well. I dont know why i need a job in teaching because I have my own business and I suppose I am just studying so I have something to fall back on. I think I do need advice on it though.
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    Jan 06, 2010 4:29 PM GMT
    Don't have any nude pics on the net. Most schools will not allow their teachers to have any nude pics on the net.
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    Jan 06, 2010 4:39 PM GMT
    RipTide saidHey everybody,

    So I'm finishing up my last year of college, which means I have to start student teaching. I'm feeling an insane amount of confusion as to whether or not I want to be a teacher; however, I'll just post the one concerning being a homo. I'm usually really open about my sexuality, and I've been out at every job I've ever had. With being a teacher, I feel like it isn't a "problem" once, but every year since I am always getting new students. Another thing I'm worried about is I really enjoy the gay life; I have accounts on gay.com and manhunt.net and I enjoy going on there, chatting with guys, and sometimes meeting up, etc (I'm sure you all know what it's like). Whenever I think about being a teacher, I get claustrophobic and being gay is adding to that.

    So does anybody have any experience with gay teachers / is one? Sorry for the verbose post, but teachers are long winded :p


    Take the high road. Lead by example.
  • tbone25

    Posts: 144

    Jan 06, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    I think you have received some good advice... depending on the state/school district some places have morality clauses in contracts... I know it sounds archaic, but when i was teaching public school in PA, I had taken a night/summer job bartending at a really classy bar and was always a little nervous because it ultimately went against our "morality" clause (living up to the standards of morality of the community) in the contract, but no one in recent history was ever fired for breaching that clause, but even straight friends who were living together could have lost their job... I'll say it again... I know this sounds crazy... but the truth is that if they wanted to enact that clause they could.

    So I agree with whoever said, be careful about what type of picture or info you put out there as public. Probably not a good idea to post a face pic along side of a dick pic or probably not want to post your school photo right above where you list your length and girth. If you attract guys through that info... put that up without face pics under a different name.

    As far as the students go, not everyone will agree with me, but ultimately you are not there to discuss your life. You are there to teach history or math or English or whatever.... I was not out/am not out, but when I was teaching a lot of the kids wanted to know things about my personal life. On a Monday Morning... "did you get drunk this weekend?" "Do you have a girlfriend?" that type of crap. I'd usually respond with asking them... did you ask every teacher those questions? They don't ask the older ones that type of stuff. and I'd remind them that teaching isn't about me, but about them and about learning and just refocus them.

    I didn't think I needed to be an example of a gay/bi guy for them to understand tolerance. I did teach tolerance through classroom management... you'll have the opportunities. When something prejudiced was said about anything, I'd call them out on it. Once an anti-semetic slur came out of the mouth of one of my students and I flipped out on him... He asked me .. why are you a jew? I responded, "No, I'm not, but when you say that type of thing it is hurtful and I will call out anyone who is being hurtful... I also pointed out that some day he will say something like that in the wrong place and get his ass kicked... Either he can take my advice or not and face the consequences.... I'll never know but part of me hopes he had his ass kicked... lol..

    Good luck!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jan 06, 2010 4:54 PM GMT
    I have several friends who are gay teachers. I don't see a problem as long as, like any job, you leave your personal life at home and out of the classroom.
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    Jan 06, 2010 4:58 PM GMT
    i've come across several gay teachers both in my student's life and my professional life.
    in school, students knew about most of them , what with being in a small town and people "talking". But it was never a big issue . They taught till they retired and
    never had a hard time over being gay. One of them in particular was such a fem , yet very extroverted and students enjoyed his classes.

    I teach privately which is a totally different ball game. Parents know i'm gay , pretty sure of that though i don't advertise it. But you know, no wife, no kids... goes to gym..lol.It has never ever been a problem with the parents, and i teach a lot of boys from age 6 to 18 . It's all about professionalism and reputation.

  • Melos

    Posts: 264

    Jan 06, 2010 5:00 PM GMT
    G_Force saidDon't have any nude pics on the net. Most schools will not allow their teachers to have any nude pics on the net.


    Yup, there was a post on here not too long ago about a teacher being fired because some students found pictures of his butt online.

    Granted this is a bit extreme compared to just having an account on places like gay.com


    http://famewatcher.com/2009/09/sam-handley-british-male-model-teacher.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2010 5:36 PM GMT
    I used to date a guy who was student teaching so we talked a lot about this. At the risk of sounding cliche, just be yourself. A straight teacher would never introduce him/herself as straight to the class so I don't think its an appropriate venue to flat out say, "I'm gay." I had a lesbian teacher who simply had a small rainbow flag in a little stand on the corner of her desk by her computer. She also had a picture of her and her partner on her desk. I think those were perfect ways of subtly announcing to us that she was gay.

    As far as manhunt and gay.com go, you're gonna have to decide how important those are to you. I suppose if you're careful, nothing might go wrong, but its risky. I could see you online, a student sees your profile and either tells the whole school you go to gay hookup websites, or tries to act on it. Either way you would be facing termination, or worse if the kid finds a way to turn it into sexual misconduct. Were it me, I'd delete my profiles on those websites and stick to good old fashioned dude cruising at bars.

    Sounds like you're not sure if this is what you want to do. I'd really think about it. Its a tiring profession, but also very rewarding. Sure you'll be teaching but ultimately you'll be acting as a role model for these kids, which is a lot of responsibility. I'd make sure you're ready to accept that kind of responsibility before taking the plunge.
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    Jan 06, 2010 5:44 PM GMT
    First off, as a person who's in the public eye, you CANNOT have any pictures up that show anything X-rated. I disagree about having an account, I think you can have an account, and just keep things G, or at least PG13 rated. When you join certain careers, you lose certain rights (the right to privacy and free speech being the top two popping into my head).

    But, more importantly is your choice. Have you done student teaching yet? Do you like it? My partner has his education degree along with a degree in math. He realized when he was being a student-teacher that he hated it. He's now working in a profession that he loves making more money than if he would have been a teacher. Make sure you know what you want.
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    Jan 06, 2010 6:16 PM GMT
    Never forget, whoring around is for Senators, Presidents, and Congressmen, and not regular gay teachers.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 06, 2010 6:24 PM GMT
    Usually I'll say You're a gay man and who you are at work and what you do in your private life really is of no concern to anyone but you

    But when you're a teacher there are some things that come into play
    Yes, we've come along way but there are still places where discrimination can rear its ugly head ... and teaching is one of them
    The armed services is the other

    Some districts are very progressive and would never give you a problem DEPENDING in where you are
    check for termination clauses
    check for morality clauses
    get a feeling for the atmosphere of where you are working
    People usually cannot hide there prejudicial stripes
    If they're a bigot they are a bigot in every sense of the word

    ALSO .... and this might be very important
    The kids
    If they are Middle or High School age you need to be careful there too
    Younger kids are usually open to everything but there are LOTS of knuckle draggers out there and young boys especially use the gay minority as a virtual punching bag to puff themselves up
    If kids like this get wind of a teacher being gay they might make your life miserable
  • dwk1984

    Posts: 19

    Jan 06, 2010 6:37 PM GMT
    I'm a gay teacher, and I don't have a problem with it. I don't tell my kids that I'm gay, but I don't deny it either. If somebody asks me if I am gay (and it has happened on more than one occasion), I tend to ask them what difference it makes because I'm still their teacher. They tend to drop the conversation there. One kid I don't teach was asking because she said it would be 'cool' if I was, and I told her she could believe whatever she wanted to - her friend that was with her said it didn't matter and that what mattered is that I am a good teacher, nothing else.

    The only thing that was weird to me was going to the bar and running into former students. I don't go often as there are only 2 bars in this city, and I have seen them on a number of occasions. Even then, I just say hi if they notice me, and continue with my night. I don't approach them - cause who would want their teacher coming up to them at the bar? Creepy. You just have to be aware that no matter where you are, you have to keep your teacher image intact. So, if you often go out and get shit-faced drunk, you may have to change that, in addition to keeping shirtless pics, etc. off of certain sites if you fear students finding your profile.

    At the school I teach at, there are 3 gay teachers, and it doesn't seem to be an issue. Students will ask questions about your life because they like you, and want to get to know you. You are the judge of how much you want to share with them. If someone asks you if you are gay, you have to look at the student, and decide why they are asking you the question. Sometimes they may be confused themselves, so they are looking for someone that has been through a similar situation and can help them.

    I don't think there is much more I can share with you at this point in time, but if you have any further questions, hit me up.
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    Jan 06, 2010 6:45 PM GMT
    I agree with some of the guys above,

    Be careful with the management of your public & online self - keep it PG rated. Having taught adults & senior secondary students myself then its worth managing these things- my students would google, bebo or facebook search me all the time. Ive even been invited to parties by some of my students. Professionalism & good judgement is the key here.

    Its important to be yourself, as others have mentioned students will pick up on who you are whether you are gay/straight, beautiful/ugly lol. Its part of being human to assess those things.

    Remember cool is cool man! Kids love that more than anything. Be genuine & fair & they will respect you gay or not.

    icon_biggrin.gif


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    Jan 07, 2010 5:06 AM GMT
    I was a teacher for six years. I did my job, and kept to myself. I had no problems out of parents or kids.

    On the other hand, they replaced me with another gay teacher. He had the hardest year, and was fired at the end of the first semester. The parents complained about the school letting "just anybody teach" and didn't want their sons in his class. It was rough. I felt bad for him, and hopes that he finds another school district.