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Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Diddysan, Mar 25, 2012.
Is this a joke?
I'm a male who has had long hair throughout my teaching career of 15 years. Having that appearance has without doubt cost me job opportunities, even when for one specialist post I was the only candidate. My present head teacher told me she thought twice about employing me because of my hair length and needed a promise i'd tie it up whilst working. Out of respect for her honesty, I actually cut it back to my shoulders.
Question is, why is hair such a prejudicial issue for men within a school environment, especially when women I work with have long untied hair which does not seem to bring the slightest objection. Is it that SMT's are of a certain generation/background with set ideas or expectation? I'd be interested to know what it is you immediately think when you see a photo of a male with long hair applying for a post or turn up for interview.
International school leaders (and international schools by extension) tend to be on the conservative side. If there is a UK influence this will also contribute to an expectation of male teachers maintaining a professional appearance in dress and grooming (no extreme hairstyles).
Like it or not, there are mainstream gender expectations for grooming and dress. You may as well ask why school employers might object to female teachers shaving their heads bald, or you teaching in a dress.
I have to ask, why is maintaining your long hair such a point of contention for you (to the detriment of your career)? I too had long hair when I was much younger and felt quite strongly about it. Then one day I just stopped liking it. I now have a conservative faux hawk style that I can spike/glue up or down as the occasion/setting warrants.
Mate, move to British Columbia, Canada, where you can wear your hair long, your nose pierced, and your tattoos with pride. What do any of these things have to do with your ability to teach? Absolutely nothing.
I used to have long hair and a nose ring. Mind you, at that time I wasn't a teacher, I was an aircraft engineer. Now I'm just old :-(