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Odd question about hair...

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Sparks1007, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. I know this sounds odd and maybe a little OTT but...

    I am a female teacher who is extremely professional. I dress well and very smartly for work and I go out of my way to be a good role model to pupils etc. However, I have short dark hair with a couple of bits of unconventional colour in it. Nothing too mental and they just show through under my hair. I could get rid in preparation for an interview coming up but would rather not unless this may put potential employers off. Opinions? I work at a conservative/strict comprehensive and nobody there has so much as raised an eyebrow over my hair - most SMT who have noticed have complemented me on it.

    I know this is a ridiculously silly post given the gravity of some of the others on here but I do worry about people jumping to conclusions. Anyone come across this before?
     
  2. I know this sounds odd and maybe a little OTT but...

    I am a female teacher who is extremely professional. I dress well and very smartly for work and I go out of my way to be a good role model to pupils etc. However, I have short dark hair with a couple of bits of unconventional colour in it. Nothing too mental and they just show through under my hair. I could get rid in preparation for an interview coming up but would rather not unless this may put potential employers off. Opinions? I work at a conservative/strict comprehensive and nobody there has so much as raised an eyebrow over my hair - most SMT who have noticed have complemented me on it.

    I know this is a ridiculously silly post given the gravity of some of the others on here but I do worry about people jumping to conclusions. Anyone come across this before?
     
  3. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    First let me say that my personal views about hair are that people should be allowed to do just about whatever with their hair, so long as hygiene is good, there are no safety hazards, and it's not so radical as to be a distraction in the classroom. Unusual cuts/colors may present challenges to the wearer in terms of establishing their professionalism to students, parents and colleagues, but so long as the person is capable of meeting those challenges, it's a personal decision and none of my business. In an interview, I expect all candidates to prove their professional merits, hair or no hair, so it wouldn't be a factor for me.
    But your question isn't about whether I approve of your haircut. It's about your chances in all sorts of interviews, and in that case I recommend returning to a more usual color, and not going back to the more unusual ones until you have spent some time in the new position and understand the lay of the land. People do judge based on appearance, and if a conservative interviewer can't get past your hair, you might miss out on a job. And while one could remark "well, then, is that really a post you would want, where they judge you like that?", I get the feeling from your post that you would value the job over the hair.
     
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    As usual, some sensible advice from gulfgolf.
    Certainly in the ME, some conservative parents would not be too happy about their children being taught by teachers with what they would regard as strange hairstyles. This attitude, right or wrong, is probably going to rub off onto some headteachers. Best to err on the side of caution, I think.
     
  5. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Wise answers to this thread. It doesn't really matter what the HT or your colleagues think of your funky hair. It doesn't even matter what the parents think to your hair. What matters is what the HT think that parents MIGHT think to your hair. And with that, it's your judgement call: if you're by far and away the outstanding/inside candidate, then I imagine it wouldn't make a difference. But it's something that allows them to differentiate between you and another candidate of a similar standing, then that would be a bit naff.

    A similar thread came up a few months ago on another forum. Many people vociferously defending their rights to dress as they please and how it doesn't make a difference to the job. In most cases, hair and dress perhaps doesn't. But that isn't the point here. It's what the people that could be employing you think that influential parents MIGHT think. Caution for now, and then as you like later.
     
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    About a decade ago, a chap turned up for interview for a maths job at my school ( Independent boarding school in the UK ). He automatically rules himself out of the job by how he looked.
    His crime was wearing white socks and having long hair.
    To a certain extent, international schools behave as independent schools. My experience has been that the further north you go, the more relaxed they are. The further south, the more traditional the expectation of teachers and the more traditional the expectation of attire and presentation.
     
  7. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    I'm a male teacher with long hair and have just had a trim to shoulder length out of respect to the head who has recently appointed me, I guess following the first question I was asked during our telephone interview: 'will you tie your hair up when you teach?' She admitted to me that she nearly did not contact me because of my hair, and to be honest I rather appreciated her honesty regarding that.
    Now, no-one likes prejudice, and I could tell you a few tales of some i've encountered, but if the post is an important one for you, a slight adjustment to one's integrity may always be advisable. Hair after all reflects the person we are, and should never be considered an obstacle in any sane place of work, as long as it is clean and maintained, but sadly too many are influened by anything out of the ordinary.
    Am wondering how my ear-ring will go down tomorrow. [​IMG]


     
  8. tuanjim

    tuanjim New commenter

    An' I be wonderin' bout the parrot.
    Capn Ananias Tuanjim
    X His Mark (in Tressermay or 'owever the 'ell ye spell it)
     
  9. afterdark

    afterdark Occasional commenter

    When teaching abroad "normal" rules do not necessarily apply.
    Other cultures as sometimes like the UK before 1960's where it was seen as perfectly reasonable to say things liek "get that nasty mop cut". I worked with colleagues who were asked to shave off moustaches and facial hair in the 70's.
    In the middle east facial hair is seen by many as a sign of manhood.
    The only dying of hair that is acceptable is grecian 2000 esque stuff on grey hair.
    They can also insist on wearing a shirt and tie whilst on duty outside even though it reaches 50 deg C.
     
  10. Thanks all. You've all confirmed what I already knew - as you say afterdark, the norms in overseas schools are sometimes very different to those at home. As others have said, the job far outweighs my "I'm an adult, I've done my time at school and I'm well able to teach no matter what my hair colour/piercing/tattoo" attitude. It's my dream job. Small price to pay.
     
  11. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    In a previous school a group of support staff (quasi educational specialists - in that they were there as specialists but knew sweet fa about education) came in for a week. One wore a rasta style hair-do and non comformist clothing (he came from London). He was asked (ordered) to change his clothes on the first day on the understanding he would not be allowed in school on day 2 if he didn't sort himself out.
    Needless to say; the company sending this guy were never used again.
     
  12. Do you think this extends to men regarding facial hair? Along with the big scientific and religious debates regarding how the world was formed, I have often wondered 'when does stubble become a beard?'. I have a bit of 'designer stubble' although it is mainly used because when I do actually shave I can often get mistaken for a pupil (I am 28),but I never know whether to shave for interviews or indeed let my stubble become a beard, and if anyone asks I would just say 'this is my beard, it is definitely not stubble'. To shave or not to shave?
     
  13. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    My experience on this has been as follows:
    Most schools, beard or clean shaven is fine, stubble is frowned upon.
    In the Middle East, beard is the norm, clean shaven is unusual.

     
  14. ImmodestyBlaise

    ImmodestyBlaise New commenter

    I can't let this thread die without picking up on the white socks. WHITE SOCKS!!!? If we tolerate this what next? Socks with sandles?
     

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