A disturbing trend in our school district

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by schoolteacher, Jun 24, 2010.

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  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jun 24, 2010

    :2up::2up::clap::clap::2up::2up:

    I've never actually jumped up and shouted, "YES!!!!!" to a thread online before. Until this one! I want to print it out and post it on my wall. What is good for students is to see many "types" represented, possibly even their "type," in education. Bravo, John Lee.
     
  2. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    As a very overweight person who has genetic issues that cause my heavy weight, but I am still working on it, I must say that I am deeply hurt and offended by your statement. I am overweight, but am told that I am still very pretty and that I am a great teacher. Overweight people(even extremely overweight people) and those that are of average attractiveness can be and often are incredible teachers. I think you need to do some thinking about that before you type stuff like your "yeesh". I am hoping that you didn't mean this to sound as terrible as it did.

    I do agree that people should have a nice, professional, put together style and not look like they rolled out and came to school in their pajamas. My principal (female)is very big into appreances and wants everyone to look nice at all times.
     
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oh, I dress well. From head to toes...neat hairstyle, fashionable professional dress, fabulous shoes. Groomed neatly, always have my nails done. I present a professional, attractive appearance- a 'brand' if you want to call it that. I do it for myself and am quite aware that appearance sends a 'message'. I AM NOT, however, a BARBIE.
     
  4. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Perhaps this is true at some schools, but I would say it is not true at mine. I feel as though many of the young teachers are attractive, but as PP said, they are probably more confident during their interview.

    It is not as though only one person is on the interviewing committee. For me, round one was the chairperson (male); round 2 was a departmental committee composed of 5 teachers (male and female); and round 3 was the superintendent and director of curriculum (male and female).

    Also just because you are attractive does not mean you are not a good teacher.
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    How do you know that there were average looking applicants that dressed professionally with outstanding credentials? How do you know that good looking teachers didn't have better credentials?
     
  6. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    The original poster is not imagining things. I know a couple of administrators socially who have told me that there are times when they have hired based upon attractiveness of a candidate.

    Age is another barrier I've heard quite a few talk about. Even if an older candidate can come as cheap as a younger candidate, they'll scuttle the older candidate.
     
  7. Southernese

    Southernese Rookie

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    You weren't talking to me, but I want to say that giraffe326 did not say overweight people cannot be attractive. In fact, in each case she mentioned, she said things like "overweight AND unattractive," which shows you that one does not necessarily follow the other.
     
  8. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Ditto here czacza. I'm too short to be a Barbie.

    I'm disappointed with the way some of my colleagues dress. I'm busy working on my school wardrobe this summer because I have a certain image I want to project. I'm one of the older teachers on this forum but it doesn't mean I'm dead, and being blond doesn't make me dumb!
     
  9. Kay75

    Kay75 Rookie

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    Eh, this may come across wrong but it can go both ways. I've felt like my looks have hurt me at interviews for being "too cute" or "petite". That should have nothing to do with how I perform the job-unless my job is lifting heavy items!

    All I am saying is it goes both ways. A former director at my current program made a comment that I may want to cut my hair and wear unattractive clothing to work if hired at the interview. I was wearing very conservative clothes, by the way, and wouldn't think of wearing anything but modest clothing to work. She told me she told all young new hires that. At this same position, it took me a long time to win over a lot of the middle-aged women. We are great friends and colleagues now, but I can still remember feeling left out and sort of resented for being "young and cute" as I heard some of their comments when they thought I wasn't in ear shot. Women will be women, I suppose. Strangely, if you were young, blond, male and scruffy, they fell all over you. What is it with middle aged women and blue eyed male 20 somethings with a little scruff? My mom met some of my male co-workers and fell under the same spell:)
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I need to read through this discussion again because I'm not seeing where blondes were critiqued at all. And attractive people of the education world aren't being criticized either...the possible process by which they were hired is. :confused:

    Again, I don't think attractive equals job offer. Heck, I got a job! :p And in some cases being attractive works against you - "Oh, the middle school boys would be obsessed with her. Next candidate, please." And I do think ageism is an issue. I know older teachers have been passed up because of their age.
     
  11. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    This thread is SO weird. :haha:

    This is the 4th grade interpretation of me:

    [​IMG]

    Am I sexy or what? This is totally why I got a job!
     
  12. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Interesting thread! We had a lot of different candidates to interview, and the ones we coincidentally chose were two really cute fresh from college blondes, and one cute brunette. Last year there were 3 new teachers in first grade at one school. They were all young, blonde, and very attractive! I did kind of think twice on that one.

    That being said, number one our district does lean towards younger candidates because they are trying to save money. Especially at our school, where everyone is getting pretty close to retirement age or has been there for at least 10 years. I actually think it will rejuvenate the school to have some fresh, new ideas.

    I don't remember who posted, but I totally agree with the statement about how we should have every type of person in schools as teachers. It is very important that students be able to connect to their teachers and to present different unique faces.
     
  13. Kay75

    Kay75 Rookie

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    Foursquare, I love the pic! :)
     
  14. eddygirl

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    Great pic, Foursquare...purple hair trumps blonde in your class! LOL!
     
  15. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Jun 25, 2010

    I completely agree with this. There is no way you can tell that those people were not the best for the job.

    Also, keep in mind this is based on one picture, the school picture. Most teachers make an effort to look their best on picture day, just like the kids. They could easily look more "plain jane" every other day
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't feel criticized....I do however think that if you replace the word attractive or blonde or pretty in many of the posts with a word denoting RACE, then we'd have quite a different thread going here...Would someone be so bold as to say they were 'disturbed' by so many African American (or insert any other 'identifying' adjective here) teachers being hired? What if the words were replaced with a religion? sexual orientation?

    One is not defined by their looks. Attractive or not, overweight or trim, blonde or brunette or pink highlighted ;), NONE of that defines who someone is as a person, as a professional educator. Yes, I do believe in putting forth a professional appearance, but even that does not guarantee professional performance. But being 'disturbed' by the demographics of part of a school faculty because they are young and attractive? EEK.:eek: Wondering how this affects some people's interactions with students who may or may not be attractive. It scares me.
     
  17. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2010

    There are all kinds of people in the world. There should be all kinds of people represented among teachers.

    Unfortunately that is not the case, which is why some school districts require a racial balance ratio among their staff. I don't think anyone here would complain if more male teachers were added to elementary school staff. There is certainly not the balance of race or gender that most would desire to see in a staff in many schools. Students deserve to see people of different races, gender and looks in the teaching profession, because students themselves represent different races, gender and looks.

    I believe that the OP's original point was that when the balance is tipped in favor of one part of the population over another, students ultimately lose out from experiencing diversity in their teachers. Diversity brings fresh ideas, different perspectives and cultures into play. It's really a wonderful thing.

    I work at a school with a very racially diverse student population. Our staff is not very racially diverse. I'm sure our students would love to see more diversity among staff members, but schools must choose the best candidates from among the pool of applicants.

    If there were more highly qualified teachers of certain races applying, our school would be required to choose those candidates to balance the staff. This is often not the case, however.

    Discrimination based on looks is a whole different issue. There is a wide diversity of looks in every race or gender. For a school district to choose only those with model type looks says a lot more about the school district than it does about the candidates for the job.
     
  18. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Jun 25, 2010

    What one defines as attractive is subjective; therefore, how can anyone really say that is what the hiring practices are for anyplace?
     
  19. mrs.tt

    mrs.tt Rookie

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    I took a law class a while back, and one day we talked about the fact that attractive people are more likely to be found not guilty. There's something in the psyche that responds positively to attractiveness. I don't think it's fair, but I do think it's true that looks play a role.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    ...and WAAAAAY too intelligent to be a Barbie as well!:p Does anyone remember the talking teacher Barbie who said 'Math is hard'? EEK. :eek:
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    What?! No, I do not recall that Barbie. That's crazy! Insulting!

    But I still don't...well, I just want to emphasize once more that this teacher is not disturbed by the actual attractive teachers but the fact that attractive applicants may have had their appearance tip the scale, so I think it's unfair to show concern about how someone's thoughts on this topic may influence how they interact with students based on their level of attractiveness. This is absolutely not about how the orginal poster or I feel about attractive people...that's so not even part of this discussion. It's about hiring practices. I know I'm being repetitive, but I just don't think we're seeing eye to eye on this and I'm trying to explain myself. :p
     
  22. Cerek

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    I completely agree, JustMe.

    The OP isn't saying (s)he is "disturbed" by the fact these teachers are attractive. She is saying it gives the appearance that if Megan Fox and Sandra Bullock walked into the interview with very similar qualifications and professional attire, Megan would get the job since she is younger and "hotter" looking. This is not about looking and dressing professionally, this is purely about physical looks and, frankly, I'm surprised so many of the women are defending (or perhaps ignoring) the fact the physical attractiveness of the women may have had at least some impact on the hiring process.

    How do we know those women weren't more qualified than the other applicants? Obviously, we don't. But I remember a comment I read in TV Guide about an episode of Battlestar Galactica way back in the 70's. In one episode, they had to train several female crew members to be fighter pilots because of losses they had suffered. EVERY female trainee was an absolute knockout. TV Guide basically said, "While it's possible there could be female fighter pilots in the future, not ALL of them are going to look like models."

    This is the point the OP is addressing.
     
  23. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    But it's not even about a "Megan Fox vs. Sandra Bullock" dynamic, or perverted employers or anything like that. We even had one poster on this thread who said that her district "happened" to hire a number of people recently who were quote-unquote attractive. I'm saying that's not what we should be striving for.

    And I'm not even railing against the "Barbies".

    As said, Barbies are the types who will dress the part, look the part, and conscientiously do things that conform (and therefore appeal to like-minded, inside-the-box employers). And if that's the case, then of course you will get a lot of Barbies being hired. I know a lot of Barbies (teaching Barbies). And honestly: I can describe them all in a paragraph or two. I'm not saying they're shallow; or unintelligent; or not good teachers--I'm saying they are generally the same candidate (and therefore teacher).

    You have to look beyond looks, and even "qualifications", and think of what is best for children to see. Example: I work in the suburbs. I rarely see black men/women teaching. (Sad but true.) Does that mean there are no capable, willing black men/women? No, of course not. So, how great would it be then (given that there are no black teachers)... that a school here hire a black man (or women), and expose the children to that dynamic, give them a strong positive black role model, something they've never gotten.

    If you have candidates who are respectable, work well with others, have a passion for teaching and working with children, and who are different... then I think you should (as an employer) look to add that at your school.
     
  24. mrs.tt

    mrs.tt Rookie

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    It looks like it was a high school student Barbie.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO0cvqT1tAE
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    My sisters and I weren't allowed to have Barbies when we were kids. My mom thought they were inappropriate. I also loved math. I doubt those two facts are related, though. Haha
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  27. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    a teacher barbie who comes with no underwear? sounds like my VP!
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Scary. :eek:
     
  29. ebrillblaiddes

    ebrillblaiddes Companion

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    I got the impression that the OP's impression of the situation was that teachers who aren't highly physically attractive were being excluded from hiring. Would it legitimately bother someone who noticed that teachers who aren't [race/religion/sexual orientation/etc.] were being excluded? I tend to think so, yes.
     
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