Question for fellow Queer elementary teachers

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Jammy, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. Jammy

    Jammy Rookie

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    How often does your sexual orientation come up while on the job? I know young children sometimes will ask questions like if you are married or not and we don't have to answer them but sometimes I'm worried about it potentially being a problem with parents and maybe even faculty.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Never in 27 years has anyone asked me about my sexual orientation. I have been asked if I was married or if I had kids. I either answer yes or no, and that’s it.

    I have taught with teachers of all orientations over the years, and it has only ever been known if they talked about it. I work in a small, rural school in a conservative area, but sexual orientation has never appeared to be an issue.
     
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  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I think that sexual orientation tends to be well contained by most teachers I know. It is only shared with those they trust. I worked at a school that was well staffed with those who preferred same sex partners, and some were open about it, while others would only share that if they trusted you. When my son was in school, there were teachers who were (correctly) assumed to prefer same sex partners, but because they were excellent teachers, no one said a word. They didn't share the information with students or parents, and everyone was happy with the arrangement. I don't see any reason for your sexual orientation to come up, nor do I see any reason to get into any conversation that would force you to engage that conversation. If the day comes that you are openly gay, and you don't care who cares, well, judge carefully, then do as your heart demands.
     
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  5. Jammy

    Jammy Rookie

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    Thank you everyone who responded. I appreciate the feedback :blush:
     
  6. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I get asked all the time if I'm married. When I go to after school meet ups with my coworkers we all bring our spouses. If I was gay I'm pretty sure they would know the first time I showed up with a dude to one of those get togethers.

    I teach middle school. My students ask me all the time if I'm married, have kids, what my spouse does ect. My wife also works for the school system so they know her, but if she didn't I would tell them about her because students want to know who their teachers are. If your in some super conservative area where you would get fired for being gay (or a religious school) then obviously don't say anything but I don't think where I'm at anyone would care if you talk about your life the same way they do. I work in a school with mostly women, as one of like 3 male teachers I overhear way worse things about their personal life in the hallway than one of them being gay.
     
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  7. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Working with lower elementary I am very seldom asked by students if I'm married or have a boyfriend. Young kids tend to still be more in the stage of imagining that their teacher lives in the classroom and doesn't have a life outside of school. However, I do know many married teachers that will talk about their family life with students and I have wondered if gay teachers feel the need to hide that. For example, my friend who teaches K will often write something about her husband during shared writing time- "Mr. K teacher and I went to the movies this weekend," etc.

    We've had an openly lesbian teacher for the past several years. She was very open with all staff from the beginning- she's married and has had children since joining our staff. It's never been an issue, but that may be regional. Here, if anyone were to make comments or complaints it would reflect poorly on the complainer, but in my hometown I could see things still being different. She used to be on my close friend's team (switched jobs) and I remember her saying that she'd asked them her first year if anyone on staff was going to have an issue with her being pregnant. She had a shower at work just like everyone else. I'm not sure what she told students.
     
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  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 4, 2019

    I guess it does depend on the school climate. At one school I worked several years ago at I was really good friends with a male gay teacher. He said the thing that bothered him the most was not being able to share the good things about his relationship with others like the hetero teachers could. No family pics on his desk, no stories to tell about favorite activities, didn't feel comfortable bringing his partner to school events. He was so careful about keeping his relationship private that I think I was the only teacher in the school who knew about it.

    We kept in touch after we both left the school. He is now married to that same partner, working in a much more open environment, and is much happier.
     
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  9. Jammy

    Jammy Rookie

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    I didn't expect more people to respond to this so I appreciate it very much. Thank you everyone :blush:

    I live in a liberal region and although I don't expect to encounter any prejudice I know it can still occur which, worries me. Also, as @swansong1 mentioned, students even in elementary school do sometimes want to know their teachers or it isn't uncommon for teachers to occasionally share about their personal lives to students. It made me sad to think that I would have to hide a lot of my life or even worse accidentally slip up and mention a gf during class. I guess I'll just have to be careful and really get to know the school I'll be working at. Thanks again everyone!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have a picture of my DSS and his partner on my wall. Sometimes kids ask about them. Nobody has ever said anything negative about it.
     
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  11. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    At the high school I left last year to pursue my current VP role, I think pretty much everyone knew that I'm a gay male. I've never had any real issues with it. To be honest, my religion trends to stir more conversation of either variety than sexual preferences. I am curious now how it may or if it will be noted this year.
     
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  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I am an extremely private person. If I talk to anyone about my personal life, then that means I trust them very much. My partner does come down to my school pretty often, though--whether it's to drop off lunch or to help me step up for an event. He jokes that he performs unpaid hard labor on the days off from his "real" job.
     
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  13. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Don't feel bad, mine does too. I make* him fix odds and ends things around work that the special ones at work can't be bothered to get done. More often than not, I ask him to bring me a change of clothes I've forgotten or something of that nature.


    *By make I mean I ask very nicely and try to bribe him
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    If I could be so bold, is the term queer preferred over the term gay? This is strictly asking because of circumstances within my own family, and I had assumed the gay was the norm, while queer was often associated with insulting name calling. Since I could be way off and wrong, I hope that this isn't insulting anyone, and that the OP will not think I am trying to hijack the thread. Accept my thanks ahead of time.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I think the younger generation is using the word queer.

    I’ve never used that word and I certainly wouldn’t use it to describe myself. I’m gay.
     
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  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    After I read the above post I wrote, I realized that I’m definitely getting older (referring to people in their teens and 20s as the “younger generation”).
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Things go full circle, don't they? I am old enough to have a teacher son, so old enough to remember queer as being the ultimate insult one could hurl at someone else. Most of my friends who are in same sex relationships refer to themselves as gay, but I thought that I should ask. Since I have many gay friends, I assumed I was addressing them correctly if the term came up, but the title of the thread gave me pause and reason to question my thinking.
     
  18. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I teach in a very liberal state but at my school I did not know of any teachers who were out. I interviewed at a school earlier in the year and did not accept the job. I heard that the teacher from last year quit in November which is why they filled the job with a coach and are hiring for next year.

    I recently learned that the teacher who quit was a strong teacher with 10 years of experience. She was married to a woman and the kids found out. (I'm not sure if they found out or if she told them.) Regardless, the students bullied the teacher and were beyond disrespectful to her (yelling at her not to touch them, etc.) I am SO glad I did not accept a job at this school & I'm shocked that this kind of thing happened in my area.

    I think you should be able to share things about your personal life that someone who is heterosexual would share with their students. However, for your best interest, you might want to get a better understanding of the school culture, etc. before you do.
     
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  19. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    I think ytg nailed it: if I'm not mistaken, teens/20-somethings tend to use 'queer' as though perhaps it's more inclusive than 'gay'. I'm old enough as well to remember when queer was the insult to hurl if you were trying to start a fight. Personally I don't have a true opinion either way, it is what it is.
     
  20. Jammy

    Jammy Rookie

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    It is up to the individual to decide how they want to label themselves. I'm well aware of the controversy over using this word and in fact I don't use it myself. There just isn't a good catch all term to refer to non straight people. I was going to write "fellow LGBT teachers" but my question was about sexual orientation specifically and I thought "LGB teachers" might have been confusing and there's also the whole thing of some people preferring "pansexual" over "bisexual" so I settled for the word "queer". I'll add that in my own personal experience I've never heard that word be used as an insult since it's used in academic settings now so it does appear to be a generational difference. I'm sorry if I offended others for using it I don't know how to edit my title.
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Don't apologize - as I said, my question has to do with situations within my own family, and I realize there are generation gaps and different usage of the term. I am only seeking more understanding, not wanting to insult or disparage in any way. I'm a science teacher, and I believe we are all wired the way we are before birth, but science teachers are sticklers for correctly using the right terms in the right situations. I thank everyone for broader definitions.
     
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  22. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    And sticklers for chasing curiosities but that's another story, I think.
     

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