While we’ve seen librarians and scientists with tattoos, there is still a bit of a stigma against teachers coming into school with full sleeves of ink. Most K-12 teachers have to hide their tattoos, but college students seem to prefer it when their professors have them. A study by Brookdale Community College in New Jersey found that undergraduates tended to believe that potential teachers with tattoos would motivate them more and give them more creative assignments. Even without taking classes from the tattooee, the students were more likely to recommend the subject as an instructor. As these students grow older and have kids of their own, maybe we’ll start to see more tattooed kindergarten teachers bearing their ink proudly.
1. Teacher From the Black Lagoon
Beware ill-educated, co-ed swimmers: This monster is ready to make sure you sit down and learn! For some, this threat is far more terrifying than the idea of being ripped apart. While I can’t tell you who bears this great work, I do know it is being done (it's not yet complete in this image) by Mez Love of Tattoo Boogaloo in San Francisco.
2. Darwin Kong
Both Chris and his wife teach science in eastern Massachusetts, and in each of their classrooms, they hang this New Yorker cartoon. As such, it was particularly fitting for Chris to get this design tattooed on his leg. He really likes the cartoon because he sees it as “the establishment trying to destroy Darwin for the same reason it destroyed Kong: it just didn’t understand him.”
3. Preschool Teacher
Perhaps there would be fewer stigmas against teacher tattoos if the artwork was all as adorable as Leslie Duss' ink, who proudly celebrates her role as a pre-school teacher with this cute, sketch-like design.
Hannah Rosa teaches science in Central London and was one of 100 people who agreed to tattoo a drawing by Jai Redman of a rare or endangered British animal as part of the Ext-inked Project. Hannah’s particular endangered species under the project is the narrow bordered bee hawk-moth, a unique insect that mimics the look of the bumblebee for its own protection. Before working as a teacher, Hannah worked with endangered species during college, and for this reason, she felt that participating in the Ext-inked project would allow her to serve as “a life-long ambassador so that I can educate others about the impacts of climate change and other human activities, which are threatening hundreds of species in the UK alone.”
5. The Quadratic Formula
Flickr user Azchael met the bearer of this tattoo at a summer festival in 2008. The girl with the tattoo is an elementary school teacher who has to cover up her tattoo while at work. She quickly pointed out that her students would hardly recognize the quadratic formula anyway—it's a little too advanced for the young children she teaches.
Flickr user Bart Heird spotted this tattoo at the Chicago Comic Con, and upon talking to the woman with the artwork, he found out that the piece was particularly fitting as she was an art teacher.
There are surprisingly few pictures of tattooed teachers online, but we can change that! If you’re a teacher and you have any interesting ink, post a picture or a link in the comments. Maybe we can start the first real definitive collection of teacher tattoos.