By phalangesenfuego - 10/03/2016 14:07 - United States - Yakima
phalangesenfuego tells us more.
OP here. Just to clarify, I'm not offended that people mistake me for a lesbian. What bothered me was the assumption was made based on what I feel are stereotypes of what a lesbian should be (single and childless). I do support ALL my students with whatever they come to me with, be it family issues, bullying problems, etc, and I feel privileged they feel comfortable enough to come to me with these things they are struggling with. And thank you for all the positive comments. Sometimes teaching is a thankless job, and positive support is few and far between.
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Doesn't sound like you're childless to me. Seems like you've acted as a mother to several of these students who felt more comfortable talking to you than their own families. Good on you, OP! Teens and young adults need more understanding and less being told what is and isn't right. Keep it up!
Lesbehonest, this is a great chance to give advice to the next generation!
19, not really. I teach high school and I'm female, single, childless, and almost 40. It's very difficult for a lot of my students (hell, even for a lot of adults) to understand that a woman may choose to remain single and childless past the age of 25. When students find out I'm unmarried, they almost immediately assume it's because I'm a lesbian. This happens to a lot of single, female teachers I know, but rarely to the male teachers of the same age and marital status. I have a lot of theories about why this is, but part of it is also that I'm older than a lot of my students' parents and a lot of them have single mothers (not to mention some of them are already parents).
I didn't know there was a requirement of children by a certain age to prove your sexuality. Learning new things everyday...
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Use "Ms." Instead of Mrs. so people don't know. If they question you, tell them it's not appropriate. However, if people feel comfortable doing this it just means you're a great teacher :)
Your students feel comfortable reaching out to you. I think that is a great quality to have as a teacher. Who cares what they think
At least they are comfortable telling you. If you weren't somewhat approachable even if you *were* a confirmed lesbian they wouldn't come out to you. Depending on your environment (both at home and with your peers) it can be pretty damn hard to admit that sort of thing to anyone due fear of possible backlash (hell-in my area the discrimination can get pretty horrendous). Coming to terms with it in a bad environment can be more than enough to induce a nervous breakdown, especially in a teenager. Just do the best you can to mentor these kids as best you can through what can be a pretty trying self-realizations. Also don't let other people's assumptions get you down. You are who you are. There's no shame in being whatever age, not married, and no kids. You don't have to go to any lengths to convince anyone of anything.