Tattooed teachers leave their mark on students


Katherine Lundquist

Above is Josh Fishers Fish tattoo which is a memorial of his late father, he also has a pheasant feather on his arm to honor him. Fisher and his father spent “most of the time we spent together ,especially in my adult life, was fishing,” said Fisher.

Katherine Lundquist, Staff Writer

In the past there has been stigma around people with tattoos, from sailors to gangs to people who were considered rough around the edges. However, as tattoos become more common, they are appearing everywhere, from the your best friend to the teacher the front of the room.

Despite this past concern over the years tattoos have become more welcome in the workplace. “School districts want to attract and retain the best talent and the best teachers that they can, limiting that because of tattoos or a way a person looks, are not the qualities that determine if someone is going to be a good teacher or not,” said Joshua Fisher, a South historyteacher sporting numerous tattoos. “I think recognizing that is why the stigma has faded away because there is a lot of us that have shown up and shown that we can teach and that doesn’t matter is we have a big colorful tattoos on our arm.”

Photography and Design teacher Corbin Doty thinks that tattoos have become more mainstream and common. “I think a few years ago for someone like a teacher to show a tattoo would be considered really unprofessional but now there are teachers with tattoos are their arms, it’s not as big of a deal.”  

Fisher has three tattoos, one on his back that “represents my political philosophy and also the overlap or intersection that has within the sense of patriotism so that, I respect my county and I like where I am from but understand that there is a lot of problems and sort of try to push back against the system.” The pheasant feather and the fish tattoo on his arm is a memorial to Fisher’s dad.

Doty only has one tattoo of a crow. Inspired by his bike trip from Minneapolis to New York City in fifteen days all by himself. “Because I had so much time by myself, so much time to think I started to pay attention to what birds were doing especially all the crows that feast on road kill on the highways and I thought how it was really cool how they hunt in groups.” Once Doty got to New York he found the first tattoo shop and got his first tattoo on his stomach.

Tattoos are a conversation starter and a way to connect with teachers and students. “I think helps students humanize me in a way. It does give us something to talk about and a way to form that relationship,” said Fisher.

Sophomore Eamonn Briem has found that when a teacher has a tattoo, his relationship is improved with that teacher, because they have common interests. “On the first day of school, I noticed their tattoos and I tell them that my dad is a tattoo artist,” said Briem. “We have conversations about it and [with] chatty teachers like Doty you sit down and have a forty minute conversations about it.”

In Fishers experience  “Students will ask questions about it or they are interested in when I was getting my arm done, kind of following the progress as it went thought getting the outline and the color done, kind of ask about that,” said Fisher. “It did create a distraction and it added to opportunities to converse with students and relate to them and tell them stories and they share stories back, it helps build those relationships.”

Tattoos can also impact the relationship of teachers with other staff members. “With other staff there are certainly staff who are older or don’t have tattoos and are curious about them and kind of inquire not just why I got the designs that I did but why I got the tattoos to begin with,” said Doty.

“With teachers who also have their own tattoos it kind of creates that bond like we can talk about the process and ideas for new ones and it gives us something it connect on,” said Doty. “Most of the interactions around it are positive and helps strengthen relationships.”