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Teaching as a transgender


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#1 caprice

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 14:41

Having recently tried violin as an adult I decided to go back to piano and just retook grade 8 this time getting distinction  :) and continuing through the repertoire like the WTC, Beethoven sonatas and Chopin. My teacher thinks I can definitely start teaching as long as I keep my own playing moving and she'll help with methods etc. It will be alongside my regular job for now at least. Violin has a long way to go before I contemplate teaching it and am not having lessons for it atm.

 

One of my main concerns is I am transgender having started transitioning from male to female. My teacher knows this and thinks some might be put off if they know but likely others just won't care, but she can't say for sure. I still have some 'giveaways', most of all my voice which will be used a lot!, or people might find out from others. I am much happier in my new gender and at a point of no return, but societal attitudes are behind in a lot of cases. Yes I lost some friends (and with it potential recommendations) in transitioning but have gained new ones. Getting my records matching up with new name and so on is my own responsibility.

 

Don't know if anyone here knows such a teacher or any transgenders have made successful jobs as teachers of adults and children. Would anyone be uneasy having their child taught by someone who is transgender (or 'gender confused' depending on your school of thought). Should I come clean if someone asks directly? Do be honest.


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#2 corenfa

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 15:05

Where I grew up (not in this country) one of the secondary schools had a transgender teacher. Don't think there were any problems but I don't know how she felt. She was there for a good few years and may well have retired now. 

 

I don't care what gender any of my teachers are/were. 

 

All the best with starting your teaching practice!


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#3 Norway

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 15:09

Welcome to the forum! I wouldn't try to hide it - just be yourself. Some people may have a problem with it but that's their problem not yours, and society needs to catch up. I knew an ex professional orchestral player once who conducted my amateur orchestra and noone batted an eyelid. Good luck!
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#4 Banjogirl

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 15:27

Congratulations on your new career. I'd echo the other comments. If someone asks just tell them in a businesslike way, but I do think people are generally more accepting these days. My brother in law is somewhat old school in his ideas, but with now two gay nephews who he loves, even he seems to have changed his mind. I know of a transgender teacher who has had no problems. Good luck. Hope you get your first pupils soon!


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#5 BadStrad

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 17:05

I do not know the lady in question personally, but am aware of her through family links. At my nephew's school one of the music teachers has transitioned (male to female). She works both in the school and as a private teacher and is hugely popular. I guess she too has had people be put off, but her GCSE and A level classes are well subscribed (very unusual in this day and age) and her private practice is full too.
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#6 Fazioligirl

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 17:51

Quite frankly I don't think you need to make an issue of it. If someone asks you outright of course be honest but I don't feel you need to point it out to people. It's got nothing to do with you as a teacher and isn't going to affect the way you teach. Just be yourself and don't feel you have to explain or make apologies to people. Plenty of women have deep voices after all! Good luck both with starting your teaching career and with the transitioning-it can't have been an easy decision to have made! And congratulations on getting a Distinction too!
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#7 Tenor Viol

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 19:24

The conductor of a choir I was involved with in the 90s was transgender and no one batted an eyelid. I agree society needs to catch-up, but generally most people won't be bothered and I'd ignore any that are.

 

Good luck.


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#8 Dorcas

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 19:50

What matters it the quality of the teaching.  Everything else is a distraction.  And I don't mean that unkindly.


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#9 BannerdaleMusic

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 19:56

Parents will primarily be interested in your musicianship background and teaching skills.
If anyone just asks be honest and upfront, people are often nosey, and naturally inquisitive but I reckon once an initial flurry of questions has settled, you won't worry about it again.
Also, parents chat to one another in the playground! As recommendations come in from pupils / parents I would think there won't be as many questions as parents will tell prospective friends (not just about transgender - I literally mean about everything.. my pupils parents seem to know all about my house building project, my kids social lives, my holidays etc... and all the good / bad things about my teaching of course :-0 My reputation for having a box of "smelly stickers" is widespread and goes before me! The first question my 5 year olds ask is "Can I smelly sticker? X says you've got a special box!")
Information of any kind about you as a teacher is passed quite naturally like Chinese whispers in the parenting community alongside positive recommendations! And once you've got a few pupils I'm sure you'll get full quite quickly.

I would make sure all your checks are up to date - DBS, maybe join one of the piano teacher's unions, & sort insurances of course and then start to advertise!! Maybe consider doing a post grade 8 - ARSM, DipLcm or similar to keep growing as a pianist yourself.

Oh, and but truck loads of different beginner schemes to work out what you like best, and are familiar with (loads of ideas on the forum.)

All the best of luck in your new career & welcome to the community :-)
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#10 elemimele

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 20:18

It wouldn't worry me in the faintest, either for myself or my child; a teacher's gender status is completely irrelevant - the things I care about are being on the right wavelength, shared outlook on where we're going, professionalism and quality of teaching, communication, all the stuff that will help me or my child learn effectively, and make the experience satisfying for you and me/my child.

My wife, on the other hand, would probably be worried at first, for our child. But she's very straightforward and would ask you to your face, about anything that bothered her. Perhaps this sort of directness might come across as a bit nosey or rude, but actually it's simply open communication. Given an honest and straightforward answer, her worries would evaporate.

Good luck with your future teaching. Really hope it goes well and you collect a nice bunch of pupils to teach.


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#11 A.U.K

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 20:34

I think an open and honest approach to any inquiries will soon put to rest any possible issues..I don't think for a moment it will even register with a child that they would treat you in any other way than they would treat anyone else..Children are remarkably fluid around gender issues. 

 

Parents may have questions which may or may not be acceptable, they cannot cross the lines of basic good manners..you do not have to accept any questions that you feel are too personal. Most sensible people won't bat an eye lid and any that do you can well do without, prejudice breeds prejudice in my experience as a gay man and you do not have to accept anything less than respect. In my opinion you deserve a double helping of respect for sharing your "Truth" allowing yourself to be the person you are.

 

In my live I have known many many transgender people, all male to female and they were without exception the brightest lights in our lives, I wish you happiness in your new journey and the courage to face any adversity with dignity and style. 

 

Kindest regards

 

Andrew


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#12 SheWhoDaresGins

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 20:49

Hi - I am (sadly) sure that there are people who might regard having a transgender teacher as something of a potential issue.  But I wouldn't be uncomfortable in the slightest, as a parent of children learning, or as an adult learner myself. Not at all. 

 

In a music teacher (or any teacher really) all I would be looking for, is someone who is willing to share their hard-earned knowledge, someone who can be patient and supportive enough to teach me (or my kids). 

 

I wish you the best of luck in your new career!


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#13 Banjogirl

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 21:21

When my son was in his children's choir the manager of the choir was gay and his boyfriend came to help out at the odd event. I thought what a long way we have come (finally) that an openly gay man can be in charge of a children's choir and that his boyfriend can help out and that not a single person batted an eyelid.

 

The two girls I childmind have an uncle who is gay. The younger one, aged two, told me about her gay uncle and explained to me that that meant he had a boyfriend and not a wife. I think on the whole the world has largely moved on, thank goodness.


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#14 DMC

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:15

Don't worry about it! You've already done the hard part. Our gender, sexual orientation etc really is nobody's business but our own. 

 

If you already have pre-existing pupils, then I think you may have to accept that, rightly or wrongly, some parents may not be ready to explain to their 9 year old about Mr Caprice becoming Ms Caprice.

 

If on the other hand you're completing the treatment and then beginning teaching, I can't see why it would be an issue at all.


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#15 Aquarelle

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 13:29

Deleted

 


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