Able to teach?

Submitted by Anon on 22 October, 2006 - 5:20

Can a Teaching Assistant carry out her job in the classroom whilst wearing a niqab? Being prepared to take it off when no male is present does not resolve the issue. Men work in schools.

A TA can quell unruly behaviour with a raised eyebrow or a pursed lip. A student gets a clear message from facial expressions. They get reassurance that, though we don’t approve of what they just did, we don’t think they are nasty people. You can’t do that without showing your face.

Children learn with their whole bodies. We are role models. We must not teach students that women’s bodies are shameful, or that men’s opinions of our bodies matter.

Schools must be secular, and mixed. The curriculum must be comprehensive; teaching young people to question and criticise everything; enabling them to see everything. If we cannot allow them to see the female face, what hope is there for the curriculum?

A teaching assistant

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