I was openly out with my students in years past. I could trust my students. They had a lot more maturity and were much more open minded.
Then, the students who came to me as 9th graders were a lot less mature and that immaturity lead to them being more judgmental and critical. It lead to them seeming more close-minded about certain aspects. So, that left me with keeping my business to myself, no matter how relevant it may or may not be to the lesson.
When I came back to the classroom this fall, I knew that some students, again, could handle things about me and others could not. One of my classes knows that I am not Christian and my gods are not their gods; in this class, one of my students describes herself as atheist. In my other class, there are students who are much less mature and likely would not be able to handle certain things about me. I am not at all closeted- I wear two Mjolnirs and a Pentacle daily. I will happily describe myself as “polytheist”- completely true. I’m not worried to say, “I’m not Christian.” By the specific details…could lead to the wrong inference by some.
So, I don’t share. Even when it would be semi-relevant, like while we were reading The Crucible. Even though I included the following slide for discussion:
One of those students is highly observant and put 1 + 1 + 1 together to equal my teacher is a Witch.
He came to me yesterday morning, before class started, and asked point-blank: “Are you a Witch?”
I was not expecting the question.
“What makes you think that?”
“You wear that star everyday. That is a Witch’s star. So are you a Witch?”
“My religion is not Christian, no. And there is a reason why I dress up in the same costume every year for Halloween?”
“So you are a Witch?”
“What do you think?”
“The reason why I don’t tell everyone is because some people think that Witches are evil. You’ve known me before you knew my religion. Do you think I’m evil?”
“Please get your bellringer done before the timer goes off.”