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Anxious about being a young Jewish teacher in the Southern US.

I’m a jewish woman, about to be a first year teacher (8th grade science), in a very evangelical city in the south. When i started student teaching at the beginning of last year, I wore a magen david, which my students starting calling a hitler star. one student told me her mom didn’t like Jews so I didn’t wear my magen david for a while after that. Near the end of the year, a student in a club my mentor teacher was hosting said she didn’t have any problem with hitler and that he just wanted to make his country better.

I’m very nervous for this upcoming year. I’m working at the school I student taught at, and I’ll be the only Jewish teacher there. I’m working on the same team as well, and they did lots of dress up and stuff for the holidays that I didn’t participate in previously. I don’t know how to navigate this. Do i get to wear ugly Hanukkah sweaters and do Hanukkah decorations like the other teachers do with Christmas? Is it okay for me to wear my magen david everyday? How openly jewish can I be before it causes an issue?

The main reason i’m worried is because evolution is a part of my curriculum. i’ve been advised to not tell students i’m Jewish because parents will be upset a Jew is teaching their child evolutionary theory.

I’ve been super excited for this year, but thinking about this really stresses me out. A lot of my students last year wanted to know more about Jewish tradition and would ask me questions, but I was always worried a parent would find out and complain. The most i ever did was have a student help me tell the passover story, since the school has a bible history class (although not a christian school) and they had just finished a unit on Exodus.

I’d love to hear from some jewish teachers or those who work with Jewish teachers!

submitted by /u/maddiewithluv
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Source: Reditt

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