As Movember draws to a close, I wanted to use the opportunity to reflect on the month. Not only has it been a month of laughs, connectedness, unity as a band of mo-growers, and community – as you have offered us support as the hair on our faces has grown steadily more silly. We have also had an impact.
Students have stopped to ask the question “why are you doing this?” It gave us an opportunity to talk about men’s health. As a younger man growing up, men’s health just was not discussed. Creating an opportunity for discussion and dialogue is powerful, it allows young men in our community to ask questions in an open environment and reflect on the fact that they are not invincible (as so many young men think they are).
Secondly, it has provided an opportunity (as pointed out by a student last week) for us to demonstrate the skill of not taking ourselves too seriously. Vanity is a curse. It is a curse that is witnessed daily in our modern-day society. Modelling that vanity is not the driving force allows us to humanise and demonstrate other ways of living our lives.
Thirdly, it has allowed us a deeper inside experience of how difficult it can be to live in a society where visually, you are different. The students selected my moustache. It is not what one might usually see in society. When I was shopping in Mercadona 2 weeks ago a lady actually walked into a stack of shelves because she was staring. Imagine if this is something that you experience daily. The experience develops empathy, it provides an opportunity to talk about the way society is, to help our students to reflect on their own inquisitive nature and where it is and is not perhaps appropriate.
Finally, it has allowed us to fundraise for an important cause. So I wish to thank you all for your support, your daily support at the gate, your financial support. Whilst this has been a bit of fun, it has also been a wonderful learning opportunity.
After 9 years without shaving, and after receiving an invitation from my fellow teachers, I decided to join the SIS Mo Bro’s to raise awareness about men’s health. The biggest challenge for me has been remembering how to use a razor again! I am very happy because it has given me the opportunity to have conversations with parents, teachers and students about why I am supporting Movember, and hopefully raised some money along the way. An extra benefit has been the bonds that have been created with students, I’ve never been in so many selfies!
Over the years I have always wanted to take part in Movember but never had the courage to do so, or just didn’t have any friends or colleagues who wanted to join me, so when asked if I would join the SIS Mo Bros I jumped at the chance! During these weeks I have really enjoyed the experience, even the funny or strange comments and looks, because it opened up the opportunity for me to share and inform others, both adults and students, about men’s health. The comradery has allowed me to get to know and connect with fellow teachers, this has been especially important to me as I’m new at SIS. I am extremely thankful for the sense of community here and hope we have achieved our goal in raising awareness and funds for men’s health.
For the last few years, I have supported (and laughed at!) my workmates trying to grow moustaches. This year I decided to join in and help to raise awareness and money for this great charity.
For as long as I’ve been able, I’ve taken pride in the elegant plumage that is facial hair. How fortunate we are that our follicles frame our smiles. But there is a deadly stigma around men’s health that festers within that same pride. Many men hold a fear of vulnerability in the many forms vulnerability must take for us to truly live in this world. Movember strikes at the root of two of them: vulnerability in dignity and in health. It is not in my own Mo’ that the first fear is confronted, it is in the community of the wild and zany Mo’s that are donned by colleagues braver than myself. The second, that of health is a challenge that must be addressed by a community that is both of and beyond the men in our lives. We embrace that challenge in the same way we have embraced each other in the last few weeks of this month: with a smile.
I only grow facial hair once a year and to do this for charity makes it a fun and worthwhile experience. Movember is a time of thinking of others and all proceeds raised go to a great cause. It was great to have the students of the school involved in voting for their favourite moustache for each teacher to grow and sculpt. I have to say, I am extremely happy with my trucker moustache and am thinking of keeping it forever.
Being part of the Movember SIS Team experience this year has been great on a number of levels. I have taken part in Movember in the past, but this is the first time I´ve been part of a team. The raising of awareness of men´s health, and the ability to talk about it openly over comparisons of who has the best “tash” are really important. Also being part of a concerted team effort is something we strive as teachers to promote to our students, so hopefully our modelling this behaviour has other less visible benefits. Finally, just having a chance to emulate one of my guitar musical heroes, with a Zappa Tash is not without its benefits 😉