Disrespectful?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I love seeing former students. It's great being at the mall, grocery store, WalMart, etc and hearing my name being shouted out by one of my kiddos. Anyway, today, I was getting a haircut and saw a student who must be at least a freshman or sophomore. Anyway, he said, "Hey, (insert first name)!" I looked and recognzied him right away, chatted for a second, and thought to myself, "Wait...did he really just call me by my first name???"

    Yes--I always make it a point to let my kids know that my first name isn't Mister. Plus, it says my full name on their report card, so it's not a big secret. I was just blown away that he addressed me by my first name. Is it just me, or was that a little disrespectful? :unsure:
     
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  3. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Can't say if I'd find it disrespectful, but it certainly isn't something I'd ever do!
     
  4. eddygirl

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    I think I would find it disrespectful because I'm old enough to be my students' parent. I'd like to think he wasn't trying to be disrespectful (especially if you had him in class a long time ago), but maybe in the future, you could reply with something like, "Hey buddy, I'm still Mr. 'YoungTeacherGuy' until you're (in college, 21, a parent, etc.)." Make it humorous and hopefully he'll get the idea.
     
  5. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    We have name tags with our first name. And my district email includes my first name. A few students experiment with it. One (18 year old) even called our principal by his first name near the last day of school. I think some kids call adults by their first names in their homes.

    I dont think its disrespectful as long as he obeys school rules while on campus.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    He seemed like he was still as bright as he was in 2nd grade. It's funny--when I see kids as teens, I immediately get a flashback of their little 2nd grade face.

    I guess being called by my first name by a former student threw me off a bit.
     
  7. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I think it's a bit disrespectful.... though I teach high school, so get that age group daily. But it would surprise me too... none of my students, former or current, ever call me by my first name. Some of them have dropped the "Mister", and use only my last name, but I have never heard a kid use my first name to address me. I would be just as surprised as you.
     
  8. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Would not bother me one bit if they called me by their first name.
     
  9. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    I tell my students that they may call me by my first name once they hit 18...interestingly enough, they tell me even then it doesn't feel right. Heck, I even still call my high school geometry teacher Mr. Marshall! :)

    Then again, I ask that my students' parents also address me as Mr. ____________ and I address them as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, etc.

    I feel teaching is a profession and should be afforded the same etiquette. I wouldn't dream of calling my doctor "Eric", nor would I call a local police officer "Steve". It's Dr. _____________ and Officer _________.

    It's respect.
     
  10. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I still feel weird calling my former teachers by their first name. It's just that in my head, they're not Linda, Pat, etc., they're Ms/Mrs X.

    I started observations my 2nd semester in college, and I did my first round at the high school I went to. I walked into the principal's office the first morning and said "Hi Mr X," and he looks at me and says "Oh, you can call me Chris now." I was like a deer in headlights :lol:.

    I don't know. I agree that Mr/Ms/Mrs shows respect, but it doesn't necessarily mean I don't respect them if I don't use it. Then again, these teachers have said to use their first names so I suppose it's different, but I don't respect them any less.
     
  11. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    That's what I do (and was raised to do) use Mr./Mrs. until the person says to use their first name.
     
  12. Ms.SLS

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    I've had high school students who have graduated ask me if they can call me "first name" now. I don't mind, since they're graduated. Some of them do, some of them still call me last name.
     
  13. Pashtun

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    I agree. I often wonder if the reason we are uncomfortable calling our old teachers by their first names is the fact that that is what they wanted us to call them. I suspect it wouldn't be so uncomfortable if the teacher had different expectations.
     
  14. OhThePlaces

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    I'm 29 and still can't imagine calling my childhood teachers by their first name! :lol:
     
  15. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I had a student call me by my first name in a store once and it took me by surprise, but I just said hi back by name, and then mentioned at school that he needed to call me my proper name at school, and that was that. Didn't bother me at all really.
     
  16. FourSquare

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    I don't even call my own colleagues by their first names. I think teachers should be Mr. or Ms. unless you have been invited to say otherwise. I would be very offended to have a student call me by my first name.
     
  17. JustMe

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    I would not have done that (no way!), but I probably wouldn't have felt outright disrespected either.

    But I can understand, though, because I was very bothered last year as a teacher took it upon herself to regularly call me Miss FirstName in front of her students. As in, "Oh class, let's show Miss FirstName our good hallway behavior," or "Class, would you like to show Miss FirstName your butterfly projects?" It was just...odd. I don't care at all for her to call me that away from students. Heck, I wouldn't think much of it if she called me by my first name in front of the students as in, "Oh, FirstName, did you get my email this morning?" What struck me was how she took it upon herself to decide I'd go by my first name with her class. I didn't know if it was because I am much younger than she is or she didn't fully respect me or my position for whatever reason or something else. As the year went by I decided she meant absolutely nothing by it as she was very kind, but at first I was really wondering.

    I'm pretty darn "casual", but as you can see I can also be easily offended. ;)
     
  18. PinkCupcake

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    Me either! In my opinion, it's a respect issue. Yes I know you can call someone by their first name and still show respect. This is just my opinion and also how I was raised.
     
  19. AdamnJakesMommy

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    I'm 28, and whenever I run into former teachers from middle/high school, I still call them "Mr. and Mrs. Soandso." Can't help it. Generally speaking, I gauge it by age. Any teacher in their 50s+ I will call Mr./Mrs. I would say 40+, because I'm still in my 20s, but my husband is 42 and I'd never refer to him in a "respectful" manner, lol. So, pretty much if you are close to me in age, I will call you by your first name. If I feel like you are my elder, I won't. Obviously early 40s I don't consider to be my elder given my marital situation.
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    A few of my former students are now my FB friends. I've told them they are welcome to switch to my first name now that they're graduates. NONE of them have so far, even the ones about to graduate from college. They still see me as a mentor, not a buddy, which I suppose is the way things are supposed to be.
     
  21. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Almost all of my teachers growing up said we could call them by their first names when we were out of that school (out of elementary school, out of middle school, etc.) I wouldn't bat an eye if a former student called me by my first name, especially if they were no longer in elementary. I remember once at a football game my mom ran into two girls she'd had before and they addressed her by her first name. The girls' dad immediately barked at them about how disrespectful they were being and made a huge deal in front of her about how they were ALWAYS to call her Mrs. _____ no matter how old they were. My mom thought the whole thing was awkward and felt embarrassed for the girls that their dad had made a scene about it. Maybe it's regional.

    As for calling teachers that you work with by their last name only, that seems weird to me. I consider all the teachers to be equals and that makes it seem like the teacher saying the last names thinks he/she is somehow not as good as the others. Of course I call them by their last names in front of students.
     
  22. Reality Check

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    Jun 22, 2013

    :down: It's disrespectful.
     
  23. Mr.history

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    Knowing the way teenagers can be, I think he probably did it to be funny or "test the waters" to see how you would react. I could be wrong though, maybe he thought it was ok. To be honest I don't think I would have known any of my elementary teachers first names, and I certainly wouldn't have remembered them in high school.
     
  24. TeacherShelly

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    It only means what you make it mean. If you think it is respectful to use your formal title in every case, then it is, for you. Many people here already know that my everyone at my school is on first name bases.
     
  25. Pashtun

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    Yeah, this is how I view it as well.

    How is that working out at your school? I have always thought that this could make the learning environment a bit more personal and lead to increased effectiveness in the classroom.
     
  26. Croissant

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    I don't think I'd feel comfortable calling my former teachers by their first names. I'm actually friends with a couple of them now, and whenever I can, I avoid using their names at all because I know I should use their first names, and it just feels wrong!

    When I started at my school, I was feeling really self-conscious about being new to the school and a young, first-year teacher. It was a major effort for me to keep in mind that I was the equal (in position and authority, not experience) to my co-workers, and I had to force myself to use their first names. I feel like if I hadn't, I would still feel inferior to them, which wouldn't make for a comfortable working environment. I still call my principal Mrs. Principal, though. She asks us all to call her by her first name, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I hope she understands and isn't offended by it :unsure:
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  27. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I wouldn't be comfortable calling my former teachers by their first names. My first grade teacher was my first principal and all of the other teachers called her by her first name but I still used her last name.
     
  28. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I have juniors and seniors. Once they graduate, it makes no difference to me if they call me by first name or last name or Mrs.Lastname. 99% of the time, when they see me after graduation, I get Mrs.Lastname.
     
  29. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This has me thinking. Tomorrow, a former co-teacher and I are meeting up with a group of students we taught in grade 8; they are now graduating high school. I wonder if any will call us by our first names or stick with Mrs. C and Mr. B (they almost never used our full last names, just our initials).
     
  30. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I think it would be a little bit weird. I know I still can't call my former teachers by their first name!
    I really think it would depend on the individual relationship. With most students, I guess I'd prefer them to still use my last name. With kids I'm more familiar with, it seems silly. I'm very close to one teacher and I had her sons this year. I'd be totally fine with both of them calling me by my first name, but it would probably have to wait a few years since the younger son (going into 3rd) would be at my school for a few more years. Her older son (going into 6th) wouldn't be as big of a deal.
     
  31. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Eons ago when I was subbing I was also babysitting. I babysat for 1 family in particular, usually for overnights. The youngest & I made a deal, she could call me by my first name while I was babysitting & I would call her by her middle name. At school I was Ms. LastName & she would go by her first name. Her parents were trying to decide if they were going to let her use her middle name all the time.

    My parents are friends with a former high school teacher of mine. I can't imagine using his first name. I would still call him Mr. LastName.
     
  32. Ms. I

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    I wouldn't have done it myself & I don't think he should have, but I'm sure he figured, well, I'm not his student anymore, so since I know his first name & we're not even in the school setting, it's OK.

    I live in a neighboring city from the 2 cities I used to work in, so I can't recall a time I ran into any students outside of school...fine with me! With my new job now being in a neighboring COUNTY, I'm sure I really won't run into them!
     
  33. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I would have been unpleasantly surprised by that. I don't believe in calling teachers or people that were adults when I was a child by their first name. When I met my then-boyfriend (now fiance) nephew for the first time, he was instructed to say "Hi Ms. <my first name>"

    My mom's best friends daughter is almost 40 and has two children of her own but she still calls my mother "Ms. <first name>"

    If you don't see this student often I would let it go. If I saw him regularly I might politely correct him. At my first school I called my team leader "Miss Smith" and she said to me, "MRS. Smith". She wasn't nasty about it, but I understood.
     
  34. John Lee

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    It is funny how it now works, when (as teachers) we run into our old teachers still teaching. When I run into my old teachers, I say "Hi Mrs. X". But I can run into a similar aged teacher who I've only known in a professional context, and I'm comfortable calling her by her first name "Hi Mary".

    To answer original question... I think only you can define whether it is disrespectful or not. To me, it sounds disrespectful.
     
  35. TeacherShelly

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    The school has been doing things like this since the progressive era (1970s) and it has been fine. Subs are usually surprised but I ask them to go along with it. They don't always, since some find it really disrespectful.
     
  36. HistTchr

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    There are a few former students who work at my school. One of them still calls me Mr. Lastname just out of habit. Another one has finally started calling me by my first name after about three years of me telling him he could do that. The third teacher started calling me by my first name as soon as he began working in the school. To each their own, I guess!
     
  37. 2ndTimeAround

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    Might it be that he tried calling you by your last name but it didn't catch your ear?

    That happens with me sometimes. If I'm busy with something and my own kids are trying to get my attention I sometimes don't register "Mom." But if they call me by my first name, I snap to attention.
     
  38. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    I would not feel disrespected. I was given my first name for a reason. Everyone calls me that. I can't possibly be offended by someone referring to me by my first name!

    I do not measure respect by how my students address me (Ms. Firstname, Firstname, Ms. Lastname), but by how I am treated.
     
  39. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Ah, I didn't even think of that. It's totally possible. I do the same thing when I go out to the store with my mom. It's better now because I have an adult voice, but when I was a kid/teenager and I'd call out, "Mom" it wasn't uncommon for another woman to answer me :lol: thinking I was her kid.

    My absolute favorite teacher from college is Dr. ____. I love that guy, he rocked! If I saw him, I would probably call out "Dr. ____" and if he didn't hear me, there's a good chance I might say his first name because I liked him that much that I would want to talk to him.

    I also thought that maybe the kid is just doing it because they're excited to be old enough to and the novelty of calling adults by their first name hasn't worn off yet.
     
  40. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Me too! I also remember them by their 2nd grade friends.
     
  41. Bored of Ed

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    I think he might just be in that awkward stage where these things are ambiguous. I STILL have a hard time figuring out what to call certain people since I moved back to the neighborhood where I grew up. I imagine a lot of kids at that age are just testing the waters of emerging adulthood and haven't fully developed a sense of what is appropriate.
     

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