Divorce?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by tralynnie, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. tralynnie

    tralynnie New Member

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    Dec 11, 2008

    Hey fellow teachers!

    I am really unsure what to do. I am 22, and have been married for 2.5 years. I am in the process of getting divorced. I am going to be going back to my maiden name. This will probably be legally official in January.

    I teach students who are from Kindergarten through 8th grade, all in one very small building (total school size: 150).

    I am not really sure what to do. I want to go back to my maiden name sooooooon! But I am afraid that it will be hard on the kids. Do I need to wait till the end of the year?
     
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  3. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Dec 11, 2008

    This is what my former principal did. For a year on all official things she put her maiden name as her middle name. IE Lisa Smith Jones. Then the next year just dropped the old married name and just went by Lisa Smith. If that is too complicated just wait until the end of the year but do expect it to take awhile for everyone to get used to the new name.
     
  4. tralynnie

    tralynnie New Member

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    Dec 11, 2008

    I think my biggest problem is that this is my first year teaching, so it seems crazy to go sooooo long and wait. Like, these kids have only known me for a few months? I don't know. I just don't want to seem unprofessional in what I do? Or something?
     
  5. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Dec 11, 2008

    Do it right away! Explain to the children WHEN they ask about your name change. From your post, you want to change SOON, so get it done AND the children will just have to live with it. You're doing it for yourself, not for them. If it means making you happier and not being reminded about your divorce; and all the negative vibes, by hanging unto an ex's last name, THEN change it ASAP.

    Rebel1
     
  6. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Dec 11, 2008

    How willing are you to share your reason for changing your name - especially to the younger children?
     
  7. tralynnie

    tralynnie New Member

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    Dec 11, 2008

    That's what I'm a bit tentative about. I don't know how to do it most appropriately.

    In the morning, I am a Title Teacher K-8.. in the afternoon, I'm an aide in 2nd grade.

    I don't know what the best approach is, but I suppose I am willing to do whatever is most appropriate.
     
  8. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

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    Dec 12, 2008

    I would try to start changing it now. The older kids will understand and will eventually get used to it. At my little sister's middle school the music teacher got married and the kids remembered pretty quick to call by the new name. Maybe you could tell the little ones that your new name is the same name as your parents (whether it is or not) and you'd rather them call you that. I'm sure as young as 2nd grade would even understand the divorce thing. Don't have to go into a lot of detail. Maybe you could make a game out of it.
     
  9. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Dec 12, 2008

    Do what makes you happy.

    That said, every teacher I know who got divorced in the middle of the year kept their married name until the next school year. I don't know all of their individual reasons, but I do know that a friend in the same situation just felt that it would be easier for the office staff to deal with (mailboxes, sign-in sheets, class rosters, etc., and less intrusive when dealing with current year parents and students.

    Then again, it just wasn't that big a deal to her. However, she's not you.
     
  10. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2008

    You don't have to make a lengthy explanation. Kids are flexible, they'll adjust.

    After Christmas holidays are over tell them you've divorced and you wanted your old name back.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I would wait until next year.
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I would wait.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I'd probably wait till a new yr starts & just like any other personal questions students may ask me, I'll say reply w/ just enough, but I don't owe them a lengthy explanation.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I kinda like the both names idea. That gives the kids transition time, while at the same time allowing them, and you, to use your maiden name. Also, saying two names just gets tedious, and most people will probably start dropping the married name in short order.
     
  15. tralynnie

    tralynnie New Member

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    Dec 17, 2008

    I thought about using both names.. but my maiden name is really complicated.. 12 letters long, etc. So there's NO way to really have the kids use both. I'm going to be Ms. G anyway once i changed it. No way they'll be able to pronounce my maiden. And my married is very easy to say. I think I'll probably just keep the married till the end of the year. I may not be back at this school next year anyway..
     
  16. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Dec 17, 2008

    first off I am soo sorry to hear about the divorce. I hope you and your husband worked to ment this(Although I do not know the situation). That said, I would do whatever makes you happy.
     
  17. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Dec 17, 2008

    I got married last year and wasn't planning on changing my name with my students (my email is still my maiden name). I did have to change my documents with the district so I received mail under both names. My sub for the two days I took off after my wedding took it upon herself to explain that my name had changed and what I should be called now. She also had my name changed on my door (paper sign). It sucked because I wasn't use to it yet and I came back to a flood of questions. I would do whatever makes you comfortable, kids will understand.
     
  18. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Dec 17, 2008

    So were you mad at the sub? As a sub,I would never take on myself to tell the kids your name changed unless you asked me too.
     
  19. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Yeah, you think? I was surprised, but as the year progressed she proved to be less and less reliable.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Well, you absolutely should do whatever it is that makes you the most comfortable. I didn't restore my maiden name because I have kids and I wanted us to all have the same last name. Even if that wasn't the case, I still wouldn't have done it because my maiden name is very easy to do bad things with when you're a 7th grade boy...
     
  21. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    Dec 17, 2008

    Change it whenever you want. When I was student teaching in 1st grade my supervising teacher eloped suddenly over spring break. She came back and just told the kids to start using her new name. It took probably a couple weeks for them to use it consistently, but it wasn't a big deal.
     
  22. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    Dec 17, 2008

    A teacher at my school did this last year. To be honest, she just said, "Well, now you call me Ms. This instead of That". They had no problem with it. Kids need honesty from the adults around them that they trust. Also, consider those kids who may have divorced/divorcing parents. It may really help them to see you getting through it.
     
  23. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2008

    I agree. They may ask at first but then they will think nothing of it. I wouldn't keep my married name if I were divorced. Give the kids some credit. Really, it isn't a big deal to the kids.
     
  24. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Dec 19, 2008

    I think I would wait as well. It might be hard for some kiddos to swallow and it will bring up lots of questions from some age groups... I like the idea of starting to incorporate your maiden name into whatever you write etc.
     
  25. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Dec 20, 2008

    I agree with hoot - just tell them and change it, they will get it. imagine if you were getting married, you would want to change it right away - right? so go for it is my advice
     
  26. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    Dec 21, 2008

    You work with all grades? So I'm assuming the kids you are working with now will see you again next year? If that is the case then I don't see a difference between changing it now or later... eventually the deed needs to be done and if they're going to ask questions now then they will probably still ask them later.

    What is the school like? Are many kids from divorced families? If so they probably won't be phased by it at all. The majority of my class consists of either divorced parents, missing dads, siblings with different parents etc etc... so any kind of issue is very non-chalant, if you will. Perhaps this will be too. And if not, maybe that one kid who has divorced parents will not feel so alone anymore since there is someone he can relate to?

    If you're concerned with being professional then I'd say run it by your principal and do what s/he thinks. And if the name bothers you that much, then change it now because like I said, its now or later.. but eventually it needs to get done. Just be tactful when explaining it and be honest.
     
  27. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Dec 21, 2008

    Change it when you're comfortable. I think I would be more worried about the students wanting to know why, in which case, you can simply say "I've had a change in my life that's personal to me."

    This year my students got to meet my boyfriend, who's planning on being a teacher as well, and since then (they know we have plans to get married eventually) they've been asking to call me by HIS last name. While cute for about 3 seconds, it's been annoying ever since--- even to the point of where the guidance counselor came to talk to me privately about telling the kids that I was planning to elope! I had NEVER told them any silly idea like that, it's something they've been spreading and since they then decided to tell their parents, I'm keeping my mouth shut about my relationship.

    Our kids have a very odd sense about us--- we're teachers, which means we do everything in teacher style 24/7. One of my kids was sitting in my best friend at school's room and the other teacher and I were chatting about our cats and family one day. The student was surprised that we seemed so "normal" to just sit around and chat about "normal" stuff. So having a life changing event, like a divorce, may be shocker to your students, but I'm sure they'll respect your choice to change your name, even if you don't share the details why. :)
     
  28. alielizadubois

    alielizadubois Companion

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    Dec 21, 2008

    I think its ok to change the name.

    My class and I (I teach children in grades 3-5) recently had a discussion about divorce because a couple of my students' parents are divorced.

    We just talked about how sometimes moms and dads don't stay together. We talked about how every family is different and unique, made up of different people (one parents, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, etc.) Our class does not only have children with divorced parents, but some of my kids' families have been separated and pulled apart by immigration. (90% of my children are immigrants, I teach ESL).

    I think its perfectly appropriate to be down to earth with the kids. In fact, some of them may even be able to better identify and connect with you.
     
  29. 773 Miles Away

    773 Miles Away Comrade

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    I so agree! I feel as though the kids handle the concept of husbands/wives better than girlfriends and boyfriends. Spouses are nothing special to them.. but girlfriends/boyfriends are something to giggle/laugh/and gossip about. I am in a serious relationship, but I make note to never bring him up in school. In fact, I received flowers on the first day of school and I immediately realized it would be wiser to just tell the class the flowers were from my next door neighbor and her daughter.

    Reason why... they saw the flowers and immediately started to laugh and giggle... "oooooooh are those from your boooyyyyfriend" ... and I just thought.. ya know, I'm not even gonna go there.
     

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