How do you prefer to be addressed by parents?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by IEDUK8, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2011

    Hello all,

    Seeing as I'm new, I do hope you'll forgive if this has been asked before. :)

    I'm wondering how do you prefer to have your students' parents refer to you?

    Do you mind/prefer if they call you by your first name? ("Sarah") Or do you prefer to be called by your surname (e.g., "Mrs. Jones")

    Personally, I always sign any correspondence (newsletters, emails, etc.) with "Mr. ____________".

    Even when parents email me and start it off with "Ted", I politely ask them to refer to me as Mr. ____________ and they usually do.

    But then I feel like I'm being too stuffy... or perhaps THEY think I'm being too stuffy.

    In my eyes, I'm trying to maintain a professional relationship; in the past, when I've gone by "Ted", the line gets blurred and they begin to consider me more a friend, than their child's teacher.

    So, I'm asking you... my colleagues. What are your views?

    (Again, if this has been asked, I'd appreciate any link to the thread so I can read the messages! :) )
     
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  3. GAteacher87

    GAteacher87 Companion

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    That's tough! I haven't had this issue yet, as I'm a first-year teacher. While I student taught, I called parents and just referred to myself as Ms. ______. I agree that your approach is a good one, but to be quite honest with you, I don't know if I'd feel comfortable correcting the parents if they did refer to me by first name. That may just be a personal thing, though, that I have to overcome. I agree with you that it's important not to let the line get blurry!
     
  4. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I call all parents and coworkers Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss and their last name, and so far, all of my students' parents and my coworkers have done the same. Around here, it's pretty much cultural - children don't generally call adults by their first names. We also use ma'am and sir a lot (including me!).
     
  5. Opal

    Opal Companion

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    If a parent wants to call me by my first name, I do not correct them. I still address them as Mr. or Ms. ___________.

    As a parent, I would not call my child's teacher by her first name in the presence of said child. I want to keep that level of respect high, for the sake of the teacher, my child, and our school. My kids will be attending my school this year, and I am sure I will be friendly with their teachers.

    Regardless of how the parents address me, I will always sign any and all correspondence as Mrs. B.
     
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  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Many of my parents call me by my first name, because many of them have known me since I was born. It's always somewhat awkward and humorous to listen to them try to say Mrs. kcjo...
     
  7. History79

    History79 Rookie

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    As I am still in college getting my teaching degree I can't comment as a colleague, but I never knew my teachers first name in school. I'm sure it was available to me but we always called them Mr. or Miss "Name". I think if you don't put your first name on notes sent home they will have to call you Mr. or Miss.
     
  8. iloveschool

    iloveschool Companion

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    I teach in a small school. I also graduated from the same school. Many of my parents know me from school. I do not correct them because we were friends previous to me being a teacher. They do call me Mrs. _____ infront of their children.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    When I leave messages for parents, I leave my first and last name on the recording. I leave it up to the individual parent and his / her comfort level. Since I need the partnership of the parents, I have no problem with their calling me by my first name.
     
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  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I started my career with another teacher with the same last name, so I went my Miss First Last.

    I still do most of the time. I work where I grew up and currently live. Many of the parents knew me before I was a teacher. Sometimes they call me by my first name. That's fine with me.
     
  11. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    I am called by my first name most of the time by parents. If they call me Ms... I have no issue. If they call me by my first name I have no issue.
     
  12. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I don't care what they call me as long as it's not a word that would violate FCC regulations if it were said over the airwaves.

    I generally use first names. Nearly half the parents on my class list have different names than their kid, so if I were to try and use formal titles, I'd probably get beat up for calling some poor woman by the name of her hated ex husband.

    One thing that was weird though. A while back, I was called Mr. _____ by the parent of a former student from three years back. What made it weird was that it was in a social situation completely unrelated to the school - a group bike ride.
     
  13. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I would never correct a parent for using my first name, but I've never had one do it either. I always refer to the parents as Mr. or Ms.Whatever.

    What's weird for me is when former students (long graduated) call me by my first name! LOL. I don't correct them, but inwardly I wish they would still call me Ms. --- The only exception is for the handful that I now teach with. I don't have a problem if *they* call me by my first name. It's silly, I know...
     
  14. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I would prefer being referred to by my first name (although it doesnt happen alot).

    I always refer to parents as Mr. or Mrs......

    In fact I'd like if I couold get my students to call me Ms. firstname (but I don't feel like I can because school are bent toward last names.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is what I do as well. Most parents address me by the same nickname that my students use. I can't think of a time when one called my by my first name, but I would be fine with it if they did.
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I usually refer to parents as "Kim's mom" or whatever. I realize that it's not the most formal way to address a person, but it works. Most of my students have last names different from their parents and it's hard for me to keep track.

    I don't mind if my former students call me by my first name, but it is a little strange. One of my former students works at Michael's where my husband placed a framing order. When he went to pick it up, she recognized him and asked, "How's Caesar (but my real name)?" He told me about it when he came home and we both thought it was funny because she never calls me by my first name when we get together for coffee or anything. I'm going to her wedding in a few months and I wonder what she'll call me then. :p Another former student of mine and his sister and I went out for hookah and he called me Mrs. (nickname) the whole time, and that was pretty funny too. Here we are sharing a hookah pipe and being grown-ups and he still can't bring himself to call me by my first name. It's such a hoot.
     
  17. janney

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    I don't think I've ever had a parent refer to me by my first name. I get so use to referring to myself as Ms. ___ that I call myself the same when I call them on the phone or write an email. I guess it doesn't matter to me either way.
     
  18. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I introduce myself using my first and last name to parents. I feel weird just saying I'm miss lastname because I feel like I should treat parents as equals...I shouldn't expect them to prefer to me in a formal Miss lastname term. However, I also figure if I just tell them my first name, they won't recognize who I am (assuming their child talks about me at home using my teacher name). So I introduce myself as firstname lastname and they call me whatever they want. I've noticed that a lot of my parents will call me Miss firstname. Many of them are latino and I think in their culture the "miss" is a sign of respect. Either way, I don't care!
     
  19. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I don't really care either way. When I talk to parents I refer to them by their first name. If they want to refer to me by my first name, thats okay with me. Most call me Mr. lkanveoiawnva though and thats ok as well.
     
  20. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I refer to all of the parents with Title Last Name (and if I get the title wrong because it's not in the system, they correct me & I make a note).

    I prefer that all parents refer to me as Ms. Last Name... which isn't hard, because most of them don't know my first name :)
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Parents call all teachers in my building Mr or Mrs/Ms Lastname.
     
  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I sign all correspondence with Firstname Lastname. Most parents use Mrs. Lastname, but some use Firstname and I'm fine with that. I tend to Title Lastname to refer to parents, but do use the first names of some (particularly those I have known for a long time or have frequent contact with).
     
  23. ally06

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    I have no problem with parents calling me by my first name - I see no disrespect in calling another adult by their name. I always introduce myself as firstname lastname and most parents end up calling me by my first name.
     
  24. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    I want to thank you all for taking time to give input. :) It's interesting to read the various expectations we have in this regard.
     
  25. 2ndTimeAround

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    I sign everything Mrs. X. I refer to other teachers when talking to them as Mrs. X. Several times parents will call me by my first name. I won't correct them but I will continue to sign emails and notes with my last name.

    I do know a lot of the parents outside of school so of course those call me by my first name when we speak/email.
     
  26. MMRbella

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    I've never had a parent call me by my first name, though I don't think I would have a problem with it.
     
  27. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    My parents usually address me by my first name. Occasionally, they feel formal and will call me Ms., but it's rare.
     
  28. GoldenPoppy

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    I have always been Mrs. Lastname. The teachers and administrators at my school use Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms Lastname when talking to another adult when the students are present.

    I actually have a form that I send home at the beginning of the year to collect e-mail information, etc. It has a place that says I prefer to be called Mrs. Lastname, how would they like to be addressed?
     
  29. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I am usually Miss Lastname, and I use Title/Lastname when talking to parents, unless they start communicating with me using their first name. There are a few parents that I use first names with, but most of them are ones where I had a child a few years ago and we are now communicating about other school activities.
     
  30. Brendan

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    I sign everything and introduce myself to parents asFirstname Lastname. I have no problem with parents calling me by my first name nor do I have a problem with old students calling me by my first name.
     
  31. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Oh, I like this! :) I may have to borrow this method. :)
     
  32. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    That's why we're here...to help each other out.:)
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Occasionally I have a student who tries to call me by my first name because that's how my emails go out (even though I sign them Mrs. Fiddle). I gently remind them that they have to earn the right to use my first name by becoming a graduate. Thankfully, this is seen as added incentive for many of them.
     
  34. kpa1b2

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    We all go by Mr./Mrs. Lastname, at our school. Our email addy's are firstname.lastname. So parents know our first names. The signature of my emails is firstname/lastname, grade etc.
     
  35. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Same here.
     
  36. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    Most parents call me Mrs. N****. The only ones who call me by my first name are parents I knew outside of school prior to their child being in my classroom. I don't think any of the other parents know my first name. I prefer that they call me by my last name but it's not a problem if they call me by my first.
     
  37. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    As a younger teacher (24) I feel weird asking parents to call me Mrs. __. I always introduce myself as firstname lastname, but the parents usually call me Mrs. ___ anyway. That is probably because that is the norm in my building. I address parents Mr./Mrs. __ unless they use their first name to introduce themselves or sign an email that way etc.
     
  38. MIteacher

    MIteacher Rookie

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    I formally invite parents to call me by my first name when I first meet them at Back to School Night ("Curriculum Night"). Some still call me Mrs....but it doesn't bother me either way. I find that by offering my first name, a certain comfort level is acheived. Parents seem more at ease when we are on a first name basis.
     
  39. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    I totally get that and 100% agree!

    It's just that I've felt that in the past some parents, when given that opportunity, have the lines blurred between teacher-parent relationship and friend-friend relationship.

    For example, I would never dream of calling my doctor Michael or my dentist Stephen.

    Then again, I've had parents when I have insisted they call me by my first name (when I was newer) and they still call me Mr. _______. In fact, I have had a few who call me Mr. __________ but want me to call THEM by their first name.
     
  40. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I don't mind if they call me by either name, I find that the longer I teach, the less it matters. I know how to keep things professional now in any setting and don't have to rely on my name to feel that way. Most parents do say Mrs., but that is about where I live more than anything, I would only say something if parents referred to me by my first name in front of parents. I have also noticed that parents where I have taought older siblings are more comfortable and call me by my first name more often.
     
  41. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Don't care. :)
     

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