Losing the title 'Miss/Ms/Mrs'

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by gushka, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. gushka

    gushka Rookie

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    Has anyone or what would people personally consider about allowing your older students (final year high school) to call you by your christian name given that there were no school policies against doing so? Do you think it would depend on your age perhaps as a young teacher you would do so but as an older teacher prefer not to? Has anyone ever been given a nickname by their students? In my high school the entire school used to call our english teacher Gran and she in return nicknamed each of her students accordingly, i presume this was a way for her to remember students names. It worked well in building rapport with students. She definitely won me over :p
     
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  3. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Do you mean referring to you by your first name or by your last name without a title? I think last name without a title is ok (as long as the tone is ok with you). Kids tend to do that when they talk about you anyway. I would NOT allow students to call me by my first name, and I think the rationale would be the reverse of what you suggested. As a young teacher it is even more inappropriate because the students are more tempted to think of you as a peer instead of an authority figure.

    In journalism class the students have given each other nicknames, and after two years I just couldn't hold out anymore and started using them for a few special students. It adds to the class morale. Because the class is an elective and more like a team or a club, I think it's ok in there, but I wouldn't do it in my regular English classes, even when there is overlap. The students knew not to interact with me in English class the way they did in journalism.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    The journalism teacher I had in high school, who had been a professional journalist before going into the classroom, literally wouldn't answer to her last name, no matter the decibel level, but would respond instantly to her first name. She demanded very high quality work. None of us felt she was our peer, but we did feel depended on and taken seriously. I think the decision as to what to be called depends on a number of factors, including perhaps school climate.
     
  5. seraph

    seraph Rookie

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    I think that its a sign of respect to call a person, specifically and older person, by their title: Mrs./Miss/Mr. Having the kids give you a nickname or call you by your first name is a sign to them that you are their buddy, not an authority figure.
     
  6. SpecEdTeacher

    SpecEdTeacher Companion

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    Aug 24, 2006

    i dont mind being called by my first name...i actually prefer it.
    i dont need ms. to be in front of my name to get the respect of my students, or to handle situations...and it makes things much less complicated when i refer to one of my aides by their first name.
    although, if i have a student acting up i will put a ms. or mr. in front of their name...their whole name
     
  7. mnteacherguy

    mnteacherguy Companion

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    I allow my students to call me "coach" or coach nelson, but everyone else addresses me as Mr. Nelson. I think being young this gives me the authority needed over my students. Being a young person, it also helps me to keep my "teacher" hat on.
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    My students only refer to me as Mrs. _____, or they call me "ma'am". Maybe I'm too "southern", but I think it's disrespectful to refer to older people by their first names.
     
  9. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Using a title before a person's name shows a sign of respect. Personally, if I found out one of my sons was calling his teacher by his or her first name I would put a stop to it immediately. Actually, I cringe when young people call adults by their first names. Perhaps I'm old school (born in the 50's). To this day I still call the neighbors who live by my parents Mr. or Mrs.
     
  10. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    I was Miss Ellen or Ellen with my SPED students. It was always fine.
     
  11. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    I think students need the structure and respect of addressing adults, by the title Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Dr.....there's already too much "casual-ness" in school....a little discipline and organization would do most students a lot of good. In addition, the title goes a long way in help younger teachers gain and maintain control of their class and the respect of students. They don't need another buddy....they need a responsible adult leader.
     
  12. SpecEdTeacher

    SpecEdTeacher Companion

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    but putting a ms. mrs. or mr. in front of a name doesnt necessarily mean they arent going to be a buddy.
    dont you remember your favorite teacher from senior year of high school...the one that was so easy going, you could talk to about your problems...usually had the easy class...you probably refered to them as ms. mrs. mr. so and so.

    i think being a "responsible adult leader" has nothing to do with putting a m. in front of a name...i think its how the person conducts their class.

    with that said...i dont think there is anything wrong with wanting your students to refer to you as mr. or mrs. most districts require it.
     
  13. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    and how a person conducts their class requires presenting a professional personna. You don't address your physician by his/her first name, you address them as Dr. They have earned that respect just as we have. The same should hold true for us. There's simply too much casual attitude in school today.....we complain about a lack of discipline, but aren't willing to require it.
     
  14. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Not old school at all... I was born in 1972 and to this day, I still call friends of the family Mr and/or Mrs. ( if not aunt and uncle:D ). I don't think it's too much to expect at all.
     
  15. Wilkie

    Wilkie New Member

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    I think teachers should be addressed Mr./Mrs./Miss to show respect, however, there is always an exception. I did long term subbing for a peer influence class, they all had nicknames and gave me one as well. They did respect me, but our group was different than a regular class.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Let me begin by saying: I teach math in a large Catholic High School. I'm not trying to re-start the whole professional dress conversation, OK? :)

    I'm big on respect and professionalism.

    I respect my kids enough to dress as professionally as possible. I claim I'm a professional-- I dress and act the part and expect to be treated as such by the kids I teach. That means they call me "Mrs...", they watch their language when they're around me, and so on.

    In a similar vein, we're teaching our own 3 kids the same attitudes. While lots of neighborhood kids call me "Alice", my kids call the other adults "Mrs G" or "Mr. Martin." I think it shows respect, and that there's not enough of that in today's world.
     
  17. ellen_a

    ellen_a Groupie

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    I think my classroom was the exception to a lot of rules.
    I had six students, some of whom were nonverbal.
    They came to me from as many as 8 years of schooling with teachers who were addressed using first names.
    The mere fact that they referred to me by my name was pretty astounding, and convincing them to say Miss A---- would have been even more of a feat.
    And as always, I like to keep my priorities straight in my classroom--do I prefer the student can use the toilet independently or can address me as Miss A----?
    I'll pick toilet every time.
    I know these are not the priorities in every classroom.

    I'm not trying to be snippy.
    I just want it to be clear that my students respected me and my classroom, but I knew this through their behavior and interactions, and not by the name they called me.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Abolutely-- that's why I put the disclaimer at the top of my post.

    Each of us does what we perceive to be best for our kids. There are so many different factors shaping that "best"-- their ability level, family background, language ability, even regional differences. (I'm in NY, and NO student has ever addressed me as "Ma'am." I'm sure that's the norm in a number of Southern areas.)


    If I were SPED , ESL, some other part of the country, or early elementary, everything about my day would be different: my clothing, my approaches-- you name it!

    So we each speak from our own experiences, and those of our kids.
     
  19. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    At least a couple times a year I have a student call me "mom" and then giggle; I told them no problem, as long as it doesn't become "grandma!"
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    After 6 years home with my own kids, that's probably the title most guarenteed to get my attention :D
     
  21. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I had a student call me Daddy. Than he looked at me turned bright red and said Sorry Ms. B.
     
  22. Thespis

    Thespis Rookie

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    IMO, dropping the Mr. and using my last name is a higher form of respect than simply adhering to norms and using a formal title. They feel close and comfortable enough to consider me safe but not so familiar that they can use my first name.
    Personally, I love it when they drop the Mr. I know we've built a relationship at that point...
     
  23. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think it is somewhat an issue of respect & agree with ImaTeacher...maybe it just depends on where/how you were raised. Personally, I even refer to my co-workers as Mrs./Mr. because I am 24 and they are considerably older than me. I would feel rude calling them "Mike" or "Teresa".

    However, in high school we all referred to our ag teacher by his last name. There was not a problem with disrespect there whatsoever. So...I guess I'm somewhat torn. I want to be called Mrs. Skaggs but wouldn't get upset if someone called me Skaggs or by my first name. I would, however, casually correct them...
     
  24. mathandme

    mathandme Rookie

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    I compeltely agree with that
     
  25. musicbean

    musicbean Rookie

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    I'm a young teacher (mid-twenties) but I want to be addressed as "Mrs". For me, that's a sign of respect. I know some posters have said that they don't need a title to indicate respect, but frankly, I think that addressing a person in a position of authority that way is polite. Respect starts with little things like that.
     
  26. EnglishMiss

    EnglishMiss Rookie

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    I'm also a young teacher and I would feel quite uncomfortable if my kids called me anything but "Ms. S___" I agree with Music Doc, it's just a way to combat too casual of an attitude; it's a title of respect just like for any other profession. I call my co-workers by their first names but obviously not in front of the kids; I find using the last name is a way to keep up my - and their - teacher persona, and since I'm new to the school this year I'm still working on establishing that.
    However, having said that, I am sure that being in another subject area or a special ed class would be very different! To each his own!
    When I was student teaching in Texas, I rarely heard my last name used, it was usually "Miss, miss!" when someone needed my attention. :)
     
  27. Thespis

    Thespis Rookie

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    LOL!!!
    It sounds even funnier when you hear "Mister, mister!" :)
     
  28. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    At my first school the students called me, "Miss . . . Um . . . ExCUSE me!!! EXCUSE ME!!!" I was even called Mr. Fowler once, and he was fat and balding. Yeesh.

    OK, now we're on the topic, what do people say in your region, Miss, Ms., or Mrs.?

    In NJ where I grew up, we called all of our teachers "Mrs." Then I moved to the South, and everyone is "Miss," even the married teachers. What's up with that? Is it like Miss Scarlett?

    And then there's the Miss/M'am controversy. In NJ, you were "Miss" to a stranger unless you were grandmotherly. In the South it's "M'am." It's confusing.
     
  29. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Here, married women are Mrs. and unmarried are Ms. or Miss. I do get called called Mrs. all the time, though (I am unmarried) because I think most of the kids' teachers have had the "Mrs" title.
     
  30. bierko

    bierko Rookie

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    A lot of times I call my teachers without a title. Just because it's faster than adding it, and teachers have always just said my last name as well. Or just the first initial..
     
  31. shadowrose45

    shadowrose45 Rookie

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    HI

    I teach special ed in high school- and my students had better plan on using Ms. F-- if they know what is good for them, LOL.

    I don't want to be called by my last name, either.

    But, I think it's sort of- whatever works for the kids and the teacher.

    My kids can call me Ms. F if they want- but not my first name, or just my last name.

    I've always felt that last names only was sort of -- insulting to me.
     
  32. DotyMath

    DotyMath Rookie

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    I teach 8th graders, and they refer to me as Ms. Doty.

    I won't answer to anything else. Some have tried using my first name that they see on my name badge, but I don't respond.

    I think it is a matter of respect (and the South). My parents taught me to be respectful to older people, and that means using Mr./Ms./Mrs. and Sir and Ma'am. When I was in Alaska, I had a lady get very upset with me because I kept saying "Ma'am". I tried to explain to her that it was the way my parents had taught me and it wasn't meant to offend. But she was still mad about it.

    A majority of my students use "Ma'am" and "Sir", and I try to model that behavior by using it with them as well.
    For example, when Johnny raises his hand, I say "Yes, Sir?"
    Or if Susie asks a question that requires an affirmative answer, I say "Yes, Ma'am". It is just respectful to me all around - I am respectful to them, and they are respectful to me.

    On a side note, I use Ms. with my name because I am unmarried. My kids get into a habit into referring to all of their female teachers as Mrs. in their writing - on their papers, notebooks, etc. I usually mark out the 'r' and explain to them that if there was a cute guy in his mid-twenties, that I wouldn't want him to think that I was married! This usually makes the girls giggle, but the boys usually don't seem to get it. :)
     
  33. jeepfan531

    jeepfan531 Rookie

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    I've been called mom before...and I'm a guy :)

    I still answer.
     
  34. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I've gotten that a few times. Depending on who it is, and how I think they will react, I usually go "Ohhhhh! How sweet!!! You must really love me!!!!" followed by a huge hug. Good for laughs! :D
     
  35. aussiedawgs

    aussiedawgs New Member

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    respect

    respect is being called by the name YOU like. I have a friend who makes her granddaughters call me Miss Mary:eek: , I HATE THAT. i want to be called by my first name with her gd and with anyone really. i think its disrespectful to be called by a name i dont like.

    I also hated being called m'am like someone else mentioned. That was when i taught in sc for a bit. kids could actually get a detention if they did not call you m'am.

    i work in a HS and ms. c works just fine.
     

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