Recently married - name problems

Discussion in 'General Education' started by curiouslystrong, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. curiouslystrong

    curiouslystrong Companion

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    Oct 1, 2015

    I got married on Tuesday, and I kept my birth name. I didn't add/hyphenate, and I'm not on the fence about anything: I won't be doing that in the future. Since I returned to work on Wednesday, though, I've had a heck of a time getting people to not be confused about my name, students and colleagues alike.

    While I anticipated that some students might be a bit confused on me keeping my name, and I have no problem clarifying my decision, I have a couple of problems in particular with students. The first, which I think I need to address immediately, is that the students know my husband's last name, and some (particularly male 8th graders with lower maturity levels) have become quite insistent about calling me "Mrs. [Husband's-Name]"; they seem to think it's a cute/funny joke. If it had happened once and stopped, I wouldn't be too worried, but it's happened repeatedly over the course of the past two days, and whether they realize it or not, it's not a joke anymore; it's disrespectful. So obviously that needs to be addressed tomorrow. My other issue/worry, though, is that explaining my choice to keep my name could very easily become political, and I don't want to seem like I'm pushing any kind of agenda by explaining it. (I also don't want to imply that women who did change their names, like many/most of their mothers, have made a "wrong" choice.) Any thoughts on how to address this clearly, firmly, and diplomatically would be appreciated.

    Tactfully clarifying my name/choice with colleagues is something I didn't realize would be a thing until it was. I explained to one colleague that my name was the same/didn't change both yesterday morning and this morning. I don't think there was anything ambiguous about what I said, other than that I declined to get into any specific reasons for why I'm keeping my name. However, this afternoon, she made a comment (in front of students), that the name I'm "going to have" (like I'm planning on adding it later or something?) is "very cool". I immediately clarified that my name has not changed and will not be changing at all, but it just seems to keep going over people's heads. With quite a few colleagues, actually, I've had conversations that have gone like this: "So what should we call you now?" / "Oh, Ms. [Lastname]. It's still the same as before." / "No, I mean, what's your name now that you're married?" - Even after repeating that I kept my name, I have the impression that some people don't get it; they think I'm not understanding them, or something. Others have tried to "suggest" that I make my "maiden" name a middle name or almost outright told me to hyphenate. I'd really like a way to shut this down as tactfully as possible (as well as to eliminate any remaining confusion about what my name currently is). Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 1, 2015

    Many people think that the name change happens automatically. I did not change my name, and I usually have to explain it once to each class: it's a lot of paperwork and hassle and not really important to me or my husband that we have the same name, so I'm just keeping my own name.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 1, 2015

    I'm not sure why it's confusing to your colleagues. We had a teacher in my district who got married last year, kept her birth/maiden name and never skipped a beat.

    Students giving you a hard time is not about confusion over your name is about baiting you. Put an end to it. Make it clear your name is Ms/Mrs/Miss Whatevertheycalledyoubefore and that you won't be answering to anything else. And then don't. Period. They are being obnoxious and disrespectful if they continue after your announcement. And that would be about something entirely other than your marital status.
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Oct 1, 2015

    My name is [name]. You will address me by [name].

    That's all students need to know, that's all colleagues need to know.
     
  6. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Oct 1, 2015

    Agreed.
     
  7. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Oct 1, 2015

    I'm shocked this is an issue in 2015! I'm sorry you have to keep justifying a totally normal decision.
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Oct 1, 2015

    I agree as well.

    I didn't change my name when I got married either. But my students weren't even aware that I got married so it was never an issue. I do ask my students to call me Mrs. V, short for my last name which is long and difficult to pronounce. When they try to "pronounce" my last name and purposefully mess it up or whatever I simply say "my name is Mrs. V and that's what you should call me" and continue on.

    (I feel the pain of people wanting to call you by your husband's name. My grandma refuses to use my actual name and instead calls me by my husband's last name. *sigh*)
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Oct 2, 2015

    No real advice, just hugs. We've had a few people get married at our school. Some changed their name, some didn't. One goes by both. No one cares. I do agree you need to nip it in the bud now though.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 2, 2015

    Love it. I would use this phrasing exactly with students.

    I might say "Please address me by [name]," with colleagues.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Oct 2, 2015

    I'm so sorry! There shouldn't be any reason you have to explain this more than once!

    I also agree about those who seem to think the name change is an automatic thing. I got married (and changed my name) about the same time I was doing a condo title transfer. The woman involved, someone I have known for years and who is well-versed in real estate matters, kept urging me to rush the thing before the wedding and my name somehow magically changed--really, it was a good three months before I had properly gone through the process to legally change my name. This supposed business-savy woman had no clue there was a process involved and a wedding did not change my name.
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 2, 2015

    Three of our teachers got married this summer; one changed her name and two didn't. We do tease one of the teachers who didn't change her name--I've worked with her for 10 years and known her by 3 different last names during that time. One more would be too confusing for this old brain :haha:.

    A gentle reminder should be enough for your colleagues and coworkers.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 2, 2015

    We had several teachers over the year marry during the school year. A few waited until the next school year to use their married names. It was their choice. They believed it was easier to make the professional switch when the year was over, but socially they used their married name. So, I can see why some might question if you were going to change your name later.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Oct 2, 2015

    I don't think it's anyone's business what name you choose to use or even if you got married. However, once people know personal information about you it's hard to get them to stop asking about things. I probably wouldn't have mentioned I was getting married to students.
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oct 2, 2015

    I had the opposite problem. I kept my married name after I divorced. Now it's hyphenated with my maiden name on school records. :rolleyes:
     
  16. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Oct 2, 2015

    Faculty and staff - Send an email to thank them for their marriage well wishes and a reminder that you still have the same name.

    Students - Sit down with them one-by-one and have a real honest conversation. You wouldn't dare call them a nickname they disliked, so if they expect respect, so do you. If they keep it up, alert your admin to see if they will handle it or the parents.
     

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