Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by janlee, Sep 8, 2006.
Sep 12, 2006
I think the poster was emphasizing the difference between student teachers and certified teachers.
WOW! I am amazed at all of the responses my post has gotten in reference to the student teacher calling me "hon". My basic point was that I found it difficult to hear someone her age calling me this. I guess I am just old fashioned in my thinking. I was brought up to call adults by Mrs., Mr., or Miss (last name). Your comments have certainly opened my eyes as to how many of you feel about this topic.
Sep 14, 2006
It shouldn't matter if someone is a "student" teacher or veteran teacher. SOme posts in this thread imply that a veteran teacher deserves more respect than a new teacher.
It shouldn't matter how many years you've been teaching, everyone deserves respect...
A student teacher is a student teacher. You get college credit to do it, and it has to be completed to graduate, not to mention you are graded for it. No, it doesn't mean they deserve less respect, but they should not be calling any teacher they are working with "hon."
are you all this bored??
It just amazes me...the things people get worked up about. This is one of the reasons I really dislike working with women. I thought the veteran teachers response in the original post was very harsh and I would have thought she was very rude. I mean, seriously, if it bothers you just keep it to yourself. Who is she hurting?? I really think some people need to get over themselves. I dont care if your 20, 30, or 60. We are all people and adults at that. We are all raised differently and I dont think the poor girl being picked on for saying "hun" lacked manners. If anything, she sounded like a friendly girl and I feel sorry that she has to spend her time with teachers that hang on her every word and judge her the way some of you do. It really makes me think about how Im viewed by people who I feel I am very nice to and go out of my way for.
That's interesting that you brought up that working with women causes conflict. I wonder if two male teachers would react the same way or not. Although a male would probably not call another male "hon." Honestly, I think that it is odd that she would call her "hon," but to each her own...
I think it was a great topic because it started a lively debate that inspired thinking.
Hey janlee! We are Yankees here in N. NJ so we don't hear 'hon' a lot, but it's a very southern thing...Maybe the student teacher spent some time south of the Mason Dixon line!!
I agree with "mreser! I think it's sad this is such a huge topic. I do not feel because the ST used the vocabulary "hon" that she was showing disrespect. She is an adult also that has a lot of stress on her plate. As a ST you feel like everyone is watching your back and you try your best to impress everyone.
Sep 15, 2006
I read this post earlier but didn't get a chance to reply. Personally I have a problem with the terms Sweetie, Hun, Darling, Babe, etc. I don't like being called them. I am kind of short and have always looked younger then I was. I constantly had teachers in elementary school calling me sweetie and such. Personally it always bothered me but I was a child at the time so I didn't say anything. Now, if another adult calls me hun, specially if they are not a friend or a random stranger, I find it condecending. I will be student teaching this spring and I would never call a teacher at the school I worked at hun. I don't see a reason to use such a familiar term in a situation with someone I am basically working for. As a student teacher I am there to learn and the school is doing me a big favor by allowing me to be there and therefore I plan to be as respectful as possible.
However, I am not saying this girl was being rude. I'd have to have been there to know for sure. Sometimes you can tell by the way someone says something if it is rude or meant in a kind way. As I said I hate being refered to as hun, or anything of the sort but I most likely wouldn't say anything to anyone who used it unless it seemed intended to be rude. Even then they'd have to push me before I'd say anything other then possibly politely reminding them of my name. I think people need to be careful how they use certain terms though. Especially if you're older then whoever you use it to. It would probably worry me if they respected me if a veteran teacher called me hun, etc. I would much rather be called by my first name. Though I do understand the whole regional aspect and of course have outgrown much of my distaste for people calling me cute names.
I think instead of getting offended or even thinking about talking to her cooperating teacher, you should find some time to talk to her about it. Let her know that you prefer to be called Mrs. --- at all times. Use it as a moment to help her out so that she does not create a bad situation for herself when she gets her first teaching job. In my building, it is perfectly fine for teachers/administrators to address one another by name when not in the presence of students. I know that where I grew up, no one was raised to address familiar adults (outside of school) as Mr. or Mrs. Yet when I moved to the south, I noticed that many of my friends would have their children address me a Ms. Colleen (my first name). People come from different backgrounds and families, and not everyone is taught how to address others. If the student teacher heard others calling you by your first name, then she might have just felt that was the right thing to do. Yes, HON would annoy me. I do not like being addressed that way unless by someone in my family. Just use this as a "teachable moment" for this girl....don't turn it into a battle.
I think the offense was calling you "hon," not that as a student teacher she didn't call you "Mrs." To me "hon" is condescending, but I suspect that the student teacher is probably over-compensating for feeling like she is too young to be taken seriously.
I disagree that student teachers must treat you like you are her elder or superior. The whole experience is about learning what it is like to be a teacher. The more responsibility and credibility the student teacher receives (even if she is making mistakes galore), the more realistic the experience will be for her.
I don't understand the distinction between a student teacher and a young, new teacher, unless you are saying that you want them to call you "Mrs." as well. In this case, at what point has a young teacher earned the right to treat you as a peer? 25? 30? 40? (At this point you'll be retired!)
It can be disconcerting to graduate from college and suddenly be coworkers with people who could have been your teachers, but I am grateful for the older teachers who took me seriously and extended the hand of friendship to me. After a year of teaching middle school, I transfered to a high school. There I taught a class in the room of someone who had taught at my school for over 20 years. She would sit in on my class and become so engrossed that she would accidentally answer questions. We would eat lunch together, and she would say that she really liked the way I did something and was going to try it in her class. In my head I was like, "But I don't know anything about anything!" But it was nice to bounce ideas off of someone who had so much experience yet was so willing to take me seriously. We became true friends.
The same year there was another new teacher straight out of college. She was really disappointed when she found out I had already taught a year and was therefore a year older. She just couldn't get over that she was the "youngest" teacher in school. The next year she went around acting like a big sister to all the new hires, until she found out that they had spent a year getting their Master's and were actually the same age as she was. Again, she couldn't have been more disappointed. To me, she was missing the whole point of adulthood -- although we are certainly still maturing, we now have adult responsibilities and exactly how old we are doesn't matter. We shouldn't perpetuate this old vs. young divide with the veteran teachers, and we should be open to and friendly with anyone (for certainly age does not predict how kind or inspiring or mature a teacher is).
Just another wrinkle into this lively debate. This morning in the teacher's room the student teacher who called me "hon" took it upon herself to tell the two electricians, who happened to be working in the room, that they should be sure and look at their plan carefully because they need to be careful not to do the wiring incorrectly. Two other teachers and myself walked out of the room quietly looked at each other and shook our heads. As far as I am concerned--- CASE CLOSED on my part.
Pretty clear evidence about her nature. Rude, condescending, controlling, presumptuous, ill-mannered, socially inept.
I like what my husband tells everybody. "It doesn't matter what you call me just so you call me to eat" He is tall and skinny. Our last name is very different and within the family they say it different. He has a nickname used by family, friends and classmates. His birthname used by all our military friends. And would you believe it he signs all his checks by his middle name.
I don't have time or energy to worry about something so simple as how folks address me.
To me she was only trying to be extra sweet. I wish everybody would not be to nitty pitty.
I couldn't agree more!!
Sep 16, 2006
It sounds like you've got a rude student teacher, rather than a rude young person.
As a new teacher in an elementary building, I assume the right to call all other teachers by their first names, as they all do with each other. We are colleagues, and they respect my enthusiasm and how I am managing the MANY challenges of a new career just as I respect their experience and wisdom... it takes all kinds of teachers to make up a staff, but the key is that we all work together as a TEAM FOR THE KIDS... I would be quite offended if an older colleague insisted I use their last name because I'm 25 years old!!
Frank McCourt writes about the dynamic between new teachers and veteran teachers in Teacher Man.
"Easy to see they didn't like me . . . I wondered why people like these examiners are so impolite they make you feel unworthy. I thought if I were sitting in their place I'd try to help candidates overcome their nervousness. If young people want to become teachers they should be encouraged and not intimated by examiners who seemed to think Santayana was the center of the universe.
That is what I felt at the time but I didn't know the ways of the world. I didn't know that people up there have to protect themselves against people down here. I didn't know that older people have to protect themselves against younger people who want to push them off the face of the earth" (51).
I've had some experiences that lend credence to McCourt's assessment, although I also know wonderful teachers of all ages. For example, my first year I introduced myself to another 7th grade English teacher. She was about 40, the youngest teacher before I came. She said, "Oh, I heard about you," and turned and walked away. She was rude to me for the rest of the year. And then there were the narcissist and her crony. They actually put retirement off for a year to try to keep my friend from taking over 12AP from the narcissist. They pretended to befriend her, then told lies about her to the dept. chair and principal. It was very surreal and creepy. In the end, the narcissist absconded with all her lesson plans and materials just to spite my friend.
Since I try very hard to provide support for the new English teachers every year, I've seen a variety of responses to the first year of teaching. One is the "deer in the headlights" who can't seem to figure out what she's doing wrong as her students wreak havoc in her classroom. Another is the hard-worker who trudges through the year with little complaining, although you know it's tough on her. Still another is the presumptuous know-it-all. It's true, they exist. One infamous first year teacher told me that she was going to request a room change with the drama teacher because she wanted a stage in her room. I pointed out that she was lucky to have a room at all in her first year (I didn't), and that the drama teacher needed the stage for drama class and all. This did not deter her. She also refused to teach the lowest level of classes and invited me to observe her poetry unit (not to give her feedback -- so I could emulate her wonderful lesson). At the end of the year, I encouraged her to transfer to a school that had a drama opening, mainly because she annoyed the heck out of all of us.
We've got another new teacher who seems to be a know-it-all this year, but I have been trying to remind myself that this is likely a defense-mechanism against the feeling that she is in over her head. The first year of teaching is very difficult, and I can offer a little grace to those experiencing their baptism by fire.