Using terms of endearment?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by frtrd, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. frtrd

    frtrd Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I'm in the process of getting my teaching credential to become a high school teacher. I've been doing volunteer work with middle/high school students in the meantime to gain experience.

    I've grown up in a very Southern family and have a rather old-fashioned habit of using terms of endearment when taking to people younger than me (I'm 25) -- things like, "Thanks for helping me clean up, sweetie."

    None of the kids have ever commented on it, but recently my coworker suggested that I stop, saying that it sounded patronizing and that I "wasn't a kindergarten teacher."

    What is your take on this?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think it depends a lot on your school culture and the personalities in your particular classes. I don't see a problem with it as long as it seems natural for you to say that stuff and the students are receptive to it.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I taught middle and called everyone "hun" or "hunny"...or however it's spelled. I understand it's just natural and I never felt the need to stop. Maybe I'd feel differently with high schoolers, though.
     
  5. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Well, I teach grade 6 far away from the south and I do it all the time! 2 of my teammates do as well. My favorite use of the term "honey" is when an 8th grader comes to visit me and my brain won't come up with his name now that he's all deep voiced and hairy faced. Listen to your tone though to see if your coworker has a point. Some people prefer "kiddo" but that's not my style.
     
  6. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    "Shuga" (my country twang version of 'sugar') or "sweetie" is what I often call my students. They don't mind one bit, but they are 3rd graders. I would think the high-schoolers would let you know if they didn't like it, but maybe not.
     
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I personally think it all depends on the relationship you have with your students.

    I personally prefer to call students by their names, I think it shows respect and authenticity...but this is just my opinion.
     
  8. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Sometimes it slips. I try to use names, but if I'm having a chaotic day I might respond to a student "one second, sweet heart." I teach secondary, and they usually take it in stride but sometimes they look at me a little weird. :)
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Teaching in the south, I used it regularly. I also use "buddy" or "bud" a lot, too.
     
  10. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I'm in the North, and some teachers I work with do it. However, it's just not something that I'm comfortable with (in the classroom or in "real life"). It's not natural to me, so therefore it would be forced and not genuine. I agree with previous posters....it highly depends on the school culture.

    I worked with a woman who called kids (especially the boys) "baby". As in, when they would answer a question correctly, she would say, "Good job baby!" Yeah, it's as awkward and inappropriate as it sounds.
     
  11. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    I tend to say "dear" and "darling." I have never had anyone commment on it. My students always seem to receive it warmly. It's just habit for me and feels very natural. I am a southern lady too.
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I call younger kids "sweetheart". I call older kids "dude", "man", and "girlfriend".
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    If the term of endearment of choice is used with everyone in class, does it lose its "endearment"?
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don't use them in class, but I have used them elsewhere. Earlier today one of my students came up to hug me at a fundraiser, and I said, "Good afternoon, darling."
     
  15. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I use "sweetheart" in the classroom, but nowhere else. I call my husband and people in my personal life different terms.
     
  16. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    My guess would be some like it, others are fine with it or indifferent to it, and others feel as if they are being patronized. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with using terms of endearment, what is more importance is whether you treat your students with respect. If you treat them in a way that makes them feel respected as people, they probably won't much mind what you call them. I mostly use my kiddos' names but occasionally call them "sweetie" or similar terms of endearment. Then again, mine are two-year-olds. ;)
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nope...I actually find a place in my heart for all my students...

    I tend to call mine 'cookie':D
     
  18. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Same with me. One of my teammates called the kids "love" as in, "Don't worry about it love, just get another one." It sounded perfectly natural coming from her but I'd feel terribly awkward saying it.
     
  19. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    I always use them now, started when I started subbing, and became a habit when I was in the classroom full time. A few favorites include "Yes, my dear" when a kid gets my attention. I also use sweetheart, dear, and hunny.

    And one of the college interns that I supervised over the summer (had nothing to do with ed.) pointed out that when someone does stupid and/or perplexing (but not necessarily "bad") I string them together.

    For instance, if I turn around and notice Johnny under his desk contorted in a odd position I may say, "Johnny, sweetheart, honey, dear. What are you doing?!"

    They thought it was hilarious. The longer the string of terms, the more perplexed I was.
     
  20. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    :rofl:

    Love it!
     
  21. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Even as a male teacher, I use terms...especially if I don't know their name.

    So often, I get kindergartners (younger siblings of current or former students) saying: "Hi Mr. M!" Since I don't know their names, I often reply with:

    "Hi Sweetie" (if it's a girl)
    "Hey buddy" (If it's a boy)
     
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    This I do to.
     
  23. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I don't use endearments. I also don't use nick names unless the student has told me to use it.

    I have a helper in my class that calls the kids all kinds of little pet names and nick names. In fifth grade I think they're old enough to be called by their given name or preferred name. I don't like referring to a student as "lovie" or "honey bun". Personally, it bugs me. We aren't there to be intimate or familial, but to have a professional relationship. That's just my opinion.
     
  24. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I teach the little ones. I use every pet name in the book. Honey sweetie darling and dear. Nicknames not so much unless it's shortened version of their name. Since I have only been the community for a few years I still don't know ALL the kids but they know me, so if we are the store or something and a child comes up to me if I call them sweetie chances are I don't remember their name. (I remember my students but if they were in another class I may or may not remember them)
     
  25. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    I guess I'm in the minority here--I usually just call everyone by their names or nicknames! I don't think I have ever used one of those terms in the classroom or in real life. Just not my personality, I guess!! :haha:
     
  26. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I use them all the time--sweetheart, dear, my darling, sugar. This is largely because I'm terrible with names. :lol: (Actually, it suits my personality, too.)
     
  27. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I use sweetie, probably some others that I don't realize I use. I teach 3rd grade, I think it's totally normal. Some of my students could use a little endearment in their lives after hearing the way their parents speak to them.
     

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