What to Call Parents

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Falcon Flyer, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Falcon Flyer

    Falcon Flyer Companion

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    Nov 3, 2009

    This is my fourth year teaching and I still am not quite sure what to call parents! Do I use their first names (even though most of them call me by my last name) or Mr. and Mrs. So and So? Most of the time, I avoid the issue and don't use names at all, but it feels really uncomfortable, especially at a conference with both parents when you want to refer to something the other parent said. Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 3, 2009

    I ask
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 3, 2009

    I always use Mr. and Mrs Lastname unless I know the parents already outside of school.
     
  5. Bogart

    Bogart Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2009

    I usually get it from emails. Most of my parents sign their emails with their first name, so I assume it is ok for me to call them that. If I am meeting them for the first time, then I use Ms. or Mr.
     
  6. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 3, 2009

    I always use Mr. or Mrs. Lastname unless I have known them for a very long time. Even then I am not all that comfortable using their first names.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Nov 3, 2009

    Unless it's a parent from that thread about letters we wish we could send home...then I think we all may have something else we would like to call them...:whistle:
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I would definitely would say Mr. & Mrs. ___, until or if they say otherwise.
     
  9. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I generally use Mr. or Mrs, but I sign my e-mails with my full name, rather than Mr. Fleming, so sometimes parents will call me by my first name. This doesn't bother me, but my assumption is that if they call me by my first name, I may call them by their first name. I just follow their lead based on what they call me.
     
  10. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Last names, always, and I sign my emails Mrs. K. I like to keep it professional, and a little bit of formality helps.
     
  11. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    I use Mr. and Ms. unless they insist on first names, in which case I extend my first name since I like to keep things balanced.
     
  12. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    I call them by their first names and I offer them to call me by my first name as well. Perhaps there are several reasons: 1. It seems friendlier and after a few years of teaching I no longer feel calling me by my last name is any more "professional" than using my first name. 2. Last names seem a bit antiquated for an adult interaction. I'm fine with the kiddos calling me Mr. Last Name, but it just seems funny for an adult to call me that. 3. I have a long hyphenated last name. The kids get it in no time, but sometimes it's just easier for the families to have a shorter first name to work with. and 4. I'm in CO and we're pretty laid back around here. Basically, I just think it's personal preference, and perhaps how conservative/liberal your community is....
     
  13. blindteacher

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    I think the trend is more towards last names in the South and first names in the North. I remember noticing how much more last names get used when I moved down South.
     
  14. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    I'm so glad to read this thread, because I frankly don't know what to call teachers either lol.

    I mean I normally call them Mr./ Mrs so and so, but really I hate it when they call me Mrs. so and so. I always say... Mrs. so and so is my MIL. I like to be called by my first name.

    But then I would like to call them by their first names (it's just more personable) but of course I would never want to offend anyone. I always feel uncomfortable asking.

    One teacher that I wondered about does sign her emails with her first name, and so do I. So maybe it's okay to do so... It's nice to see teachers wondering the same thing I do lol. I don't feel so caught up in this subject as much anymore.
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 4, 2009

    I think it is best to address parents and coworkers as Mr/Mrs, especially during work hours, because it sets an example for the kids. One of my closest friends at work and I always call each other Mrs. _________, even when we say hello or send an email! It is a funny joke to us. Plus you are always safe with the more formal address, until someone asks you to call them by their first names.
     
  16. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    Nov 5, 2009

    Mr. and Mrs. unless it is someone who works in the school (aide, teacher, once it was my principal and later he was my superintendent when I had his kid). A couple of years ago I had a former student's son. I didn't call him Mr. but I called his wife Mrs. I know it is odd.
     
  17. Kindergarten31

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    Always Mrs. and Mr. We also call our co-workers that around the children. I prefer that the parents call me Mrs., not my first name. My friends and family call me by my first name and I really don't consider most of the parents my friends. Besides, I am old enough to be their parent or even grandparent. But that's just my opinion.
     
  18. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Here in Spain students call their teachers by their first names, even at the university level. So far when teachers have called me by name it has been my first name.

    Edited to add: I mean, when they have called me by name in my capacity as mother of one of their students.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  19. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    If you don't mind my asking, do your students use the formal Ud. or the informal tú with you? How about you with them?
     
  20. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    I know you are all going to think I'm totally unprofessional, but that's okay with me. I'm very laid back and informal with my parents and I usually call them "mom" and "dad" during a conference or other face to face meeting. When I call on the phone, I use first names. When I write a note, I say "parents of ________".
     
  21. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Nov 5, 2009

    I always use Mr. Mrs. Ms. and never ever use their first name; even though they are all younger than me! :)
     
  22. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Nov 5, 2009

    I use Mr and Mrs for them when I'm not saying Sir or Ma'am. I am very similar with my kids, but I do use their first names instead of Mr or Mrs.


    I tell parent and students I'm Mr. Burgess, but most folks call me Mr. B.


    It works quite well for me. I treat others with a GREAT deal of respect and professionalism, I expect them to be respectful to me but don't require or expect them to be as up tight on the properness as I am.

    I hold myself to a very high standard and I get a high standard of respect from my students as well as my parents.
     
  23. SPECIALEDMAN

    SPECIALEDMAN Companion

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    wow...a fourth year teacher don't know how to address parents??
     
  24. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Nov 6, 2009

    I am a young teacher. It is still really strange for me when parents in their 50s call me Ms.
     
  25. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I use Mr. or Mrs., and I expect parents to do the same to me. I'm young, too, but I feel it helps to keep the professionalism and to make it clear that I am their child's teacher, not their friend.
     
  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I usually use Mr. or Mrs. unless the parent asks to use their first names. At my school the students call us by OUR first names because it is just easier for them since many have limited verbal skills. Therefore, the parents tend to call us by our first names too and it carries over how we address them(though I don't really like to). If they send an email and sign it with "Sincerely, Jane" then I will probably reply with "Dear Jane".
     
  27. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    I am older than all my second grade parents (and even some of the grandparents!) In the presence of students I always address adults formally with a title. However in the absence of students, I address parents by their first names and encourage them to use my first name too. Ours is a small, informal community where close relationships are valued. I sign my parent emails and even my weekly newsletter with my first name.

    I must add that, even though I address parents informally, the tone of my interactions is always professional - no joking around and off-topic asides.
     
  28. mkate

    mkate Comrade

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    Well, I'm not officially teaching yet, but it's pretty much "tú" everywhere I've heard (even at the university.) In Spain, from what I've seen, most people use tú with everyone, including perfect strangers, unless the person you are addressing is elderly, or if you are in sales you would probably address your potential customer as Ud., and also if you are addressing a person in authority like a judge or perhaps a police officer who has pulled you over or something...

    There are probably regional differences (I'm near Madrid) and generational differences (older people may use Ud. more) but this is what I've observed.
     
  29. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Thanks so much for answering my question. :) It definitely depends on the country because I speak Spanish but my friends are from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and they would use Ud. in all of the cases you mentioned. The elderly, a judge, an officer, but also any stranger and any other adult and anyone you don't know too well, including, of course teachers.
     
  30. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

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    What to call parents? I'll assume you want to keep this civil.

    :p
     

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