Will my name hurt me in getting a teaching job?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by i8myhomework, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Nov 20, 2010

    Hi! I found this forum through google, and I decided to join because I have a question I'd like to pose to some teachers.

    A little background on me: I recently had a career change and decide to become an elementary school teacher =) I'd been leaning toward it for quite sometime, but for some reason I never pursued it. Now, I have gone back to school and gotten my certification, and hopefully, I'll get a chance to teach fourth grade.

    This mean seem kind of silly, and I'm not sure it's even worth bringing up but... I have a very "unique name". It sounds rather silly, almost like it's made up. If you want an example, think of "Rip Torn", or "Candy Bliss" "Sharp Knife". Let's just say my parents have a unique sense of humor. And I'm worried that because of this "unique name" I might be passed up in certain job offers, based on its ridiculousness alone. Trust me, it's very hard to hear my first and last name without giggling to yourself. I encountered several strange looks during my student teaching when it was mentioned, and one teacher in the building asked me, "Is that your stage name?" I believe she was joking, lol, but still...:eek:

    Am I being silly? Is this something that I should be legitimately concerned about? I've never worried about this problem in the past, because I've worked at all types of "alternative" places where my name was while not the norm, was acceptable (I was the manager of a record store for four years, also sold merch for a local band). But now suddenly, I'm paranoid about how it comes across on a resume, due to the fact that I'll be working with children. My name isn't like "Ms. Sawyer" or "Ms. Jennifer Jones". It sounds like I should be working at a goth club, rather than an elementary school. Plus, it might sound a bit threatening to kids. Not that *I* am threatening.

    Anywhoo, I have no idea what a solution to this problem would be, other than changing my name. I'm not even sure if this entire post makes any sense whatsoever, and for that, I am sorry :) I just feel a bit out of my element and I'd love some advice.
     
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  3. nasirahc83

    nasirahc83 Companion

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    I really hope this does not pose a threat for you and principals look at your credentials and your just your name. I don't have any better advice. since most schools go by last name it really shouldn't be a problem.
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I would hope it would not hurt you. Do you have a middle name? I know people who go by their middle names because they do not like their first names. Or, they use the initial of their first name with their middle name and last name.
     
  5. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Wow, such fast responses!

    Nope, no middle name for me. And even my last name is strange itself.
     
  6. SunnyReader

    SunnyReader Companion

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    I'm intrigued. What is your name?

    Having a unique name might help you stand out. An interview panel will remember you for sure.
     
  7. Southernese

    Southernese Rookie

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    I know you don't want to say your real name on here, but now I'm dying to know!

    As for your question, I don't think having an unusual name would hurt you. At the school I used to teach at, we had a Mrs. Butts and a Mr. Nutt in the same department, and I would be hard-pressed to come up with two worse names to have as a teacher.

    You never know--an unusual name might even help you get noticed.
     
  8. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Ha ha! Anyone who is interested in knowing what it is, is more than welcome to PM me. I'd just rather not say it on the board. No clue why, ha ha. =) I didn't mean to be so darn secretive...
     
  9. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Nov 20, 2010

    I knew a man who was uncomfortable with the name his mother had given him. He always went by his initials. A lot of teachers go by their initials when their name is hard to pronounce - Miss T., etc.

    Anyway, I don't think it will be a problem.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Harper

    Harper Companion

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    I 2nd the initial and then last name if the name really worries you; at least maybe for your resume?
    I too am drying to know! I may have to PM you! :p
     
  11. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    I also hope that your name doesn't hinder you! Ans as a parent who gave her son a different first name I am interested in knowing what your name is. I may have to PM you.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I am DYING of curiosity here!!!
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aw, people, have a heart! Trust me when I tell you that it's not easy having a weird name, let alone two of 'em.
     
  14. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Your name isn't weird TG! Hey, does your first name have 2 or 3 syllables?
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Three, when I'm lucky. Though I've been known to answer to "Hey, you!"
     
  16. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Living with an odd name isn't easy! I've grown to love my first name, but the first question at any interview, invariably is "Is that you're real name? Where does it come from?"

    (Not to mention the regular comments of "No, really. What's you're name?" and "You know, you can get your name changed legally..." And how about this one, said to my friend in reference to my name, by a mutual co-worker: "She has such an attitude! She won't even tell me her real name, only what her mother called her since she was a baby!"-My name is a popular term of endearment in my community, it can't even be considered a nickname!)

    My advice is to be honest. Most employers will look past the unusual name, and it may be an asset in any case.
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2010

    I have a grandson named Michael. Great, works well. Until his mother remarried and his new last name rhymes with Michael. Even that innocent of a "funny" name causes a lot of comments.
     
  18. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    If it really, really bothers you that much, legally change your name. Otherwise, don't worry about it. If you don't have it changed, although you have to state your name on resumes & other important documents, which I know is your concern, at least you can say any name you want when it comes to what you want students to call you.
     
  19. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Yep. I get the, "No, what's your REAL name" comment all the time. Followed by, "I mean the name on your birth certificate." Do people really think I don't know my real name? And what were my parents thinking? What's cute for a baby isn't necessarily appropriate for an adult.

    My students get a kick out of my name (if/when they figure out what my first name is).

    At any rate, I've survived professionally and it hasn't seemed to hinder me. And now that I'm married, it's better. I still don't love my first name, but the new combo is better than my maiden name.

    I do know a teacher that uses her maiden name because her married name would provoke too many jokes from her students.

    I want to know your name, too. :)
     
  20. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Can't see that it will be a problem.

    I work with a Miss Melling which when the kids say it sounds like Miss Smelling! No one takes any notice.

    I also worked with a Miss Spurgeon, which the kids altered to Miss Virgin, didn't affect her career, although she did eventually marry!
     
  21. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    We also had a Mrs. Butts. No one thought anything of it - not even the kids.
    Don't worry about it.
     
  22. teacherfan

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    My parents gave me the same name as a porn star (although I was born before the porn star became famous). I had no clue until I hit junior high when all of a sudden other students (it was a 7-9 school) started asking me weird questions! From then on, whenever I was asked my name, I always got looks! Oh well...I got married and changed it!

    I don't think your name will hinder your career, HR may take a second look just by reading your resume!
     
  23. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    I worked with a Mrs. Beers.....and a Mrs. Skelton....
     
  24. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    At least you won't get your mail mixed up with other teachers.... I have a common last name and get somebody else's mail with the same name every single day. :::Wishing people would look a little closer at the first names!:::::
     
  25. ABC Sensei

    ABC Sensei Rookie

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    I'm curious about your name too! :)

    Well, my thoughts are if you like your name then that's all that matters. Others will come around. However, if you don't care for it, it's a good opportunity to change it, right? Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll enjoy your new career as a teacher...best of luck!
     
  26. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I've worked with a Mrs. Smelly and a Mr. D*ck.
     
  27. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I knew of a girl once named Mastery Sheets. Parents, parents, parents...come on now.....
     
  28. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I agree with many of the above comments... it shouldn't hinder you, and might help you get a second look, or at least generate some interest! My last name is not difficult, but I still shorten it of my last initial for my preschoolers... and no one has a problem with that. You should be able to shorten it or use an initial or something if you're that concerned about the students :)
     

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