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Being Called by my name to my face

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by thattallteacher, May 10, 2012.

  1. anfieldone

    anfieldone New commenter

    Are you lot for real?

    Miscreants? Formal titles?

    It's your name. What's the big deal. If this is your attitude to something so trivial then I can only imagine what they call you when you can't hear them.

    Seriously. Get over it and concentrate on becoming a better teacher. A much more worthwhile use of everyone's time.
  2. lynellie

    lynellie New commenter

    In my primary school, when we were issued with our ID badges, our christian names were included on the badge so quite freqently we got some smart children referring to us by our 'real name'. When that happens, I just mention that Mrs Whatever is my 'real' name and the name by which I should be called. The novelty of knowing our christian names and using them soon wore off.
    I appreciate that it is a lot harder in high school because some of these children, because they are older, are more determined to bend the rules in whichever way they can, I think the advice to remind them that out of respect they should not refer to you by your christian name just as you would not refer to their parents by their christian names, and that continuing to do so will result in sanctions which you will see through, the novelty/smart attitude will soon wear off.
  3. I'm confident that were you to express the need met by asking your students to address you in a particular way, they'd do it.
    Have you an idea of which need it is you're trying to meet?
  4. I totally agree - what is wrong with being called by your first name - in some ways it is better. Hierarchical days of Sir are over - Please Sir, may I remove my blazer. C'mon.
  5. I teach in Australia - it is socially accepted by pretty much everyone to address teachers as Miss, Miss Surname etc. If students don't use that, I don't respond. Pavlov works every time.
  6. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    Whatever do you mean? What's wrong with this? It is exactly how I would expect a teacher to be addressed.

    I am there to teach them as a professional in authority - not to be their friend. Schools are hierarchical - it is how they have to be to work. Accepting being called by your first name in a school like mine - and in most secondary schools I know - is the first step on the slippery slope to chaos.
  7. kittylion

    kittylion Senior commenter

    I don't care what they call me when I can't hear them.
    I think the OP said they were an NQT - or new to the profession anyway. I'll bet these same children don't call the SLT by their first names or shout their names across the yard to them. It's their way of being insolent.
    I agree it's best not to make an issue of it, but I certainly don't think it should be accepted. Any member of staff accepting or encouraging children to call them by their first name in my school would be asked not to do so.
  8. I like kids to know my first name i feel it creates a more personal learning environment and allows the kids a sense of achievement however small it may be, there are people after all when you meet someone or do CPD with them do you not know their first name? no difference
  9. I teach in Australia too.....and we all use first names at our site.....from the principal down to the newest Reception student.
  10. HotPinkCrayola

    HotPinkCrayola New commenter

    I don't think the problem is knowing it, I think the problem is it not being the school policy for students to use it. There's a huge difference. I doubt anyone cares that students know their name, and if (like in most colleges) they were allowed to call us our first name it wouldn't be an issue. But you wouldn't let a student text their boyfriend in lesson or swear copiously at others, because it's against the rules, so why should you be lax on the use of a surname? It's inconsistent and as others have said a sign of disrespect.
  11. Hi,
    I think the argument of whether we should or shouldn't use first names is irrelevant if it all other staff are called Mr, Miss or Mrs. I am very open about my first name, but do not allow pupils to use it to address me. It would undermine me compared to other staff and make it appear that I were trying to be matey with them. When pupils try to call me Claire, I ask to see them after class and explain that it is there so that they do not cross boundaries. I also ask them why they want to call me by my first name. They very rarely have a reply to this, but if they did it would help you to know and then deal with the problem from there. There is less chance of them swearing or revealing too much of their personal lives if the boundary is in place, and our school has procedures to follow. I do however tell them that if I knew them outside of school I would invite them to use my first name and cross the boundary, but not in this setting. As I teach French I reinforce this with the 'vous' rules. They probably want to feel that you are familiar even though you are new, so a clear explanation of policy and procedure for going against it might work. I try and spin it that the policy is there to help them remember that I cannot keep secrets either, and that I am legally bound to pass on personal information given, and how wierd it would be if they came in and hugged me as they would an adult they call by first name too. The time taken to explain, I hope, has prevented them doing it to other teachers, and it has become a rarity without a fight. Might be worth a go whilst introducing consequences? It will pass if you want it to, but it will also carry on if you allow it to. What will be the next boundary that they cross? We need the boundaries in secondary school and we need to follow the same rules as the other teachers in the same school or we undermine ourselves. Let us know what happens .....
  12. Pupils in my school found out my name too. I tried simply ignoring them when they called out my first name, and it seemed to die down. Most of the time it was good-humoured enough, and if that was the case I'd occasionally respond to the pupils by calling them fake names or pronouncing their names strangely. I'd only risk that with pupils I have a good rapport with though.
  13. I work in small colleges with year 10 to year 13 and everyone uses first names. Tutors and pupils still respect each other
  14. My first name's Joe, but I once told a group of Year Sevens that my first name was Jorge. Whenever a child calls me by my first name, I either a) tell them the story about telling kids I was called Jorge, which they have a giggle at, and forget all about the fact they were cheeking me, or b) feign horror, and ask how did they find out my biggest secret!? and treat it like the trivium that it should be.

    Sometimes, I even refer to myself by my first name, if I'm relating a conversation I had with myself (happens) or with another member of staff. They're surprised when I say it, so it's a perfect opportunity for me to get my retaliation in first, as it were, and discuss appropriate use of first names, etc.
  15. My name is Dave but you can call me Miss Heady, I am the first openly transgender teacher in the Uk, now feel free to take the **** out of me, but DON'T call me Dave.
  16. Children call me "Miss" - I ask them how many Misses they know with a beard. "Mr Smith" tends to follow.
  17. First names for all from cleaners to executive head in my primary school.
    Not an issue and personally it would feel weird being any other way.
  18. I've worked in two primary schools this year as a sports coach/P.E Teacher.

    The first one, children were allowed to call every member of staff by their first name. I felt in this instance, it was way to casual, and I felt like a **** when asking mis-behaving children if they wanted to go and see Mark (i.e the headteacher). Likewise, when a child could just walk up to the head teacher and start the conversation with "Mark"

    The second school feels like how I think it should be, especially at the primary level. All teachers are referred to as Mr/Mrs/Miss.

    I have children call me by my first name however I work with them as a sports coach rather than a teacher in a classroom setting.
  19. Like the others said, don't put up with it. Give them detention if you must. I appreciate the formal relationship between students and teachers, and think it is important that we are addressed as Mr/Ms. Some schools however (especially in the eastern hemisphere) use Mr Bob or Ms Patty rather than last names. This is acceptable, though I think it will be weird (I'm moving to a school in Shanghai soon). As long as there is a honorific, it teaches students about respect and behaviour in formal settings, something that is priceless when they get older and are looking for work

    haha priceless

    You must come from hellish schools to think that! Why do you think it is unsuitable? I don't think duty is a very hard task at all, I find it fun actually. When I was student teaching, whenever out master teacher had duty, we would accompany them and see how it is done. I have been doing lunch duty solo since doing paid work and never felt like it wasn't suitable for me. I was trained in New South Wales, Australia
  20. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    If you are young, and in secondary especially, it can feel as though you are clinging on to your authority with your fingertips at the best of times, and pupils using your first name can be seen as a way of disrespecting you.
    To be honest, the worst thing to do is to go mental about it because then they think they know your weakness. You might give them a detention, but they still feel like they have touched a nerve. Why give them that power?
    I am in secondary (and was young when I started and looked it too (I don't now!!)) so I remember this feeling. If pupils ask me my name, I tell them. Then I say 'but you need to call me 'Mrs Pop'. A couple of students once said 'well if I need to call you Mrs Pop you need to call me Mr Smith (or whatever their surname was). I said fine, and did so until they asked me not to (which was after about 15 mins of me making sure I said their names a couple of times a minute). If they ask me how old I am, I tell them. It often leads to a 'oh my mum is that age too'. Then we move on. If they go on about how old I am, I ask them if they would like to write my birthday down in their planner so they can remember to get me a card.
    It is similar to the 'are you married ' have you got a boyfriend' question that kids sometimes ask. It is partly being interested in you, partly wanting to know where your weakenesses are. If you make a big deal out of it (when it is just something that everyone has - a first name!) then they wonder why it is such a big deal and use it against you.

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