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General Chat Thread, Stop Calling Teachers 'Miss' Or 'Sir', Pupils Are Told - Telegraph in General; Everyone called me by my first name at my previous school, primarily because the teachers couldn't remember my surname so ...
  1. #46
    Zoom7000's Avatar
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    Everyone called me by my first name at my previous school, primarily because the teachers couldn't remember my surname so they'd just tell the students to go call me by my firstname! When I joined back in 2004 half of year 11 knew me personally because I ran the local football team, so they all called me by my first name anyway!

    I couldn't imagine calling my school teachers by anything other than Sir/Miss - In fact, if I see them in the street these days, I'll still call them by Sir/Miss - It's a respect thing. I know ex students who came back as teachers at my last place and still called some of their fellow staff who taught them Sir/Miss. I think it's good and helps students to develop some respect. Especially in a time where respect is going out of the window!
    Last edited by Zoom7000; 14th May 2014 at 10:47 AM.

  2. #47
    gmj
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    Had a student once greet me with "Alright bud....".

    Needless to say, after my response to them, it never happened again.

    I'm Sir now.

  3. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    It was exactly the same here, until a member of SLT called me by my first name in front of all the kids so I responded in kind... not to be awkward, but it does eat away at the respect the students have for us; if they're not expected to call us by title, as they have to with teachers, they surmise that we mustn't be as important as the teachers. Needless to say, she always calls me "Sir/Mr" in front of kids now!
    ^ This.

    Though I haven't responded in kind... may have to remember that.


    It's gone from simply being addressed by my first name [someone is actually about to get told off for that] to pupils banging on my office window when a teacher sends them to get me...


    Quote Originally Posted by AndiMarv View Post
    I work at a Quaker school and in keeping with the Quaker ethos of 'plain speech' and 'Equality' no one in the school is expected to make reference to anyone's title, be it Sir, Miss, Mrs, Dr, or anything.
    I'd be pretty annoyed if, after years of expensive schooling, I had achieved a doctorate and people steadfastly refused to acknowledge it "because reasons".

    To quote Dr. Evil:

    "I didn't spend 6 years in evil medical school to be called mister, thank you very much."

  4. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    You honestly think that calling someone Sir and Miss as is disrespectful, I'm quite shocked I always thought it was very polite and professional. I don't think it's laziness I think you'll find a lot of students will know a lot of teachers first names, it's just about showing members of staff respect. I'm fairly shocked you have said that I haven't come across a single person before that think the title Sir/Miss is disrespectful and lazy
    No - I said almost disrespectful. If you are a member of staff they don't see very often, or are new, then fair enough Sir or Miss is fine. But what about, for example, someone who has been their form tutor for a year or more?

    Disrespectful is possibly the wrong word, but I think it's reasonable to expect that long term pupils will know their teachers title and surname. They don't call their friends 'boy' and 'girl' (or similar generic terms) after all.

  5. #50

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    Some of the kids have overheard my first name from members of staff, but any child that refers to me by my first name is outright blanked until they use 'Sir'. I don't mind staff using my name in the presence of kids as most kids still have the respect to refer to me as Sir even if they do know what my name is, though oddly I won't use a teacher's first name in the presence of his or her pupils.. Double-standards. Huh.

    I've only ever had to 'tell off' one kid who was either year 10 or 11 ("Firstly, I am a member of staff and you will address me as such and with respect. Secondly, I am having a discussion with Miss $Surname here, you will be patient and wait for it to finish, are we clear?" - he had a bit of a sulk ) after he repeatedly tried to get my attention both rudely using my first name and trying to interrupt a discussion I was having with his teacher.

    With regards to the Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms/Sir debate, I'm quite happy with Sir/Miss personally. I would also accept Sir/Ma'am, (although I'm one of those that pronounces it 'Marmh' rather than 'Mum') if that were 'the norm' here, because it's a lot simpler to use single-syllable titles. Plus I feel the Miss/Ms/Mrs is just over-complicating things. If you identify as female, I'm going to address you with a female title. I'll default to 'Miss' as I usually have no knowledge or interest of your marital status. Plus, Mr and Mrs feel like they should be followed by a surname, they just sound wrong on their own, whereas Sir/Miss/Ma'am doesn't.

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    Half the staff can't even remember my last name and call me my first name in front of their classes all the time. It's really annoying but only because it leads to the kids forgetting what my name is because they don't want to call me by my first name or call me Ant Hill. Which means I'm forever The Computer Lady...

    And at 19, I'd be kind of insulted if they called me Ma'am or Mrs!

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    Most of our kids call everyone "Miss", including me and most of the other male members of staff. Doesn't bother me...

  8. #53
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    The use of sir and miss is perhaps the easiest way to get a teachers attention especially encase of an emergency.

  9. #54
    rad
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    I hate been called a teacher, sod the Mr/Sir thing

    I did DofE 2 weekends ago, and half way round on day one got fed up of the kids calling me Mr ____ I asked them to call me by my first name.
    DofE leader is known to the kids by his first name only

    - - - Updated - - -

    I hate been called a teacher, sod the Mr/Sir thing

    I did DofE 2 weekends ago, and half way round on day one got fed up of the kids calling me Mr ____ I asked them to call me by my first name.
    DofE leader is known to the kids by his first name only

  10. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiMarv View Post
    I don't this this shows a lack of respect on the part of pupils, after all a name is simply a way of verbally distinguishing one person from another it does not serve as the source of some mystical name based respect - respect between adults and children must be earned as much as is true between adults and adults.
    I totally agree that respect is earned and not a right (in fact I was considered a "problem" child at school for pointing this amongst other things out!) . Your school's circumstances are quite different to others and I respect that, however I do think that in a lot of schools using some sort of formal title when addressing your superiors* instils a certain level of respect in that it reinforces the notion that this person is in charge, they're not one of your peers so you probably shouldn't talk to them like one.

    I'm not saying that students will automatically lose respect for their teachers simply because they don't address them by title, but it blurs the line between "authoritative figure" and "peer", which can in turn make it very difficult to discipline children when necessary as they don't have the pre-conceived notion of authority.

    Of course all children are different but the sad thing is, I think things like this need to be thought of in terms of how the disrespectful children will see it, the respectful ones will remain respectful either way...

    * before I get a barrage of "what makes you think you're superior" posts, I'm talking strictly in an authoritarian context here and in no way implying that I/adults are superior human beings!

  11. #56

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    Even my own children have called me Mrs $surname or Miss in school when I have been there in an official capacity. They never calked me Mum. Their friends, on first name terms with me out of school, do likewise as do the countless guides, scouts, dancers, etc who have crossed my path. By and large most people, including the youngest, are able to switch to the most appropriate name for the circumstance.

    Years ago, although I was the IT tech, I ended up being a TA in my son's year 1 class during an ofsted inspection as their regular TA was in hospital. The class teacher sat them on the carpet and reminded them that, whatever they normally called me, Nick's mummy was to be called Mrs $surname that day! They all managed it!

  12. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bompalompalomp View Post
    Half the staff can't even remember my last name and call me my first name in front of their classes all the time. It's really annoying but only because it leads to the kids forgetting what my name is because they don't want to call me by my first name or call me Ant Hill. Which means I'm forever The Computer Lady...

    And at 19, I'd be kind of insulted if they called me Ma'am or Mrs!
    I'm 20 and I don't mind being called Sir.

    I think it all comes down to your own personal opinions and we'd be having the same debate if kids forever called us by our first names as some people would prefer to be addressed in other ways!

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    Here, kids tend to use Sir/Miss, Mr/Miss/Mrs Lastname or occasionally Mr/Miss/Mrs LastInitial, it depends on what stage of the conversation they're at and teacher preference.

  14. #59


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    Our students used first names for staff for many years. I think our experience would support the view that it can confuse students WRT authority, but I don't think it's as strong as being a direct cause of behaviour issues.

  15. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Here, kids tend to use Sir/Miss, Mr/Miss/Mrs Lastname or occasionally Mr/Miss/Mrs LastInitial, it depends on what stage of the conversation they're at and teacher preference.
    I'd be happy with "Mr. $Initial", but considering my line manager and the head share the same last initial, that may not be the best solution :P Sir is good enough for me.



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