To ask that school pupils use my first name, rather than mrs. Smith?

(57 Posts)
PramFaceBuggyBrain Sun 11-Nov-12 22:15:38

I'm a peripatetic percussion teacher in secondary schools and really dont like the formality of "Mrs Smith". aibu to ask that, in a school i'm about to start teaching in, that the pupils call me "Jane" instead? would this seem weird to the parents?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 12-Nov-12 09:56:24

I think you do have to go with what the school normally does - though I can understand preferring your first name. It risks looking a bit try-hard down with the kidz.

I loathe 'sir and miss' with a passion though - it should be title surname, if that's what they're doing.

Quaker school near us only uses first names - are the ones people have mentioned above Quaker schools, or is this something that's catching on?

BrianGiggs Mon 12-Nov-12 09:50:03

also if you are the only one using a first name it looks slightly ingratiating.
We had this at ours and it drove the other staff nuts

BrianGiggs Mon 12-Nov-12 09:49:21

You need to follow school policy.

Blu Mon 12-Nov-12 09:48:56

DS was in a primary where all adults were known by their first names and discipline and respect was excellent and specifically praised in the outstanding ofsted report. First names need not equal lack of respect at all.

However, I think if it is the norm in the school you need to check school policy and go along with it.

DeWe Mon 12-Nov-12 09:45:58

I would have hated that as a pupil. It would have made me feel really awkward with the teacher, as if she was trying to be a friend too hard, if that makes sense.

echt Mon 12-Nov-12 08:40:36

It's what the school wants.

When I was in FE, everyone from cleaner to principal was first name. No loss of respect or discipline.

In my secondary school in Oz, everyone is Ms/Mrs/Mr, etc. until you get to TAs, technicians or the school keeper, at which point they become first name buddies. But not to me; I insist on calling the said TAs, etc. Mr/Ms/Mrs when directing a student. Their faces as they try to figure out what I'm saying, but I don't give a feck: all adults should be accorded the same dignity.

cory Mon 12-Nov-12 08:30:10

I certainly don't think first names has to lead to disrespect: in my old country it is all first names and no school uniforms and children are no more disrespectful than here. I come from a position of perceiving both uniforms and Mrs Smith as rather eccentric customs which are totally unrelated to actual performance; I did well at school in patched denims and clogs, thank you very much.

All the same, I think every school community has its own rules, some applying to the children, others to staff, some involving both, and whatever those particular rules happen to be in one particular place, it undermines respect if one individual who is not in charge takes it upon themselves to alter the goalposts. If one person doesn't follow school policy, then it suggests that perhaps school policy (whatever it may be) is not that important. And the regular staff might not appreciate someone putting that idea into the pupils' heads.

ll31 Mon 12-Nov-12 07:55:43

all ds teacher s primary and secondary used first names - no problems

Brycie Mon 12-Nov-12 07:27:46

Ninah: where to? first name teacher, massage in class..

Brycie Mon 12-Nov-12 07:26:19

Yes Richman is right I think - well put.

MrsCantSayAnything Mon 12-Nov-12 07:25:58

I respected my teacher "Terry" more than any other...we all did. He knew we were people and not faceless kids.

Brycie Mon 12-Nov-12 07:25:14

I've had this in a primary/secondary, I thnk it's a bit of a joke, but are you a different kind of teacher where it doesn't matter so much. It looks a bit "love me love me I'm so groovy" to me.

Joiningthegang Mon 12-Nov-12 07:20:03

I prefer forst names and dont think it leads to disrespect in any way.

Unless you think school will be very against it fo with your instinct.

At my kids achool there are a few ta's and all the after school coaches who are known by there firt names and no diseespebct there.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 12-Nov-12 03:01:30

Why is that Cosy - why don't you think they should at least be Mr/Miss/Mrs Surname?

Cozy9 Mon 12-Nov-12 02:54:40

I think teachers should be called Sir or Miss by the pupils.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 12-Nov-12 01:04:10

Sorry OP- for some reason I got it in my head that it was your DH, not you that was the percussion teacher- think it's because the drum teacher at school was a man [goes off to examine feminist conscience]

Startail Mon 12-Nov-12 01:00:45

OUr HT got Huffy with the pupils for calling the PP music master "Fred", DD1 got huffy about the HT getting huffy and years later (she carried on having lessons with him privatly after going to high school, and still calls him Fred).

I think the only reason the HT moaned was the boys were very disrespectful and naughty with the lad who ran the football club and people able to coach at 3.30 are few and far between.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 12-Nov-12 01:00:29

I don't think it's necessarily the case that calling teachers by their first names leads to disrespect, but often the kind of teachers who instigate that when it's not the school's usual policy (the "Call me Pippa's") are the ones who try to be a bit matey with the kids/ treat it like a popularity contest, and that leads to problems. I do remember having a few like that, but the calling by a Christian name was a symptom of their overall approach, not the cause of them not being able to maintain classroom control for more than 2 mins.

However, as the Op's DH isnt a classroom teacher, i dont think it's such a biggie.

Here in Asia, kids often call the teacher "Miss, Mrs or Mr [first name], or sometimes "Teacher [first name].

SavoyCabbage Mon 12-Nov-12 00:59:37

At our school about a third of the teachers use their first name, including the strictest teacher in the school. There are also about six who use a shortened version of their surname. Mr Mac, Miss Bee, Mrs R.

muminthecity Mon 12-Nov-12 00:46:09

I'm surprised so many people think that using first names means you will not be respected. In my primary school all staff are known to the children by their first names, including the head. The children have no idea what our surnames are. I think the staff are still all respected.

Dominodonkey Mon 12-Nov-12 00:37:31

Sorry cory- read your post incorrectly. But I stand by my point 99% of the students won't have a clue who OP is.

I am also a little perturbed at the suggestion by some that calling your teacher by their first name is the first step to abuse.

Dominodonkey Mon 12-Nov-12 00:35:00

Please read the op properly. She is not a classroom teacher.

cory Mon 12-Nov-12 00:06:28

As a parent I can't say I'd care either way (I'm not the one who has to keep classroom discipline), but I suspect the other teachers might and if they feel it would make their work harder, then you need to respect that.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 11-Nov-12 23:53:50

music teachers are def allowed to be called by their first name.

I will always remember a Mr Flanigan first music lesson in year 7 he jumped on the table and said " this is my fucking classroom and I will jump swear and shout whenever I want to, also you can call me Tim" He was such a cool teacher till he got dismissed for looking at porn on his computer during school time apparently which wasn't a big deal compared to our lovely mrs "smith" who shagged a 6th former on the pool table

izzywizzyisbizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 23:48:44

No, not slippery slope in that sense, but it encourages a sense of friends and helps break down barriers, I am not going to go into why in detail, but suffice to say, having had experience of a teacher who didn't maintain what I would consider an appropriate distance, and the fallout that disclosures to that teacher led to, thats the kind of slippery slope I mean.

Don't get me wrong, said teacher didn't do anything inappropriate, however, his inability to maintain an appropriately professional distance caused no end of problems, for himself and his pupils.

Teachers are - teachers, especially at secondary school level, calling your teacher say, John, rather than Mr. Smith, immediately starts to break down barriers.

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