If you were going to a parents' evening, how would you want the teacher to introduce themselves and how would you react?(61 Posts)
T = Teacher P = Parents
1) T: First name P: First names
2) T: First name P: Mr and/or Mrs ____________
3) P: Mr/Mrs/Miss ______________ P: First names
4) T: Mr/Mrs/Miss ______________ P: Mr and/or Mrs ___________
Please explain why and also your experiences of this (eg. being formal/informal etc).
I would expect teacher to introduce first name/last name and to refer to me as Mrs sixwoolydogs. I would then invite to call me by first name.
"Get irritated when teachers introduce themselves as miss/mrs/mr x as it is not their name and a tad pretentious."
But Mrs Surname is my name. It is one version of my name anyway. As is Mrs Firstname Surname or just Firstname Surname or even just Firstname on its own. They are all versions of my name.
FWIW I normally introduce myself at Firstname Surname. But I have never yet had a parent call me by my firstname alone.
given the confusion that could arise I would never expect a teacher to say anything more than hello I am Miss/Mrs/Ms/Mr/Dr/whatever
teachers can not possibly be expected to know whether the people who arrive are Mr and Mrs, divorced, step parents, grandparents, in some cases it can even be a parent with their own social worker.
I would never be offended if a teacher got my name wrong and to be honest it wouldn't bother me if they called me by my first name or surname or any combination. As a sign of respect though I would expect to call them by whatever the children do.
I don't mind whether people use surnames or first names. But I would expect it to be the same on both sides: if you want to be called Mrs X then you have to call me Ms Y.
Actually this is rarely a problem for me: most people decide to be on first-name terms with me the minute they clap eyes on my tricky surname!
I don't really do names. I'm known as Mrs G-M at school (some younger children can't do my big name so do call me Mrs G-M). In real life, despite having passed my silver wedding anniversary I never answer to Mrs. I have never introduced myself to anyone or signed myself Mrs. Never will. At primary school it's not an issue - everyone knows who you are. If I sign anything or introduce myself to anyone new I use 1st name/last name. Equally never assume anyone else's name. It really isn't the most important thing.
It is a bit of a tricky one as I do not think I would ever call a teacher by just the first name unless I knew them really well, but I would never ever refer to myself as Mrs X. It is always First name and Surname. DS's last teacher used her first name and surname and it is quite noticeable that his new teacher just calls herself Mrs X and I have no idea of her first name.
We have professional relationships in the workplace but I cannot remember working anywhere and calling people Mr X or Mrs X.
I didn't have to introduce myself, generally. And after the first few sets of parents who got cross because they had different surnames to their children or each other, I would simply call them by calling the child's name.
DD had a supply teacher last week.
She was introduced generally to everyone in the playground on Monday as Mrs X.
I happened to need to speak to her one day so introduced myself as "Jane Smith, Doris' mum".
Her normal teacher is Mr Y, although I know his first name (because it was on the school paperwork) I wouldn't use as it seems too informal (rather like calling your doctor by their first name). In my experience teachers tend to avoid calling me anything (to avoid the "wondering if parents' surname is the same as child's" issue) - if they need to get my attention I will be called "Doris' mum".
I'm secondary. On my desk at parents evening is "Mrs Giraffe". I stand up, shake their hand and say "nice to meet you".
If its not clear who they are, (without child in tow) they normally say "I'm Johnny's mum".
We never refer to each other's names in the course of the appointment.
If I phone home, I say "Can i speak to Mr/Mrs SurnamegivenbySIMs please. This is Noble Giraffe from X School, Johnny's maths teacher."
Introducing oneself as Mr/ Ms Surname is wrong, not pretentious, but a little genteeeeel.
I go for I'm Jane Teacher, but expect to be referred to as Ms/Mrs/ Teacher. It's not a hanging offence though. And like other posters I avoid using parents names talking directly to them.
I've never done introductions at parents evening, we already know the teachers by then usually, but I really wouldn't mind either way. I volunteer in school and it is a small community so several of them are also parents, I tend to go by Mrs X (or whatever) in front of the DCs, first name away from the DCs if I know them outside school or if I know they don't mind. They do the same for me, so if I have come into help in class they will say to the children go and read with Ms TimeGoes (or Mrs DCsurname if they don't know my real name), but if speaking to me on my own it will be just Whoknows. I'll answer to any of them.
But yes to just being called DS's mum a lot of the time.
I really don't mind, I'll call the teacher 'title' 'surname' as that is what my dc know them as and they are usually there for parents' evening but I don't mind what they call me, they have enough to remember without worrying about how each parent wishes to be addressed.
We've never mentioned names when meeting our DC's teachers.
At infants and junior level we knew who their teachers were and at middle school and upper secondary they have nametags on the table in front of them.
They call the child rather than the parents and then we do a greeting of pleased to meet you and get on with talking about our DC.
When the school ring me they get my surname right because they look at the contact list but when I ring the school they normally call me by my DC's surname not mine because they go for the default position.
I used to be a school governor. I found it really irritating that the teachers and HT would be addressed as Ms/Miss/Mrs/Mr X whilst the rest of us were addressed by first names. I've worked in the private and public sector and it is only in schools that the professionals introduce themselves in meetings and Ms Whatever.
I'm happy to use Ms X with teachers in front of the children but in meetings I found it annoying and twee. Not enough to raise it, we had other things to debate obviously.
Am I the only one who doesn't understand the question?
Surely it's standard when meeting somebody formally to give your name (possibly unless you think they know it already). If somebody says "I'm Jane" then I'd call her Jane, if she says "I'm Jane Smith" or "I'm Mrs Smith" then I'd address her as Miss/Ms/Mrs Smith unless invited to call her something less formal. I don't really see parents' evenings as any different, except that ime they usually have name labels which helps.
The culture at our primary school is that both the teacher and the parents would be Mr / Mrs X. It always feels a bit artificially formal to me - I understand it in front of the children, but not otherwise. I'm also a parent governor, and have previously been introduced to a room full of prospective parents as Mrs X. It's just odd. But they're all lovely people, so I just go with it (we do use first names in governor meetings, thankfully). My DH used to be a teacher, and still gives his name as Mr X when phoning a company or whatever - not sure what he thinks will happen if they find out his first name!
At our school it seems to be
me: I'm hermione granger
Teacher : I'm john smith
Then you kind of find a wiggly way to figure out ŵhat you want. 6 weeks into term I was calling my ds's primary 2 teacher by his first name, but dd1's primary 4 was always Mrs ... But I'm quite relaxed with teachers, seeing as how I am one.
With the High School Teachers I'm always Mrs T (and it's the only part of our lives outside work when dh introduces himself as Dr T - he feels they take us more seriously). It's only a wee bit awkward with dd1's Geog teacher as I was her acting-up HoD in a different school for a few months. Also she's not very good, sadly.
What tends to happen- "Hi Mrs DC surname I'm Mrs Wendy Gin-bottle" "Hi Mrs Gin-bottle I'm Anna Hope, DCs mum".
Our school all teachers/staff take this approach, give their full names and allow us to choose how we address them and parents tend to do the same.
I don't expect them to remember I have a different surname and only correct them if I have opportunity to. I'm happy to correct them and would hate for them to start calling me "DCs mum".
When I was at school, all teachers used Dr/Mr/Mrs/Miss Smith at all times and children were known by surnames (if you had siblings you were Smith Major or Smith Minor!)
DD's nursery school teacher was Mrs Smith as was one of the TA's. The other TA went by her first name.
The Reception teacher and TAs at her new school are all known by their first names.
So, I go with whatever they address themselves as whether that be Mrs Smith or Jane. For myself I use first name + surname.
I used to have a very long double-barrelled surname which was often mispronounced so I used to prefer people to use my first name as soon as possible. I'm more comfortable with first name + surname being used now that I have a nice short one!
Our school is pretty informal and no need for introductions really as all parents know all teachers and vice versa as parents are welcome in school each morning. HT uses first names and parents do likewise which was a shock when dd started there as I had been used to using Mrs A and was confused as to who Jane was. Some of the staff are known by their first name to the children as well but it doesn't seem to cause any confusion anyway.
I'm Mrs Severn to kids and parents. It's my work name. SummerSevern only for home life. It keeps it all separate. Especially useful if you live within the catchment area and are forever bumping into parents and children while out and about.
Parents are generally 'Bob's mum', or I avoid names, unless I'm phoning, in which case I consult SIMS.
I would prefer First Name Surname and I would prefer to be on first name terms - we are equal adults. I find the over use of surnames to be far too stuffy.
However, I would be annoyed if the teacher expected me to use their surname and felt it appropriate to address me by my first name... and I would say something.
I think the teacher needs to be formal because that's how the children will talk to her/him. And frankly I am just happier not being on first name terms with my child's primary school teacher: it is sometimes a fraught relationship and not always an entirely pleasant one. I wouldn't be comfortable being faux-matey.
First names for both feels much more normal and natural to me. When I go to meetigns for work it is always first names. Ms X seems so old fashioned. The DCs call them that which is fine, but for two women in their 30s sitting together to discuss a child, calling each other Ms X and Ms Y sounds really weird to me.
In addition, I don't share my DC's surname so teachers often fumble around getting it wrong if they try to call me Ms [notmysurname]
Kamchatka I'm capable of having sometimes fraught and not always entirely pleasant relationships with work colleagues while calling them by their first names!
Join the discussion
Please login first.