If you were going to a parents' evening, how would you want the teacher to introduce themselves and how would you react?

(61 Posts)
mrevans Sun 15-Sep-13 18:25:09

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).

lljkk Sun 15-Sep-13 18:29:34

That's a bit technical.
Surnames both sides. Keep it professional. I didn't even like using first names when I worked at the school (DC also pupils there).

Greydog Sun 15-Sep-13 18:34:55

agree - surnames on both sides. Formal is best

intitgrand Sun 15-Sep-13 18:36:56

Teacher (unless they know you well) to call parents Mr and Mrs Grand and introduce themselves by first and second name (no title) eg Thomas Brown

PottyLotty Sun 15-Sep-13 18:37:19

I would expect you to already know the name of the Teacher so no introduction really needed on their side unless its just a room full of Teachers in which case Mr/Mrs/Miss ** and you would be introduced as Mr & Mrs/Ms/Miss (or any other title).

I really do not like 1st name terms with anyone unless they are long standing friends/family etc, our Headteacher tries to use my first name all the time and I always correct him and say Mrs **. It is a professional relationship you have which in my opinion warrants the use of titles.

PuppyMonkey Sun 15-Sep-13 18:39:53

I'm not married to my partner, and get VERY annoyed when the school call me Mrs DP's surname. Just saying. First names all the way for me, what is this 1956?

headlesslambrini Sun 15-Sep-13 18:41:01

I think on first meeting then surnames on both sides. If it is likely to have more involvement with parents then possibly, invite them to use your first name after a couple of meetings as I think this can break down barriers and it can make some people feel as if they are being listened to. However, some people prefer to keep things formal so it would have to be judged on a parent by parent basis.

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 15-Sep-13 18:44:28

Title and Surnames on both sides.

I was heavily involved in the primary school PTA (Chair for 6 years) and found it a useful distinction to call the Head by his first name for PTA business (and he reciprocated) and as Mr X for parental business (and vice versa). Same for all other staff. Keeps your relationship clear.

PuppyMonkey Sun 15-Sep-13 18:50:03

Calling me Mrs DP's surname didn't keep things clear for me.

pourmeanotherglass Sun 15-Sep-13 18:53:52

I'm not sure any of my dd's teachers have introduced themselves at the first parents evening, as I already knew their name by then. If necessary, I've introduced myself as 'X's Mum', but it isn't usually necessary, as they have usually noticed which child I pick up before parents evening.
I guess it must be different when they go up to secondary (I'll find out next year, as dd1 is in yr 6)

SummerHoliDidi Sun 15-Sep-13 18:54:24

I have to say I have always said something like "you must be x's mum/dad" and everybody has been happy with that. My name is usually on the desk in front of me as Ms Didi.

If I have to speak to a parent on the phone then I use surnames on both sides but I look the parents' surnames up to make sure I've got them right as there are so many combinations and I don't want to offend anyone.

coppertop Sun 15-Sep-13 19:02:59

The teacher's name is usually displayed on the desk, but if it's the first time I've met them they will introduce themselves as Miss/Mrs/Mr X.

Children usually attend too, so it tends to be a case of "Hello, dd/ds. And this must be your mum/dad."

First names aren't used at all. I think they avoid addressing the parents as Mr/Miss/Mrs Surname as it is very easy to get this wrong.

HmmAnOxfordComma Sun 15-Sep-13 19:08:44

We got a sticker at yr 7 parents' evening which said: 'Mrs HAOC, parent of x' and 'Mr...etc etc'. Felt like I was four again, but it was useful!

Picklesauage Sun 15-Sep-13 20:23:47

I always introduce myself as 'first name - last name'. It's not a state secret!

I also echo a pp and say 'you must be --- parents'. But I say this first, then my name and normally get theirs in return. Then I don't need to make assumptions about married names!

HumphreyCobbler Sun 15-Sep-13 20:32:01

I too introduced myself as first name - last name. I addressed parents as Mr and Mrs.

Pachacuti Sun 15-Sep-13 20:35:44

To be honest, at primary level I'd expect to already know who they were and have them know who I was before parents' evening.

Alanna1 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:37:03

Surely it depends. Some teachers like to be known by their first names. Others don't. Similarly with parents. Just take your cue from that.

sarascompact Sun 15-Sep-13 20:39:14

What intitgrand said. I.E. "Hello Mrs Brown, I'm Jane Smith, John's head of year".

tethersend Sun 15-Sep-13 20:39:48

Since all teachers at DD's school are known by their first names, it would be odd to start introducing ourselves as Mr/Ms X

JugglingChaotically Sun 15-Sep-13 20:40:47

I introduce myself as First name, Surname.
Expect teacher to do same.
Then address them as Mrs/miss/mr X and expect them to so the same.
Get irritated when teachers introduce themselves as miss/mrs/mr x as it is not their name and a tad pretentious.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 15-Sep-13 20:41:13

I have my name (Mrs Lastname) on the table. I don't refer to parents' names.

When I'm phoning I introduce myself as Firstname Lastname, and call them Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Theirlastname as detailed on the contact list.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 15-Sep-13 20:43:34

Not sure why it's pretentious to keep to surnames though really...

trinity0097 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:44:26

Depends how much contact I've had with them in the past, some parents I am on first name terms with others Mr/Mrs, if in doubt at parents evening I generally start by saying, you must be x's Mum/Dad, especially if in doubt whether they have have same surnames! One Mum at school hates being called Mrs X as she thinks that someone is calling for her MIL!

Hulababy Sun 15-Sep-13 20:48:06

I refer to myself as Firstname Surname.
I will say to parents "Oh, you must be x's mum/dad" and try to avoid using a surname unless I have to as no way of assuming right surname.

When phoning a parent I look up the information in the contacts file and use the name(s) provided in their - which were provided in the first pace by the parents.

I don't do parent's evenings anymore - but used to look up correct surnames in the contact book in prep where available and jot them down on my notes next to each child.

Smartiepants79 Sun 15-Sep-13 20:48:13

Would always use surnames on both sides unless it is a parent I know very well and have perhaps taught other siblings. Consider it unprofessional otherwise.
I know all my parents tho and they know me so it's never been an issue.

sixwoollydogs Sun 15-Sep-13 20:49:11

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.

Hulababy Sun 15-Sep-13 20:50:29

"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.

Periwinkle007 Sun 15-Sep-13 21:14:34

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.

Saracen Sun 15-Sep-13 21:24:48

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!

goingmadinthecountry Sun 15-Sep-13 21:32:02

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.

wearingatinhat Sun 15-Sep-13 23:33:27

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.

Galena Mon 16-Sep-13 08:11:01

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.

redskyatnight Mon 16-Sep-13 08:37:31

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".

noblegiraffe Mon 16-Sep-13 09:24:21

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."

Helpyourself Mon 16-Sep-13 09:29:58

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.

OddBoots Mon 16-Sep-13 09:36:50

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.

Myliferocks Mon 16-Sep-13 09:45:44

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.

Llareggub Mon 16-Sep-13 09:47:31

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.

mothersanonymous Mon 16-Sep-13 12:11:39

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.

cornflakegirl Mon 16-Sep-13 13:16:09

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!

Weegiemum Mon 16-Sep-13 13:22:53

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".

pyrrah Mon 16-Sep-13 13:47:59

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!

insanityscratching Mon 16-Sep-13 14:16:59

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.

SummerSevern Mon 16-Sep-13 14:17:20

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.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 16-Sep-13 14:36:27

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.

Kamchatka Mon 16-Sep-13 14:39:11

4, definitely.
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.

purpleroses Mon 16-Sep-13 14:42:30

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]

cornflakegirl Mon 16-Sep-13 15:24:12

Kamchatka I'm capable of having sometimes fraught and not always entirely pleasant relationships with work colleagues while calling them by their first names!

WipsGlitter Mon 16-Sep-13 15:35:12

I was chatting in the playground and another parent had to point out the teacher was calling me as they were calling me with DSs surname and I'm Ms Glitter. I felt very foolish. But I can't expect them to remember every parents preference.

sarascompact Mon 16-Sep-13 15:50:31

I was always taught that it's just as much bad form to introduce yourself (or sign a letter) as "Mrs Smith" or "Mr John Brown" as it is to formally greet someone by their first name without invitation.

So, if you're meeting Timothy's Dad, Peter Blake, you should say something like, "Hello Mr Blake, I'm Elaine Jones, Timothy's art teacher". If Mr Blake wants you to call him by his first name he will invite you to do it, it's not for you to take that initiative.

Working on that logic I'd be a bit miffed if someone who was teaching my child was unable to set them the correct example and instead introduced himself as "Mr So and So". grin

purpleroses Mon 16-Sep-13 15:51:45

Wips - it's not just your preference though. It's your name. My name is not DC surname. If they can't get it right, they should ask me, or use my first name. Or just call me "XX's mum"

sarascompact Mon 16-Sep-13 16:23:31

Ugh! No! Not "XX's mum"! I hate being defined as "child's mum" (or worse still as "child's mummy"! I'm me, not just a mother, not defined by that! Ask my name FFS!

Blu Mon 16-Sep-13 17:21:51

At primary all the teachers were adressed by their first names by everyone, anyway, and they knoew my first name , and most parents' first names as it was a friendly school with lots of parental and family involvement.

At secondary - teachers introduced themselves as 'Mr / Ms' because that's what the pupils call them and we said 'hello I'm first name and first name' because we are casual sort of people and I almost never introduce myself as Ms Blu, to anyone. I might say 'my name is First Name , last name', but never Ms Last name'.

MidniteScribbler Tue 17-Sep-13 00:39:23

I have a spreadsheet for all my classes which includes parents full names, and also a preferred name column. I'll introduce myself as Firstname Lastname, and address them as Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss/Dr/whatever they have written on their forms. Most people then say "oh, call me Xxxxxx". If they do that, I make a note on the spreadsheet (after they leave) in the preferred name column, and then use that from then on.

I don't mind parents referring to me by my first name when talking with them, but expect them to use Ms Xxxxxx when there are students around. Our staff all do the same. In the staff room it's first names, but outside the staff rooms it's by title.

pennefab Tue 17-Sep-13 01:11:04

Surnames around DC and when referring to each other in front of students. When no children present, first names.

Interestingly, now DC has teacher who only goes by first name.

Admiraltea Tue 17-Sep-13 01:12:04

Quite loved a TA who referred to every mum as mum...as in "well mum, Doris has lost a tooth today ..haven't you Doris? Let mum have a look, ooh mum isn't that a lovely tooth?..well worth a visit from the tooth fairy"

cornflakegirl Tue 17-Sep-13 12:58:41

When DS1 started school, he was going through a phase of calling me by my first name. So there were some conversations with his reception teacher where she was addressing me as Mum, and he was using my name!

JammieCodger Tue 17-Sep-13 20:25:08

I'm another who's never come across introductions at parents evening, but I introduced myself to my daughter's new teacher with 'hi, you must be Ms Surname. I'm Jammie, L's mother.'So I still don't actually know her first name at all.

Like someone upthread, how teachers and I refer to each other is usually determined by whether its PTA business or as a parent. It's a big school, so quite a few members of staff only know me as Jammie and don't even know whose mother I am. Similarly, I only know a lot of them as PTA colleagues, so it's first names all around. But if its about my children, we'll usually go for the more formal approach.

MrsBungle Tue 17-Sep-13 20:30:25

I prefer first names. I am more than happy to call the teacher 'Mrs Smith' but I prefer to be called Bungle - When people call me Mrs Bungle I feel like I am in 1955. Every time someone calls me Mrs Bungle I say, please call me Bungle.

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