Unconventional teaching methods

(17 Posts)
UrgentNews Sun 03-Nov-13 10:13:02

Hi everyone, I thought I might as well make my first post in the education section, being as I'm an English teacher. I'd also like to thank everyone I've me so far for being so friendly.

Quite a few colleagues have criticised me for letting my students call me Dave instead of Mr Jackson; however I think it helps to break down boundaries and makes you more approachable. So my question is, do any of you have any 'unconventional' teaching methods? and is your senior management more supportive of new ideas than mine is?

FunnyLittleFrog Sun 03-Nov-13 10:18:57

Sorry, I have never heard of a teacher using their first name or of a SLT who would be in favour of it tbh.

UrgentNews Sun 03-Nov-13 10:44:13

I had the idea when I saw a documentary about Summerhill a few years ago and asked the dictator head if I could give it a shot when I moved to my current school. She loves he idea but the deputy head hates it with a passion almost as much as I hate hate him

ParkerTheThief Sun 03-Nov-13 10:46:59

Thing is, at Summerhill it's a whole school culture. I think having you do it while every other teacher is Mrs/Miss/Mr seems a bit odd.

missmapp Sun 03-Nov-13 10:49:03

A few teachers in our school let children call them Mr D or whatever instead of Mr Davis. This seems to do what you are after without upsetting SLT as much. The thing with 'call me Dave' is it really needs to be a whole school approach or you are going to face problems.

Lottiedoubtie Sun 03-Nov-13 10:49:19

I think if you want to be called by your first name, you need to work in a school where this is standard practice.

It's not 'unconventional' otherwise, it's confusing and disruptive to the orderly running of the school.

SilverApples Sun 03-Nov-13 10:50:17

Have any members of staff got concerns over your discipline, class control and general behaviour management? That's usually the thing raised when staff are seen as blurring boundaries. 6th form colleges don't seem to have a problem with it.
I find the best thing to do when using unconventional methods, or a somewhat subversive approach to policies is not to let SMT become aware of it. It's how I've managed for decades. grin

FloresCircumdati Sun 03-Nov-13 10:55:47

It is effective where it is part of the whole school ethos and backed up with the rest of the staff teaching and working in the same way. It doesn't work when one teacher openly invites all pupils to call them by their first name if the management/leadership of the school encourages a hierarchical structure.

It sounds as though you would be happier wworking at a different school. Or even higher education.

LoopaDaLoopa Sun 03-Nov-13 10:56:19

That's not a teaching method, that's just a name confused

I work abroad. Kids here use a mix - some call me Miss Loopa, some Mrs DaLoopa. I prefer the latter.

A friend teaches in a school where they all use first names. She hates it.

LoopaDaLoopa Sun 03-Nov-13 10:59:37

ps. massively bad idea to call your boss a dictator on a public forum.

gorionine Sun 03-Nov-13 11:05:59

No, I would not be in favour of my Dcs calling their teacher by their first name, unless they already knew each other fairly well outside school (family friend for example, cousin...) or the teachers name is really hard to pronounce. saying that, I have a foreign name that children find very hard to pronounce, I do not correct them because it is pretty clear it is a pronunciation issue but I still would find inappropriate for them to call me gorionine. I think it just a gimmick as the learning does not depend on what the pupils call you but on how you are actually teaching them. Being the coolest teacher does not necessarily make one the best pedagogue.

AuntieStella Sun 03-Nov-13 11:15:36

I don't think it's unconventional - it seems a dated hangover from 60s/70s.

But if you're out of step with the normal ways in your school of referring to a teacher and its general ethos, you're probably making things harder for yourself.

I think there was a thread about this a little while ago - I'll see if I can find it.

luckylou Sun 03-Nov-13 11:19:22

My teaching experience was in primary schools; in the two I worked in for longest, teachers and other staff chose what they wanted to be called.

It was usually pretty much equal - around half the staff opted to be called by their first names.

One thing is for sure - it didn't make a blind bit of difference to the children. They didn't find either group more approachable, or more worthy of respect.

For a few years I was team teaching with a teacher who used her title and surname, while I used my first name. Not one child ever commented or asked why.

luckylou Sun 03-Nov-13 11:19:46

Oh, and nor did any parents...

AuntieStella Sun 03-Nov-13 11:31:22
gorionine Sun 03-Nov-13 12:15:33

I understand what you are saying luckylou and I can see it work. I do not think that a teacher called by his first name is less worthy of respect at all, just that it might lead to more "familiarity" that might in the long run not be beneficial, I am possibly totally wrong. Ultimately, it has to depend on the school 's culture, if in yours it was the done thing, chances are it will work pretty well but for OP, it appears it is not the case and he wants to be seen as a different entity to the rest of the teaching staff and that might not be the best move.

Lottiedoubtie Sun 03-Nov-13 12:55:08

Absolutely gorionine- I agree, it's about the prevelant school culture. One teacher can not and should not try to work against the dominant culture (unless it is intrinsically bad/illegal in some way- in which case it's a whistleblower you need not a classroom individualist).

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