Miss and Sir

(83 Posts)
Pippidoeswhatshewants Thu 06-Aug-15 15:41:57

Dc is about to start secondary, and brought home a little leaflet about secondary school practicalities etc.
Apparently he is to address male teachers as Mr X or Sir and female teachers as Miss X or Mrs X or Miss.

This might be because I am a foreigner and not familiar with how secondary school works, but something about calling female teachers "Miss" just rubs me up the wrong way, maybe because the Fräulein has been history for a long time and I have always been Frau Pippi, even as a teenager.

What do you think about this as teachers? Non-issue?

Indomitable Thu 06-Aug-15 15:49:35

Someone pointed out to me recently that female teachers have traditionally been called "Miss" because historically they would leave the profession upon marriage.

I'll respond to almost anything at work. Though I'm not particularly happy with Miss or Mrs.

I've had EAL students call me "Teacher" which I think I like the most!

EvilTwins Thu 06-Aug-15 15:49:51

As a teacher (secondary) it's a non issue to me. I get called Mrs EvilTwins, Miss, sometimes Mum blush (theirs not mine) and really don't care. The only thing that makes me chortle is when they email me and start it "Hi Mrs" - they know I'm married but call me Miss.

Indomitable Thu 06-Aug-15 15:50:32

Oh, and if they're working hard, kids will routinely call: "Mum, I mean Sir, oh sorry, Miss!"

swashbucklecheer Thu 06-Aug-15 15:52:17

I always get miss even though I'm married. Doesn't bother me. It's a bit hardwired in because I'll call any other female teacher miss too.

VagelinaJolie Thu 06-Aug-15 15:54:56

Yeah think it is. But it's a weird one. I get called Mrs Jolie grin, but verbal shorthand, if you like, means kids say Miss when they aren't addressing me by name. I guess saying "excuse me Missus" would sound weird.

shinysparklythings Thu 06-Aug-15 15:56:13

Like a previous poster Im a mrs but get called miss, mrsshiny, mum- especially love it when it's the hard 16 year olds that do that! - I don't mind at all as long as they are polite. I make sure it is written correctly on exercise books too.

holmessweetholmes Thu 06-Aug-15 15:59:27

I don't mind it at all - you just get used to it. The thing is, 'Miss' can be used on its own, but Mrs isn't. The female equivalent of 'sir' would be 'madam'. I can't really imagine being called 'mrs' on its own, or madam, by pupils!

StressheadMcGee Thu 06-Aug-15 16:02:13

Our pupils say Ma'am - and it's a pretty standard north London comp with a very mixed intake. Doesn't stop us getting called Mum though!

QueenOfNothing Thu 06-Aug-15 16:03:03

At one of my DCs school they call the teachers sir and madam, and at another they call them sir and ma'am.

Calling them madam sounds even more funny than miss. But they quickly get used to it.

HarrietVane99 Thu 06-Aug-15 16:03:14

The equivalent to Miss for married women would be Ma'am, I think, but then you'd sound as if you were talking to the Queen.

HarrietVane99 Thu 06-Aug-15 16:03:50

Oh, x-posted!

Indomitable Thu 06-Aug-15 16:06:48

If the kids called me Ma'am I'd feel like M in James Bond!

I don't like being addressed by my socially presumed gender. I don't want to be addressed differently to masculine presenting male teachers. Why can't we have an equal professional pronoun?

<hijacks thread to bemoan own issues>

FurtherSupport Thu 06-Aug-15 16:07:27

The whole Miss/Mrs/Ms thing is a disaster IMO. I really wish the 1970s feminists came up with something better than Ms (is that when it originated). it doesn't mean anything and is awkward to say.

I suppose the female equivalent of Sir would be Madam, but I don't think I want to be called madam.

I think we need a new word completely, rather than trying to make existing ones fit. A bit like Policeman/police woman became police officer, fireman became firefighter and manageress became obsolete.

Perhaps children should call all teachers "teacher", like you'd call a police officer "officer" if you weren't using their name?

Pippidoeswhatshewants Thu 06-Aug-15 16:11:22

Hm, it seems to be me, then.
I'll file it under "quirky English things that I will never get" then. Much like pork crackling and vinegar on chips.

littleducks Thu 06-Aug-15 16:17:36

I absolutely hate it, seems really unequal and disrespectful. I work in schools so visit lots and am often not known by name to all the staff so will get called "Miss" by the staff too (as in "will you be using this room long Miss?"). It really grates.

At my school we had to Sir or Ma'am (mostly marm more than mam) which seems more respectful.

BackforGood Thu 06-Aug-15 16:19:06

Agree, it's very, very normal, and seemingly almost universally accepted, even though personally I don't like it.

As a Primary school teacher I wouldn't respond to it, and asked the dc who they were talking to, same as if I didn't know a child's name (say on playground duty) I'd ask them, not say "Pupil" and hope that would do.

I think it's pretty rude not to use the whole name "Miss/Mrs/Mr/Dr Good". Teaching staff do their best to remember the whole class's name so I think its only respectful for pupils to call staff by their names, but I realise I'm in a minority of one about this though grin

DrElizabethPlimpton Thu 06-Aug-15 16:25:40

My DS's secondary school got around this one by using first names, including the head master! To be honest, I think it worked very well.

FurtherSupport Thu 06-Aug-15 16:27:47

Back for good, I had an infant teacher who insisted on being Mrs Kirby not "miss" and I tend to agree with her/you, but children still need to use Mrs/Miss/Ms. There has to be a solution to this. We've tried with Ms, but no-one uses it because it's so difficult to use!

Indomitable Thu 06-Aug-15 16:28:53

DrElizabeth I could get on board with that.

I think there's an idea that using Mr/Mrs denotes more respect, but I think we all know it's completely unrelated to the actual respect held/shown.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Thu 06-Aug-15 16:29:37

Why not just use Mrs Smith instead of the first name?
I have come across cultures where first names for everybody are acceptable, or Mr/Mrs teacher, or just teacher. Just Miss, though, seems incredibly impolite. Especially when teachers are supposed to know all the students by name. Imagine if they were boy or girl!

FurtherSupport Thu 06-Aug-15 16:32:01

It does seem odd that teacher's first names are still "secret" but the PM goes by Dave.....

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Thu 06-Aug-15 16:35:05

Calling all teachers "Professor" Harry Potter style would be my solution. grin

FurtherSupport Thu 06-Aug-15 16:36:43

Nooooo Pourquoi. Unless they are professors, that would be just wrong!

pinktrufflechoc Thu 06-Aug-15 16:38:14

I haaaaate Miss, but they just can't stop themselves.

It gets used as punctuation. 'Right, Miss, I was, Miss, walking up the stairs - Miss - and then this boy, Miss, this boy, he, he ...'

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