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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?

Trills Sun 11-Nov-12 22:16:49

If the school policy is that teachers are called Mr X and Mrs Y and Dr Z then it might seem a bit weird, but music teachers are allowed to be a bit strange smile

wonderstuff Sun 11-Nov-12 22:17:31

I think that will be fine. If you were a class teacher it would be different. The kids will call you 'miss' anyway.

meditrina Sun 11-Nov-12 22:17:40

I don't think the parents will take a view.

Much more important that you fit in with the norms of the school and the standards it wants, surely?

SandStorm Sun 11-Nov-12 22:17:53

I'm in a primary school and we have one teacher who uses her first name. The respect the children show her plummets in comparison to the other teachers so I would be very very wary of what you're proposing.

Hassled Sun 11-Nov-12 22:18:40

You need to keep a bit of distance, and the formality of Mrs Smith helps to reinforce the boundaries. You need to protect yourself from any allegations of inappropriate over-familarity, etc. There's a reason staff are Mrs Smith, etc.

Teeb Sun 11-Nov-12 22:20:12

I think it should really be the schools decision, so I would speak to whoever is in charge/above you and see what they think.

I can see some bratty kids calling other teachers by their first name and using the 'But the music teacher does it!' line.

picturesinthefirelight Sun 11-Nov-12 22:20:44

It wouldn't have been allowed in the schools dh has perried in. He's in the post 16 sector now so it's a bit different.

One school insists all teachers are called Sir or Madam.

wewereherefirst Sun 11-Nov-12 22:21:14

I knew my violin and vocal teachers first names, but they were known as 'miss suchnsuch' I suppose it shows a respect?

MrsCantSayAnything Sun 11-Nov-12 22:21:18

We had one that called us Comrades and let us call him Terry. grin He was ace.

Chocolatephiladelphia Sun 11-Nov-12 22:22:53

As a teacher myself I would be very wary of going down this route.
I'd have thought a lot of respect is lost when you use first names.
The school I teach at would frown upon this.

Musomathsci Sun 11-Nov-12 22:22:55

I've always been Muso to home pupils but Mrs Mathsci in school, and when home pupils move to school, they call me Mrs Mathsci. The norm is for formal names in school environments, and you will just confuse everyone if you try to do something different. Parents, pupils, other staff will find it odd. (Sorry, that's usually the way it is.)

PramFaceBuggyBrain Sun 11-Nov-12 22:23:18

Thanks all. I'll check school policy. if Terry was ace, maybe I should take on that name. ;-)

Celticlassie Sun 11-Nov-12 22:24:33

I'd check the staff are ok with it. It'd feck me off no end having to listen to 'but Pramface lets us'.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Sun 11-Nov-12 22:28:03

It depends on the school policy, surely. Also, students are used to calling teachers as mr this or mrs that and may find it uncomfortable to call you by your first name as its breaking down the boundaries.

Nivet Sun 11-Nov-12 22:29:43

Mmmm, we had a teacher who wanted us to use her first name - she was forever known as "Call me Pippa" and it immediately signalled to us that she was going to be a complete push over.

Still you might be teaching nice children grin

LynetteScavo Sun 11-Nov-12 22:30:42

I think it depends on the school.

I don't think most parents will care either way. At my DC's junior school a man comes into do sports (covers PPA) and he is known by his first name. Nobody thinks it's weird, and he has huge respect from everyone. (Hes very good at what he does)

My DSs high school uses first names for all teachers. They are very hot on mutual respect, and therefore have no issues (that I've ever been aware of) with lack of respect.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sun 11-Nov-12 22:31:32

The only teacher at my school who ever allowed themselves to be called by their first name was seen as the pushover teacher who didn't really require automatic respect.

ninah Sun 11-Nov-12 22:31:37

I would much much rather be called my first name than Mrs but it isn't done at any of the schools I've worked at (class teacher early years)

ninah Sun 11-Nov-12 22:32:54

lynette we've talked about schools before, live in same area - the high school you in question really appeals to me

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Sun 11-Nov-12 22:34:09

Most say sir or miss anyway. Sometimes mum grin

freddiefrog Sun 11-Nov-12 22:35:19

I'm a helper at school and I'm known by my first name rather than Mrs Xxx

I was asked what I preferred, and I hate the formality of Mrs Xxx.

All teachers have to be known as Mrs/Miss/etc Xxxx, but TAs, office staff, dinner ladies, helpers can choose.

No parent has ever commented on it

cantspel Sun 11-Nov-12 22:36:44

I have one son in a secondary school where all the teachers get called sir or miss and another son in a school where all teachers are known by their first names (but it is a sen school)

So i think it comes down to the policy of the school rather than teacher preference

LynetteScavo Sun 11-Nov-12 22:55:13

ninah, I'm really pleased with the school. It will be my first choice for DS2 and DD. smile

musicposy Sun 11-Nov-12 23:06:43

You need to check with the school. It isn't down to you.
I taught as a class teacher for many years. It was drummed into us at teacher training college that we were Miss Smith whether we liked it or not.
Then I did private piano and keyboard teaching for many years. Most of those pupils call me by my first name, which I actually like much better.

Now, as well as the private teaching I am back in school again part time, this time as a peri music teacher, like you. The children call all the staff Sir or Miss. The staff call each other Sir or Miss in front of the children. I quickly caught the vibe that anything else would be frowned upon. So I am Miss along with all the other teachers. I'm not going to undermine the school's policies, no matter what I would personally prefer.

Of course, your school might not mind one way or the other and then you are fine. But if they don't like first names, I would go along with their policy unless you want a new percussion teacher to quickly take your place. smile

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