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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?

cory Mon 12-Nov-12 08:30:10

I certainly don't think first names has to lead to disrespect: in my old country it is all first names and no school uniforms and children are no more disrespectful than here. I come from a position of perceiving both uniforms and Mrs Smith as rather eccentric customs which are totally unrelated to actual performance; I did well at school in patched denims and clogs, thank you very much.

All the same, I think every school community has its own rules, some applying to the children, others to staff, some involving both, and whatever those particular rules happen to be in one particular place, it undermines respect if one individual who is not in charge takes it upon themselves to alter the goalposts. If one person doesn't follow school policy, then it suggests that perhaps school policy (whatever it may be) is not that important. And the regular staff might not appreciate someone putting that idea into the pupils' heads.

echt Mon 12-Nov-12 08:40:36

It's what the school wants.

When I was in FE, everyone from cleaner to principal was first name. No loss of respect or discipline.

In my secondary school in Oz, everyone is Ms/Mrs/Mr, etc. until you get to TAs, technicians or the school keeper, at which point they become first name buddies. But not to me; I insist on calling the said TAs, etc. Mr/Ms/Mrs when directing a student. Their faces as they try to figure out what I'm saying, but I don't give a feck: all adults should be accorded the same dignity.

DeWe Mon 12-Nov-12 09:45:58

I would have hated that as a pupil. It would have made me feel really awkward with the teacher, as if she was trying to be a friend too hard, if that makes sense.

Blu Mon 12-Nov-12 09:48:56

DS was in a primary where all adults were known by their first names and discipline and respect was excellent and specifically praised in the outstanding ofsted report. First names need not equal lack of respect at all.

However, I think if it is the norm in the school you need to check school policy and go along with it.

BrianGiggs Mon 12-Nov-12 09:49:21

You need to follow school policy.

BrianGiggs Mon 12-Nov-12 09:50:03

also if you are the only one using a first name it looks slightly ingratiating.
We had this at ours and it drove the other staff nuts

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 12-Nov-12 09:56:24

I think you do have to go with what the school normally does - though I can understand preferring your first name. It risks looking a bit try-hard down with the kidz.

I loathe 'sir and miss' with a passion though - it should be title surname, if that's what they're doing.

Quaker school near us only uses first names - are the ones people have mentioned above Quaker schools, or is this something that's catching on?

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