If you were going to a parents' evening, how would you want the teacher to introduce themselves and how would you react?(61 Posts)
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).
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.
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.
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!
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"
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.
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.
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'.
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!
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"
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".
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.
Kamchatka I'm capable of having sometimes fraught and not always entirely pleasant relationships with work colleagues while calling them by their first names!
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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".
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Join the discussion
Please login first.