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How do you think children should address their Teachers?

I grew up in the UK (Planning or returning in the near future) but when I was at School we called our teachers Miss, Mrs Ms or Mr, the two that I have at school call their teachers by their first names. Is it me or should Teaches be trying to engender some sort of respect rather than trying to be overly familiar, and coming down to the kids level (we also had to stand when a teacher walked into the room)? I do tend to think that as a society a little more formality would not go astray, I am my children's Father NOT their friend, I see too many adults who do not guide their children. I am fairly sure that we are the grown-ups and (or so we tell them) we know better.

Seeking Opinion Child Development , Education 4 years ago
Nicolas Heaton
Nicolas Heaton
Hairdresser father of four.

3 experts and 3 parents have answered

Joe Martin
Joe Martin Exhibit designer and father of 2 London, GB

I remember I had a teacher who introduced himself to us at the beginning of our first lesson with him like this, "Good morning class. My name is Mr Milne, and that is spelled B A S T A R D!...I will be your new maths teacher"

5 Reply Share:
Fact 4 years ago
expert answer
HerMelness Speaks expert
HerMelness Speaks Parent blogger/student mentor GB
Parenting expert expert

School should also be a reality check on what children can expect in the outside world. In my children's world no adult is addressed by their first name unless they are given leave to do so by the adult in question.

It may be trendy, but it contributes, I feel, to the lack of respect given the teaching profession. When we try to be 'friends' with our children and students they will resist when that very same 'friend' needs to discipline and guide them.

Children look for structure and support - a higher authority - especially when they are in trouble. That authority is established early on by the simple respect of not addressing teachers by their first name.

It wouldn't happen in the medical profession, for instance.

3 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Priya Desai expert
Priya Desai Speech and Language Therapist London, GB
Language expert

I agree with Nicolas Heaton - a little more formality would certainly not astray.

Small, but meaningful acts such as referring to teachers and older people as Ms, Mr; and standing when a teacher enters a room, have great value, as they teach younger children to respect their elders and see them as people who should be appreciated in a different way. In the case of a teacher, this is someone who is not only your disciplinarian but also a person who has knowledge to teach.

I also feel these small, but regular marks of respect at school, can be generalised in children; for example, if they are used to standing up when their teacher enters a classroom, perhaps (and I'd hope) this might also make them be a little more respectful and thoughful as a citizen e.g. holding a door open for the next person at a coffe shop, or giving your seat up for someone on the train/bus.

1 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
expert answer
Roberto Catanuto expert
Roberto Catanuto Teacher, Club Instructor CH
Education expert

Some colleagues of mine accept our students calling them by first name. I personally don't.

I think trust and respect could also be achieved while maintaining a safe distance between the adult and the child. This distance should never mean something like "I don't care about you" but more likely "It's important for me to help you the correct way. I'm not a teen. That's why I don't allow you to call me by my name."

1 Reply Share:
Opinion 4 years ago
baburajendran father of two IN

we call our teachers "sir" and this is even followed in highschool and college. it is Miss for lady teachers.

0 Reply Share:
Fact 4 years ago
Paul Sutton
Paul Sutton I work in a school Torquay, GB

I work in an after school club, the children can address us by our first name, we have one member of staff who is a TA, when in the TA role the children are expected to use Mrs / Mr / Miss, it does confuse the kids a little.

There is a odd trend to call everyone mate, I get in a lot in shops etc, I have no idea why person who doesn't even know me, calls me mate, surely sir / madam would be far more appropriate and courteous.

So back to the question, I think it depends on the situation BUT what you teach young children in reception stays with them for a long long time, old habits die hard, so start as you mean to go on. How do expect to be addressed, how would YOU address authority. I don't think you would stand in a court witness box and say yes mate, to the judge, unless you want to end up contempt of court.

0 Reply Share:
Opinion 3 years ago

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