I say that several times a day, and not because I’m singing along with the Ting Tings’ song. None of my kids call me Stacey or Jane, or even Joleisa, but I do get called “Miss” all.the.time. And a couple of months ago, I decided I was done with it. So I don’t accept Miss anymore – they gotta use my name.
A few kids have said that it’s because it’s disrespectful to not use my name. Nope. It’s not about respect. I know they respect me, whatever they call me. A lot of my kids are from Mexico, and in Mexico, my understanding is that it’s very respectful to refer to teachers by Senor or Senora.
But the thing is, I want my kids to be able to be successful in middle class American society, wherever they are originally from. In middle class American society, people are going to look down on them for not using a teacher’s name. They’ll think the kids are rude, or dumb, or hoodlums, or God knows what else. I don’t want anyone to ever have the chance to think less of my kids, because my kids kick major ass, every single day, and I want everyone to see that.
I tell them that when they ask, because they know how our school is perceived in the district. They listen to the explanation (though I don’t actually use the word ass….), look thoughtful, nod, and never call me Miss again.
It’s a little thing.
The little things add up.
Now they all know and use my name.