Jennifer starts her school term tomorrow. The school she works at has a pretty ‘stifled’ management, who seem to insist on being called Mister and Missus by the children.
That strikes me as a way of creating a non-learning environment. And Jennifer despises the formality.
Some time ago I created a name tag for her to use with the kids. This is a mild modification of that tag, to be placed on the reigistration desk for the 10-year-olds and their parents to greet Jennifer right the first time.
Getting off on the right foot.
Jennifer popped this card on her registration table in this huge hall, filled with kids, parents and teachers.
Kids absolutely loved the name tag, and really responded to Jennifer’s request that they use her first name.
The parents also loved the name tag. And responded very positively to Jennifer as a consequence. (One of the reasons they respond to her so positively is that she has a reputation as being one of the most exciting teachers in her school. I was there yesterday when a parent who had a kid in her class last year kicked up a fuss because her second kid wasn’t in Jen’s class this year. The matter was rectified.)
The interesting thing is that the staff and management of the school responded with indifference, and, in some cases, disdain. Shame on them. They’re ULTRA fixed on ‘the old ways’. And as far as I can tell, this makes them dinosaurs who are going to need to take urgent action to avoid extinction.
Using a teacher’s first name in class hurts noone. It doesn’t break the ‘authority’ of the teacher. It’s about learning, for goodness sake. It’s not about petty ego issues.
If you’re a teacher, and you’d like a name tag like this, I’m willing to do freebies for a little while, when I have time. Drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.