Anthropologist, James Urry, warned us that using titles like Mr or Mrs is an important part of creating boundaries for children; boundaries that are undermined by using first names. He thinks, ‘The practice threatens discipline and that titles help children understand boundaries.’
Last year when I didn’t have a class of my own and worked mostly with adults everyone called me Allanah. The world did not stop turning, no one was mean to me and I never had anyone disrespect me. On my return to the classroom this year I thought I would give it a go as I felt I was a bit old to be Miss King and suggested the children could call me what they wanted- Allanah or Miss King.
Now they call me a mixture of titles- one great spin off is that everyone now pronounces my name correctly- the children have taught their parents how to pronounce it how my family have always pronounced it. I even get called Mum, Dad, Nanna, whatever.
I don’t feel any harm has been done by being Allanah. It is not school policy and some teachers at school prefer their titles and it is their choice. Surely we should have choice over what people call us- fairly fundamental I would have thought.
What do you think?