Students on first-name basis with teachers as titles become old school

Feb 4, 2018 by

By Catherine Heuzenroeder –

Teachers are allowing students to call them by their first names as some schools move away from the use of titles and surnames.

Advocates of the approach believe it fosters a more personal relationship, removes languages barriers, and puts students in a better position to take charge of their own learning and feel more confident to question adults.

And they say a title does not earn respect.

“Respect isn’t one way; respect is earned, not assumed, in all walks of life,” said Sue Charleston, head of school primary years at Woodville Gardens School in South Australia.

“I feel very strongly about the notion of respect because it tends to be used as an argument of putting up this barrier of formal address.

“But there isn’t a link between discipline problems and calling teachers and educators by their first name in my 18 years of experience.”

Her students call her Sue and she believes it allows them to quickly establish a relationship with her.

“I feel like I’m positioning myself as a learner alongside students, rather than this holder of all knowledge,” Ms Charleston said.

Source: Students on first-name basis with teachers as titles become old school – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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