Teacher’s Names


Penns Valley Elementry School

Marielle Gretok

Why do we call teachers by their last name? Isn’t this action archaic; shouldn’t we be evolving with the time?

Not necessarily, because for the most part when students call teachers their first name when talking to friends, it is out of disrespect. So if we started to call teachers by their first names all the time then would that become disrespectful.

There is a program in State College called Delta where the students call their teachers by their first name. Delta is a program for students who don’t do well in public school and need a different environment. I talked to some people who had experience with the Delta program. In their recollections, they talked about how the called teachers by their first names. I asked if the students used this to disrespect teachers, they looked at me puzzled, and answered no. They described calling the teacher by their first names, as a way to gain a better relationship with the teachers. The kids who usually go to Delta have trouble in a regular school environment for many different reasons, one of those reasons could be that they don’t have good relationships with their teachers. By calling teachers by their first name the students gain a better relationship with their teacher, which makes it easier to learn from them.

Would calling teachers at Penns Valley benefit the students and their learning experience? I think in some cases yes because you would be able to gain a better relationship with your teachers. In my personal experience, I think it easier to learn from someone you like and have a good relationship with them. I think this could also create a problem, this problem would be using their first name to either make fun of the teacher or disrespect them in some way. I think that the only authoritative teachers hold over us is the fact that we are their responsibilities for at least 6 hours a day. Other than that they are only smarter than us in certain subjects, but just because you are smarter than someone doesn’t mean you are better than them and deserve a title above them.

That would be the only reason we should be able to call teachers by their first names.  I think there are benefits and downfalls to calling teachers by their first names, and I don’t know if we would want to go down that risky road.