Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dear Julia... on teachers

Dear Julia

I wrote the kids' teacher an email and said...

Hi ________ (first name)

Blah blah blah

Kind regards

She replied...


Blah blah blah

Miss ______

What are the parents supposed to call the kids' teachers? Surely I cannot be calling a 24-year-old Miss _____????

Confused Marcia

Dear Confused Marcia

You address her using her first name! And she can call you Marcia. 

I've ALWAYS been on first name terms with teachers. They are not MY teachers!  At Son 2's school the kids use first names. It is either Miss Vanessa or Miss V. No need to be too formal!  

About the email, you continue to call her by her first name. She just wants to feel important. Son 1 had a teacher like that. She called herself Miss _____ and refererred to me as Mrs ______. 

I said "Hi Jane. Please feel free to call me Julia" and I continued with the rest of my email. That solved the issue right there and then.  

So, dear readers, what do you think?
PS So this is some of what Julia and I chat about and I always love her wisdom. Please leave your questions for Julia in the comments. For real!


  1. I refer to our girls' teachers as Ms. / Mrs., the same as the girls do. I figure that's their "professional" title, and I am addressing them in a professional setting.

    Hubby and I have this conversation frequently, though. He, as a teacher, refers to HIS COLLEAGUES as Ms./Mrs./Mr. (!!!!!). If we see one of his colleagues in a social situation, I introduce myself as Mandy, and they will share their first names (of course). And then I call them by that first name (of course). Hubby thinks I should still call them Ms./Mrs./Mr. (!!!!!).

    That's where I say, they are not MY teachers! Hahaha!

    (Of course you know my uber-polite're probably not surprised, I imagine?)

    Fun post!

    1. I do remember J's extreme politeness :) Actually, all 4 of you are the same. It's your southernness :)

      I should have mentioned that I do refer to her as Miss _______ when I talk to the kids, as in "shall I email Miss ________ and ask her?"

      Strangely, with our doctor, she phones back and says, Hi, it's firstname surname, and I say, oh Hi Dr _________.

  2. The teachers all introduced themselves by their first name, including the school principal. HB's teacher is quite a lot older and I asked her what the kids are supposed to call her. So we call her Mrs. G....It makes it easier to get HB to address her correctly.
    In my work life I normally address people as Mr, Ms,until they have invited me to address them by first name. I prefer to be addressed by first name and I just introduce myself and sign emails with first name only, from the get go.

    1. At the pre-school, they called everyone Teacher (firstname).

      Really, you address them as Mr/ Mrs in your professional life?

      I'm in financial services, a typically very conservative environment although that's changed a lot over the 20 years (!). And we call everyone - colleagues, senior management, clients all on their first names.

    2. I think it is just me that is ultra conservative. You should read my meeting notes. When I think about it, I think it scares some people...they thin I am unapproachable.

  3. Our teachers always introduce themselves by their first name in the first teachers meeting of the year and that is where it stays for us parents. Of course the kids refer to "Juffrou x" or "meneer Y" (which boils down to Ms or Mr). Funny enough in the school newsletters the headmaster always refer to himself by name only but when he talks about a teacher he will use Ms or Mr (Never Miss of Mrs) - I find this really a bit funny and old fashioned.

    1. That's exactly how it is at our school, well except for this teacher. Last year's ones were first name to me.

  4. Haha...I don't think you should take it personally...remember the whole thing of primary school teachers and how they perceive themselves...sometimes I get the idea that they aren't very unlike the children when it comes to attention.

    1. Ha, Lynette, you made me laugh!

  5. So I had to check back to see the comments...this was such a fun post for me. And I have to share one more note. A's teacher is a "Mrs." and B's is a "Ms.". When I address them both in email, I call them both "Ms.". If I only write A's teacher, I call her "Mrs.".

    I am a firm "Ms."...I don't see a reason to ever advertise my marital I don't think I'm "insulting" A's teacher with the "Ms.". Who knows, though??!!!

    Funny stuff!!!

  6. At our school we call all the teachers by their first names even the principal. Bu then the kids all call them "teacher x or teacher y" (might be a pre school thing?)

    I think as parents you should address the teachers by their first names as long as you comply with what the kids are expected to call them in front of the children.

    Funny aside - I am friends with quite a few of my former teachers on Facebook and it does often feel a bit weird addressing them by their first names now that we are both adults ;-)

  7. This post made me smile sooooo big! I LOVE how you say you love my wisdom. I always pray for wisdom!
    I must just mention that when I speak to my sons about their teachers then I refer to Miss/Mrs so and so. Also. We're on first name terms with our principal too!

  8. Oh lol!!!! I emailed Camerons teacher recently - well actually she mailed all the parents introducing her self and signed off with her name, so I just use that.

  9. Hahaha!! I call our teachers Miss and Mrs and they call me Mrs. I think it may have something to do with how I address them at home.. like how I call my own husband Daddy and my parents Granny and Pa, because it's how the kids relate to them and 99% of my dealings with any of these people is around the kids.. haha.. I'm not sure! love this post though!


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