Thursday, May 18, 2006

I've Got Something To Say

Seems that kids around here are trained to call adults by Miss or Mr. and their first names. I am Miss Betsy and my husband is Mr. Steve to our neighbor kids. And I don't like it. I'd rather be either Betsy or Mrs. Wasser. Having your kid call me Miss Betsy kind of says to me, "I want to teach my kids to respect their elders, but I'm not really willing to commit to that."

I had a job the summer after I graduated from high school, teaching English As A Second Language to rising first and second graders. The certified teacher in the class said that last names were too hard to pronounce, so we teacher aides would be Miss Betsy, Miss Carmen, etc. That was a bunch of crap, not just because the kids would have had an easier time with Miss Green than Miss Betsy, but also because she wasn't Miss Linda- she was Mrs. Houk. It was a small way for her to show her rank and to get more authority than the rest of us.

The thing is, I don't really think I can escape this. For one thing, the teachers at Jack's school go by the Miss FirstName standard. And I think it would come across as Trying Way Too Hard To Make A Point if I had Jack call our neighbor not Miss Tina, but Mrs. Morrison or demanding that her kids call me Mrs. Wasser.

Also, I would like to acknowledge that this opinion sounds like a curmudgeony Emily Post sort of ranting.

1 comment:

K said...

I'm with you. I think people do it because they don't know your last name. Bjorn insists kids call him Mr. Bennett. In fact, at Starbucks I've heard him insist that the baristas call him Mr. Bennett (especially if they're kids we know).