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21 February 2005: Name Calling Epilogue

Truly, I can't believe what happened to me today. Just today, as I was teaching a lesson in a younger colleague's classroom, I experienced a new level of name calling.

As I was trying to get permission to erase the white board, I called over the students to the teacher, "Susan?" She looked up and responded, "Do you mean, 'Miss Taylor'?"

Now, I'm not going to lie. I was incredulous. I stammered, "Yes, of course, Miss Taylor, may I erase the board?"

So, as I see it, there are a few scenarios that could explain this. Maybe Miss Taylor felt that the only way for the students to learn respect is if the teachers model it by unwaveringly refering to each other by their last names. Possibly, she resented my presumption that just because we were both adults I had the right to call her by her first name. I had done it over lunch the previous day, so clearly it had something to do with the context of her classroom. Maybe she just didn't want me there--which is fine, she's got a right not to use prep time.

In the end, though, I know it's not about my pride. It's about working relationships and how the way we talk to each other belies deeper truths about cohesiveness, collegiality, and support.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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