What's in a name?
Some schools have made the change. It's radical. It's cutting edge. It's hip. Students calling teachers by their first name. How can a relationship based on respect be expected when a student, not only knows your name, but is actually allowed to call you by it? Surely anarchy must follow?
I just don't know. I really don't.
With a name like Bede, which most people assume is a nickname, there could be problems. I for one am big on names. I've had years of people mishearing, mispronouncing and replacing my name. I'm Steve, Pete or Bedee to some over the phone. Because of that I'm big on names. I'm good with names too. I make it a point to know parents by first name. I call colleagues by their name, "Hi Peter, " I would say. I find it interesting that some reply to me without using my name. I'm not asking for a Mr Gilmore, just some recognition that it's me you're talking to you. The power of the name. It can be a weapon, silence someone in one word, or bring personal praise when used in different ways.
I'm Mr Gilmore at the moment. We are all on that formal name basis. There's a big part of me that would like to change. After all, I'm Bede. Mr Gilmore is my father. I like being Bede. My name suits me. Mr Gilmore has a whole other layer to it in my opinion. It's formal. It carries mystique - you may not know my real name. What's the big secret?
I'm not sure what your school does and does it really matter? Would it make a difference to a student's learning if they could call me Bede?
I understand it's a culture thing. It's about breaking down barriers. Respect can and perhaps should be earned other ways. I dunno. I grew up calling my friends' parents Mr and Mrs. Not by their first name. Have times changed? Have they changed enough?
I'd be interested to hear from you about this. What have I missed? Are you going by first name at your school?
If you do reply, please call me Mr Gilmore though. Show some respect, please.