Monday, September 10, 2012
What's in a name?
The first day of school I have a ritual I have stuck with for as many years as I can remember. I have the students look at the name tags and tell me if that is the name they want to be called. I make a big deal about how a sign of respect is calling someone by name. We discuss nicknames and how some show that you belong and others are insulting. This year I added a time in our morning meetings where students challenge themselves to go around the circle remembering each person's name.
Over the summer at a family reunion, I was called by a name that makes me cringe. It's one of those childhood names that one sheds when they get older. No one else calls me this name. I hesitated to correct the family member.
It did cause me to think about my ritual and the way I want to show my students that I respect each of them and that I want them to respect each other in this way.
As I have said before, a nickname not agreed to by giver and receiver is name-calling.