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.

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