At my kids’ school, there are some specific rules, especially in the older grades. For one thing, all the students must shut their mouths and stand whenever an adult enters the room. I didn’t find this odd as it is a sign of respect I thought still took place but apparently it’s not the case.
The other instance is addressing the teachers. Now I personally try very hard to make my kids include each comment, answer, request, etc. with a ‘m’am’ or ‘sir’. Again, something I found common and here in Texas, pretty common. The school is not different. Now there are times students feel very comfortable when the teacher says a joke or the classroom atmosphere gets relaxed.
The other week, one of the boys in Miley’s class addressed the teacher as ‘dude’ as in ‘dude, I had the right the answer’. Immediately, the teacher asked ‘Did you just call me dude?’ and the boy slowly nodded his head. The teacher then said, ‘Sit down and see me after class’. The boy ended up getting written up-- a very big deal at our small school.
My first thought was the teacher was a bit extreme. I see kids in public addressing older people in that manner often--it kind of creates a more familiar, relaxed relationship.
Does it really matter if you call an adult ‘sir’ or ‘dude’?
Well, that depends on the relationship you want. When a child addresses you with a formal title, it keeps in mind who is in charge but when you start to speak as ‘friends’, the person is charge is up for grabs. And the adult’s authority goes out the door.
I am personally a big believer in not being my child’s friend--I am her biggest fan, her biggest helper, her biggest admirer---not a friend. She can walk out the door and get a friend. She can’t just get a new parent.
As a parent (and also part-time home school teacher), I know it is critical to have her respect. I don’t have her respect, she won’t listen. She doesn’t listen and all is lost.
It’s that simple.
So no, a teacher should not be called ‘dude’ or ‘buddy’ or by her first name. Beside the full last name (with the Mr. or Mrs. of course), the only thing that really works is ‘sir’ or ‘ma’m’.
And that is my soap box for today.