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I have a long last name--do I have to shorten it?
Old 07-29-2017, 03:14 AM
 
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My last name is 11 letters and 6 syllables that no one can pronounce. It is a very rare Spanish name that even Hispanic people have a hard time saying. You have to roll your "r"s.

However, I don't want to shorten it or be called Ms A. I want to be called my name.

Should I teach my third graders the correct way to say it? 80% of them are Hispanic anyway and should be able to pronounce it correctly. Or should I shorten it?

Thoughts?


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Old 07-29-2017, 08:00 AM
 
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You don't have to shorten it if you don't want to! I wish I remembered where I read it but I've read literature to the effect that students learning to say teachers' names and teachers learning to say students' names correctly is a way of showing respect, both personal and cross-cultural.

Maybe break it into syllables and teach the kids how to say it.

Be OK with minor mispronunciations (I physically can't roll my rs and have to compensate with my tongue—I didn't even know this was a thing until I studied languages in high school).

The key point is, you want to be called your name.
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Old 07-29-2017, 08:16 AM
 
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My dd had a teacher with 11 letters and 5 syllables. She actually put her name on one of their early spelling tests. It worked.

I think it is ridiculous that teachers shorten their names or go by Miss First Name because "the littles can't say it." They can learn. That is what they are there for.
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:22 PM
 
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Mine is 4 letters, one syllable, and an everyday word. All my middle schoolers call me "Miss!"
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Old 07-29-2017, 05:24 PM
 
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Yes, just teach them the correct way to say it. My dd had a K teacher with a complicated name, and she said it! It was really cute to hear her and the other kids say it.


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Old 07-29-2017, 11:42 PM
 
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I have a long last name, but my kids can say it, and they could when I taught 1st, too.

Teach them how to say it, but then be gracious with them. I personally cannot roll my r's, so I probably wouldn't be able to say your name correctly, though I would try. I imagine some of your students may be in the same boat.
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Old 07-30-2017, 12:27 AM
 
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Like some pp's mentioned, I physically can't roll r's. Believe me, my Spanish teacher in HS tried to teach me how to do it for years! My Spanish is pretty decent but I just can't make my mouth work that way. I don't think you have to shorten it, but I do think you're going to have to accept that some students will have to pronounce it with a single r sound.

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Mine is 4 letters, one syllable, and an everyday word. All my middle schoolers call me "Miss!"
This has also been my experience with Hispanic students in all three schools I've worked in. In my first district (which was about 90% Hispanic), we had a PD where they told us that culturally, "Miss" is respectful, similar to us saying "Ma'am." If you want them to call you by your last name, you'll just need to teach that up front and do a lot of reminding in the beginning. Personally, it never really bothered me much, but in my current position I work with a para and she feels the "Miss" thing is disrespectful, so she's on my kids to say our real names. After a few weeks of her constant prompting, it's rare for me to just hear "Miss" for the rest of the year.
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Teach Them :)
Old 08-01-2017, 11:03 AM
 
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My maiden name was similarly difficult and uncommon but I always expected my students to try and eventually get rather close. I agree with PPs about teaching them and being gracious. Most will get it sooner than many would expect. During my first year of teaching elementary, I overheard the principal telling a group of parents that they could just call me "Ms. S" with my name being "ridiculously difficult" and one father shared his upset about the principal not having high enough expectations for the students and having enough faith in their abilities and desire to learn. He also shared that it was culturally insensitive to make such a remark about my name. I never heard the principal encourage shortening a teacher's name after that.
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Teach them
Old 08-11-2017, 11:10 AM
 
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I have a fairly easy, but not common, last name. It actually has three correct pronunciations. I always spend the first few weeks correcting my students, but they get it. Even my student with no /r/ sound in her speech can get it pretty close - but it took her a bit to do it. I just accept that she is gonna throw a /w/ sound in its place.

One of the things my language and literacy development professor told us was that a persons name said in praise is the most beautiful sound to that person, so make an effort to learn the correct way to say their name. When I taught in a predominately minority school I told the students that I would do the best I could with their names and expected them to do the same for me because I like my name said correctly too.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:59 AM
 
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I agree that they should learn how to say your name. I have a very common last name. Yet, the students still wanted to call me Mrs. C. I politely told them that I expected to be called by my full last name. It's just a little too casual for me.


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Old 08-24-2017, 02:25 PM
 
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I have no preferences at all about my name, but if it matters to you, teach it to them! (Just be sensitive that some may not physically be able to do the "r" exactly the way you can. Give points for honest effort.) I've seen lots of kids proud that they could pronounce big words, so just make it fun, and I think they'll do fine.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:28 AM
 
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Nope! I think names are super important. Teach them! Expect them to say it the best they can. It’s absolutely appropriate for you to do that!
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Miss Pumpkin
Old 10-26-2017, 06:55 AM
 
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Of course, I do not know where you live, but out where I am there are many Hispanic last names, and some Aztec names as well, which are hard to pronounce for many people who do not know the pronunciation rules. School is about learning, which is going beyond what you know already, not staying within your own comfort zone. I think the children should learn your name. Perhaps a social studies unit about the amazing diversity of names in the world is a good idea. To learn a person's name is respectful. I can see if the children cannot pronounce your name. I am called "Miss Pumpkin" by many, because they cannot get it right, but I don't mind. They are at least trying.
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I think it depends
Old 11-21-2017, 10:16 AM
 
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on how tolerant you are in hearing your name mispronounced multiple times a day.

I think 3rd graders are on the upper level of being able to learn new sounds. Younger students are more fluid in the ability to make sounds. Our preschool kids could learn Japanese from a mom and speak it without an accent. The older one gets the harder the proper sound match is to make.

As far as the syllables. My first graders loved dinosaurs and could pronounce all their names with no problem. Your third graders can certainly learn your full name.
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