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Old 09-14-2019, 10:01 AM
 
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My grandson's 6th grade math teacher repeatedly takes 10 points off of his math assignments because he writes his nickname and not his given name on his papers. He has NEVER been called by anything except his nickname. He was told by this teacher that he will lose 10 points on his work each time he writes his nickname.

My DIL has emailed the teacher but has gotten no reply. I told her if she doesn't get a reply, go to the principal. He is a A/B student and math is his best subject. BTW, I feel he is on the high end of the autism spectrum.

Why would she take of 10 points on every assignment because of his name?


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Old 09-14-2019, 10:11 AM
 
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Since an email to the teacher has been ignored, I would escalate it to the principal.

Furthermore, I think this is bizarre, petty behavior on the part of the teacher. Is it at all possible that you donít have the whole story? I teach Spanish and I make my students write, ďMe llamo NameĒ on their papers. If they donít put ďMe llamo_____Ē I do deduct points. Itís part of my ďHeadingĒ system.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:23 AM
 
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Honestly, I would tell my kid to just put his given name on the paper.

Yes, it’s weird that the teacher does this, but there’s a simple solution — follow his instructions — just write the name and move on.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:31 AM
 
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I agree that itís petty, especially on a math paper. But as someone else said, it might be easier to just comply. Is he forgetting to write his given name, or just not doing it as a matter of principle?

If heís forgetting, maybe together you and he can come up with a strategy to help him remember. If itís a matter of principle, than your DIL needs to decide if itís worth it or not to go to the principal about it.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:40 AM
 
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The teacher is being ridiculous. Nonetheless he should start writing his given name on papers. We often have to follow rules we donít agree with, and he might as well learn that now.


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Old 09-14-2019, 10:59 AM
 
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What would I do? Nothing, except suggest to grandson that it might be a good idea to write his full name on his paper. This issue is just not important enough to fight about.

I agree with you that nicknames are generally fine, assuming the nickname is not offensive. (I once had a student who went by Piggy. Ugh.) Perhaps the teacher has had issues with inappropriate nicknames and deals with it by using given names. Perhaps the teacher prefers formality. Who knows?

Save your energy for something that really matters.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:59 AM
 
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It is the policy, so I would just encourage him to either put his given name on, or to know his grade is going to be significantly lower because of it.

It does happen in the real world, too. My dd got a job at a national chain of stores and they would not put her middle name on her name badge. They called her by her first name and would do no differently. My dd was completely unused to being called by her first name because we NEVER do. She had to deal with it.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:00 AM
 
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My first thought is that that seems awfully petty and bizarre. I don't agree with it, but is it a situation where the nickname has nothing to do with the actual name?

I know people who went by their middle name because their father had the same first name. If this teacher has to keep track of 100+ students having a kid write John Smith ( middle name) instead of Robert Smith ( first name) might be hard to put two and two together sometimes, especially if the class rosters are all electronic and can't be changed.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:05 AM
 
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My granddaughter's given name is Lucinda. From the day of her birth, she has been called Lucy. Her father felt that Lucy was a nickname and that she should have a "real" given name. Her mother wanted her to be called Lucy, so they compromised by naming her Lucinda and calling her Lucy. I can see how she might very well find it difficult to remember to change the name she's been writing for years for one teacher.

While I, too, would probably recommend that she just write her given name on the paper, I think that the teacher is being unnecessarily rigid and punitive. Nevertheless, I would allow this to be a teachable moment for my child or grandchild about getting along with difficult people and saving one's energy for more important matters.
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I think I'm in the minority
Old 09-14-2019, 11:44 AM
 
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I think that unless the teacher has a valid reason for not allowing the nickname, she's missing the point -is this student learning the curriculum? She's an educator, not a boss. I would begin by asking her to explain her reasoning and make sure that you've got the whole story. If she is just being petty, I would bring it up the chain of command.
We are expected to respect students' choice of pronoun, so why not respect the name that they call themselves as well as their family and friends, within reason? I'm thinking of 'Baby' in Dirty Dancing - I would prefer not to call someone by a pet name like that but if everyone else in the child's world used that name it really isn't my job to change it or penalize his/her academic standing because he/she came to me with that name.


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Old 09-14-2019, 12:37 PM
 
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I'd try once more to contact the teacher and if there is no response, I'd go to the principal. There is no reason for the child to "comply" with an unreasonable demand. I have a given name and a nickname and I don't answer to the given name. I don't have to allow people to call me by a name I don't use.
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:16 PM
 
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I can see that it might be an inconvenience for the teacher if the name doesn't match the electronic grading system (more so if there are several students with the same last name) and I would be fine with asking the student to begin writing both in order to help the teacher out. But 10 points is a ridiculous penalty for something so small.
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:30 PM
 
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IME, the grandson sounds like he's pushing boundaries or wants to be special. IME, sometimes it's district policy to ban nicknames. I know mine did because parents would have some off color ones. Like a common one here, but not the worst, is fatboy. I do see the point of if include polite nicknames, we can't ban offcolor ones.
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:58 PM
 
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Let's consider the OTHER side...

is this in middle school or high school where she has possible up to 150 students?

is he just putting his first name?

is she an older lady who may be getting forgetful?

and if he is such a good student, then he prob doesnt stand out like the behavior or attention seeking students that she would constantly remember.
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:09 PM
 
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I'd ask / tell him to start writing his given name on the assignments, but also go to the principal to get those points back from previous assignments, because that's just a silly reason to deduct points! Especially for a math class
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:54 PM
 
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I agree with the posters who said this teacher may have a valid reason (gradebook roster and a lot of students). He should just write his given name. This will come up in high school and college and maybe in a job, too. I think it sends a bad message to bother the teacher about it. He knows he will lose the points so just put the name on the paper.
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:38 PM
 
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If your parents named you that, sometimes you have to use it. One year we had a new sped teacher who didn't like her last name and wanted to use something else. She was furious when tech wouldn't redo her name on the server to what she wanted. Sped administration had to make her change her preferred name to her legal one on the IEPs she wrote.

My first husband never realized what his legal name was until he was sixteen and needed his birth certificate for his license. He went all through school thinking his name was XY when legally it was YX. He always said that because he was #10 of 11, his mother forgot what she actually named him when she registered him for school. He went to probate court and changed his name to what he always used. Today his mother would have to provide a birth certificate to the school, but back then they took her word for it.

Today your documents have to match or you won't be flying or get a clearance. Sixth grade may be the first time a legal name has been required, but it won't be the last. He can jump on the legal name train now or later, but he is going to have to jump on.

As to the ten points, my thought is that the teacher has explained that legal names are required and this child has not complied. When a child will not comply one way to get them to is to find their currency. If this child is a good student, grades are his currency.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:26 PM
 
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It's disrespectful not to honor the name he chooses to go by. Lots of very reasonable lpeople go by Bob instead of Robert, Kate instead of Katherine, or by their initials. Its certainly not unreasonable to use a nickname. I think that's a battle worth fighting.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:59 AM
 
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I think he should comply to the teachers rules. Life lesson! It seems odd to us but there are 2 sides to every story. Unfortunately, you don't have the teacher's side yet. As others mentioned, it could be a very practical reason! Let's not prejudge. Let's not encourage entitlement.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:55 AM
 
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A boy in my daughter's class is going through something similar, except the teacher puts all his work on the "No Name" board so he technically has no assignments turned in and they all will be late. My DD said the name "Cru P" is clearly written on the papers.

His name is Christopher and he has gone by Cru all this life. The teacher calls him Chris, and he told her that is not his name, but she will only grade papers that have Christopher or Chris written on them.

I can understand having them use their real name as you are getting to know the students, but after that I feel it is silly to take points off or not grade the paper because they are not calling themselves what you want.

On the other hand, I do understand that for legal issues they will need touse their given name.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:18 AM
 
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While I definitely don't agree with the teacher doing that (and 10 points off is ridiculous anyway - it doesn't say whether he knows the content ), I would have him write his legal name.

My biggest reason is that the teacher could easily nitpick other things when it comes to grading, if you decide to go to the P and the P talks to the teacher.

Like another poster said, doing what you've been told is a good lesson now. It will happen his whole life. If he's on the spectrum, he still needs to learn that to adapt some later.

If it's truly an issue where he can't adapt, you could ask for a compromise where he writes his legal name and puts his nickname in parentheses.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:24 AM
 
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Exactly what is the nickname? Why is it not mentioned here?

I personally think nicknames need to be saved for home, especially if it's something off the wall , like "Speedy", or a name nothing at all like his legal enrollment name, then it's not for school. If it's a shortened form of a given name (Samuel-Sam), that's fine, no problem

I don't believe that taking off points is fair, especially when being graded for learning objectives. If the nickname is not off the wall, I would also present the grading problem to the principal.

Admin. told us to use the legal (on enrollment papers) given first name for the students, unless we had a written request from the parent to use a different name, or if informed by his/her previous teacher.


I recall one year, having prepared all name tags, folders, cubbies, etc. using the names on the class roster given to me by the office. Then on meet the teacher about 1/3 of the parents wanted their kids to go by a different name, and I had to change all of those items. That problem was finally solved at the end of a year when all teachers had to include the different names on cards to go to the next year's teachers-legal enrollment name, then name child goes by.

Curious about your grandchild's nickname and how the problem is solved!
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:33 AM
 
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Thank you for all of your replies. I read each one. My grandson's nickname is a good ol' Texas name, Bubba.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:36 AM
 
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Oh, yeah, with a nickname like Bubba, I would've insisted on using his real/legal name as well
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:17 AM
 
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With a nickname like Bubba, he should get used to writing his given name on things. He will be filling out job applications and other important paperwork in the future, and he might as well get used to writing his proper name on it all.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:54 PM
 
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Bubba?
Nope, that's a family nickname that should be used at home only. Your daughter needs to have him write his legal first name and start to be called by that name at school.

She then needs to write the teacher a thank you note for bringing that to her attention.
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:22 PM
 
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I'm guessing the teacher had many students in the electronic gradebook and he or she diesnt want to take the time to try to remember who Bubba or Shorty or whoever is. I would ask the same thing. Taking off points is harsh, bit I usually just ask the kid to write their name when they out something else.
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