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Is Principal a title?
Old 02-08-2018, 09:59 PM
  #1

Does anyone anywhere refer to their principal by name as "Principal So & So" ? I'm truly curious.

On nearly every TV show and movie where there is a principal as a character, or even where the principal is merely mentioned in the third person, they always refer to him / her as "Principal Smith" or whatever, as if "principal" were a title. It really annoys me.

I have taught in several different schools and school districts in my career; and I have never once known anyone --- students, parents, staff members, or district administrators --- to use "Principal" as a title instead of Mr. or Ms. (or Dr., when relevant.) It's always simply "Mr. Smith," "Ms. Smith," or "Dr. Smith," possibly paired with "the principal," if needed for clarification --- as in, "the principal, Mr. Smith..." or "Ms. Smith, the principal..."

I'm wondering if maybe it is done in other parts of the country? Or is it just Hollywood ignorance ?



Last edited by Mme Escargot; 02-09-2018 at 05:03 AM.. Reason: Clarified my wording and fixed a grammatical error
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:57 PM
  #2

We don't refer to our principals as "Principal so and so" around here.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:28 AM
  #3

Never heard it, either. The closest is if the principal was a nun, then it was Sister. Some schools have a PhD as principal or superintendent and they want to be referred to as Doctor.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:31 AM
  #4

You're right they do that on TV all the time. I've never heard of it in any schools where I've taught.
I also rarely stand at a chalkboard and tap on it with a ruler. Oh TV.
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Timely post
Old 02-09-2018, 03:27 AM
  #5

Just today, I used his title instead of his name with our unrulely class. We are trying to finish testing and he’d made the announcement for quiets passing in hall. Our group was SO loud and literally outside the lab where he and I were testing. I stepped out, reminded them what the “principal” said and went back into the lab. I went over to the principal and told him I used the title instead of his name hoping it would make a difference.

Not so much.


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Old 02-09-2018, 03:51 AM
  #6

Quote:
I also rarely stand at a chalkboard and tap on it with a ruler.
You don't? Are you sure you're really a teacher then? Just kidding

We don't refer to our principal by his title either. It's Mr. ____
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:33 AM
  #7

When my P sends out a mass call, he always starts by saying, "Hello, this is Principal Smith," or "This is John Smith, Principal of ABC Elementary." It's not weird to me at all.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:59 AM
  #8

My former student teacher refers to all principals by Principal Name even if I've in the last minute referred to them by their given name. eg. Me "Talk to H about that, she'll know." ST "okay. As soon as I finish this, I'll go talk to Principal S". She's the only one I've heard doing that.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:19 AM
  #9

Maybe they do it on tv to save explaining who the principal is every time they reference the character? It is strange to me too though...I never refer to my that way.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:36 AM
  #10

I have never referred to a principal by title. Originally I used Mr./Mrs. Lastname for all of my principals because they had all been teachers when I was a student. It was strange to call them anything else.

My administrators for several years are all my age, and I knew them from high school. I can call them by their first name and not feel weird.


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Old 02-09-2018, 12:10 PM
  #11

I never heard of it in real life and sure not in my area. Maybe decades ago, they did that.
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yes
Old 02-09-2018, 12:57 PM
  #12

Yes, we do it in my school when talking about her to the kids. But as teachers we call her by her first name.

(not in front of the kids of course)
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:19 PM
  #13

You're right, I do hear that on TV all of the time and I've never heard it in real life. We call our principal Mrs. ______ in front of students.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:38 PM
  #14

It seems like people in my area are starting to do that, referring to almost every administrator type by their position and last name. I think it is weird and I was wondering where it came from. I wonder if they got it from tv.

One of my good friends is a principal in my area- I’ll call her Jane Doe. At work one day I referred to her be her first name, “Jane is doing xyz in her school”. Administrator Dufus (who I was talking to) corrected me by saying, “you need to call her Principal Doe”. I think it’s nuts!
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:52 PM
  #15

Around here its always the typical Mr., Mrs., Ms. or in most cases where the staff is concerned the vast majority of my principals have insisted on being called by their first names. I have never heard Principal ____.

Nancy
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Whelp....
Old 02-11-2018, 07:02 AM
  #16

I worked one private and two public schools.

As support staff. It was ALWAYS Dr. Last name. The person introduced him/herself as such during the interview. He/she was my boss, so there was no way I'd fire up hey Biff/Buffy how's it going?

Though the teachers always called the person Dr. Last Name. There might have been one or two that referred to the person by his/her first name.

Principal Skittles is the same as Prinicipal Last Name or Mr. Last Name. I don't think I never called him by his first name EVER.

Growing up in an old school Italian/Polish/German neighborhood, adults addressed each other by Mr. /Miss/Mrs/Ms Last name. Even at work, from what I experienced as a young adult in the 1980s.

So.... if I was talking to someone that wasn't working in the school, it was Principal Skittles. When I was working, it was Mr. Skittles. He wasn't my friend, so it didn't feel weird.

Both Dr. Last Name and Principle Skittles always addressed me my Ms. Tawaki.

Dr. Last Name was 20 years older than me, and Principal Skittles about 10 years younger, so it must be common here.


As long as they keep off my @ss and my pay check is correct, I'll address them how ever they want.

I always grew up calling my grandmothers Grandma Last Name. Didn't know they had a first name until I was 11. Lol...


ETA: working in health care and with university professors, everyone had titles etc. No one addressed hire ups by their first names. Maybe that is why I don't see it such a big deal.
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