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riko riko is offline
 
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Calling students 'friends'
Old 09-13-2018, 07:09 AM
 
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There is a young Kindergarten teacher, 7th year of teaching, who calls her students, "Friends." For example, "Hi Friends...." I was always told that students are not our friends. It didn't matter what grade you taught, there is a line. I tell them I can be friendly with them but am not their friend. I teach upper elementary.


I am a 25+ year veteran and was wondering if this is the trend now. If so, I don't think I can jump on this bandwagon.



Other thoughts?


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Old 09-13-2018, 07:27 AM
 
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It's a term that gets used a lot in primary. I used it more when I taught kinder than when I taught 2nd. It's more inclusive and friendly than "class" or "children".

And it's not crossing any boundaries. We are friendly and kind to our students, but not "besties"!
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:33 AM
 
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I'm not friends with my students, nor would I address them as such. Heck, I'm not friends with my own flesh and blood kids. I may be in 5-10 years but that isn't my role in their lives right now.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:40 AM
 
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I don't do it either, I call them "3rd graders" or "guys".
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:24 AM
 
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I'm in kinder and I use lots of terms to address my students, "friends" being one of them. We are working hard on what it means to be a student and a friend, so it makes sense to address them as friends at times.


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Depends on the grade level
Old 09-13-2018, 10:38 AM
 
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I think itís definitely more appropriate to use for pre-k and kindergarten. I have to admit that I used it all the time when I taught pre-k. I definitely would not use it for older students though!
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:51 AM
 
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There is a young Kindergarten teacher, 7th year of teaching,
She's not a newbie, regardless of her age.

Quote:
I was always told that students are not our friends. It didn't matter what grade you taught, there is a line.
I don't think this crosses boundaries. It's not like this teacher is inviting her students to the movies or for a sleepover. The line exists.

Quote:
I tell them I can be friendly with them but am not their friend
I think this is splitting a semantic hair. Kinders aren't likely to understand this distinction. Heck, I could see getting a call from a parent that one of my students came home crying, "My teacher said she's not my friend!"

Quote:
We are working hard on what it means to be a student and a friend, so it makes sense to address them as friends at times.
I agree with sbkangas. They need to be taught and reminded what it means to be a friend.

If you're not comfortable with it, then don't do it. I agree it doesn't really "fit" upper grade levels, but it isn't inappropriate in K.
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friends
Old 09-13-2018, 12:03 PM
 
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Yes, we do call them friends.
Admin will walk in and say "Hello friends, you are working so nicely..etc"

Me personally, Yes for the younger grades like K-1 and maybe 2

Boys and girls, class 224, for the upper grades.. No rhyme or reason, just sounds right to me.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:10 PM
 
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I would not think anything about hearing this term used for a class. I doubt the teacher is using it in the reference you feel it being made. Its just another way of saying class, guys, etc.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:48 PM
 
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To me it depends on the teacher and how it is used. I've heard some teachers use it in ways that I feel like is fine, and I've heard other teachers use it in ways that I find annoying. I don't think it is wrong to use it, but I think it is frequently overused. I rarely use it, but have said it before.


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Old 09-14-2018, 01:30 AM
 
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I personally find it misleading and potentially confusing to the student... my role is teacher; their role is student. Yes, we are friendly--or at least I hope we are. Are we assuming that a five year old understands what "friendship" is? If so, why do we handle the drama around "Suzie said she won't be my friend anymore?"

(It's interesting that I hear teachers calling students "friends," but rarely hear a student address a teacher as "friend." They usually use a name or "teacher."

Is it a trend? Absolutely. It's become quite fashionable and I have yet to understand why some think it's such a great idea.

One observation... boys and girls won't work much longer. That's probably a different topic, but it's all about labels.

If I'm addressing the group (entire class), it's "class." With combined grades "first graders" doesn't always work. If I were a full-time teacher, I would work my class to come up with a class name... we are the "tigers" for example. That might, at least, contribute to class "bonding" and a sense of team/belonging.

As a final observation, I have not yet seen a parent refer to their children as "friends."
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I've said it
Old 09-14-2018, 01:44 AM
 
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I usually say boys and girls, but I use friends sometimes. They are friends with each other, not with me. I think it sounds fine for first grade. It's better than some of the names I'm thinking when they get wild.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:08 AM
 
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Quote:
One observation... boys and girls won't work much longer. That's probably a different topic, but it's all about labels.
Exactly.

Quote:
If I were a full-time teacher, I would work my class to come up with a class name... we are the "tigers" for example. That might, at least, contribute to class "bonding" and a sense of team/belonging.
Ooh, I like that!


I also like using the subject occasionally - mathematicians, scientists, etc.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:47 AM
 
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We had a new teacher about 10 years ago who had gone through her education program in another state. She said "friends" all the time. She is the only teacher I have ever heard consistently address her class as friends. I don't see a problem with it. You are not saying you are on their level, it's more of a we're on the same team kind of thing.
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Friends...
Old 09-14-2018, 04:54 PM
 
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This is big in my school. I never liked it.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:07 PM
 
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I've always found it kind of annoying. My mom is also a teacher and before I started teaching, drilled it into my head that classroom management 101 is "you're their teacher, not their friend." At my first school, absolutely everyone said it ALL of the time. I'd catch myself doing it because I just heard it so much that it would slip out unconsciously. No one at my current school says it.
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I don't like it much
Old 09-14-2018, 09:37 PM
 
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its big around here too, must be taught in the university classes, as its near-universal in every district around here up to about 5th grade. It drives me nuts.

I'll address them as "Mrs Jones' class" or "5th grade", or if I can (I'm a sub) by their name. I think by 3rd grade they see through that phrase, and it loses any usefulness it might have had.

teaching is a relationship, I may be in charge, but I'm there to serve them, so I tell my kids they are always the most important thing in the room, they have immeasurable value, irreplaceable, so the least I can do is try to remember their names.
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Old 09-15-2018, 03:43 AM
 
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It's like nails on a chalkboard to me.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:23 AM
 
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I don't see it as a problem at all. Kids do not read into the word usage as adults do and as a matter of fact I hear kids saying it too. It's all light-hearted and a pleasurable word in a child's world.
I have no problem with classroom management and use the word all the time . Adults are far too serious.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
I don't see it as a problem at all. Kids do not read into the word usage as adults do and as a matter of fact I hear kids saying it too. It's all light-hearted and a pleasurable word in a child's world.
I have no problem with classroom management and use the word all the time . Adults are far too serious.
Brava, anna!
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:57 AM
 
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I won't jump on the bandwagon either, but I don't think it's bad. It's just weird and awkward for me. I'm not a cutesy, singsongy type of teacher. They are "students," "fifth graders," or "[our mascot]s" for me.
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:25 PM
 
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I use it all the time with my third graders. If we are all friends we all get along.
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:32 PM
 
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I used to use it in pre-k and kinder. I dont use it in third but some do. Third graders have more vocabulary and semantically sophisticated knowledge so you can use more terms with them and can leave friends to the younger kids. I call them folks, scholars, and team and they know what I am saying and all of these terms can convey enriching community based positive message in one little collective noun without containing negativity or bias which is the point behind calling the kids friends. I dont think any teacher actually considers their students to be their friends

In school I had a teacher who basically told us that it was wrong to say boys and girls because it created a gender division and subconsciously perpetuated gender binary based cultural norms. She said it should only be scholars or friends or other terms that united and valued everyone equally. I think that that is perhaps over thinking it but I also think that positive team based terms are socially and emotionally healthy so why not use them. I always say that we are a school/class family, we are a team, we are a community and as such we care about and care for each other and everybody contributes. In Kindergarten and Pre-K this translates down to "friends".
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:56 PM
 
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I've been saying "friends" for the past 10 years and I don't think I could stop now even if I wanted to. I teach 3rd & 4th grade and I have never had any kid truly think I was the same kind of friend as their classmates. They knew I was the teacher.

The best advice I can give is advice one of my principals gave to me: Teach in your own style. If you don't like calling them friends, don't call them that. Simple.

Personally, I hate call & responses. One of the teachers in my buildings says, "Class, class" and the kids are supposed to respond, "yes, yes" and I don't know why, but it's annoying to me. I would never say anything like that, but I don't care if she does.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:28 AM
 
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I use friends all the time with my primary students. I donít feel that it crosses any line or confuses anyone. When I was in primary school, 35 years ago, my teachers also called us friends. (That said, I teach in another language, so it might also be a cultural difference.)
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Calling students 'friends'
Old 09-17-2018, 05:39 PM
 
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Our newest teacher does it constantly, even when talking with other teachers. She'll want to talk about her class and say "One of my friends . . . ."

I hate it and find it annoying.
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Class, class!
Old 09-18-2018, 02:51 AM
 
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One of the teachers in my buildings says, "Class, class" and the kids are supposed to respond, "yes, yes" and I don't know why, but it's annoying to me.
This is actually a very effective technique recommended in "Whole Brain Teaching" (It's just part of an approach that focuses on engaging students in learning by tapping into their "whole brain.") It's worth a "Google." In this example, the students must respond in a manner that mimics what the teacher has said. If I say, "Classity Class!" the students respond with "Yesity Yes!"

The kids seem to enjoy it and it does work--if the teacher uses it consistently and varies the way she addresses the class.
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:51 AM
 
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I subbed a rowdy high school class a while back, and had done 4th grade the day before, I automatically said class, class, and the 11th graders instinctively responded Yes,yes without thinking. It was funny as heck, and we all laughed, but I told them if they were going to act like 4th graders I'd have to act accordingly.... So 5 minutes later I told them no recess....lol
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:31 PM
 
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This is not at all inappropriate. The term "friends" has been used for years in elementary classrooms. If you don't like it, don't use it.
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