Teacher News

Should we Replace 'Miss' and 'Sir' with First Name Titles?

Posted by Sarah Dalziel 4 years ago

This article from the BBC News stirred up a heated debate in the Education World office today! Have a read and have your say!

"Calling teachers "Sir" or "Miss" is depressing, sexist and gives women in schools a lower status than their male counterparts, an academic has said. Prof Jennifer Coates told the Times Educational Supplement "Sir is a knight... but Miss is ridiculous - it doesn't match Sir at all".

Professor Sara Mills of Sheffield Hallam University said UK schools were moving towards allowing pupils to address their teachers by their first name. She claimed that sometimes teachers find that they can control students more when they try to stress the similarities between them, rather than trying to distance themselves from them.

But Debbie Coslett, chief executive of the Brook Learning Trust in south-east England, said there was not a disparity between "Sir" and "Miss". Her response is always that her name isn't Miss; it's Mrs Coslett. She also went on to state that when in a school where students don't know her and call her 'Miss', she accepts that and acknowledges that they are still giving her a title as a sign of respect."

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