Friday, August 20, 2010

I Think It's Already Too Late to Correct Her......

One of my first duties as an online teacher is to call the students and parents and introduce myself. It's one of the few times I love getting someone's voice mail. I can leave a message, introduce myself, leave a number to call back, and document the fact that I called into my communications log. Voice mail is an especially good friend of mine when I have 11 or 12 new students to call because it's a real time saver.

Because I have been the victim of garbled messages to which I have to listen again and again just to understand a) the name of the person calling; and b) the number I'm supposed to call back, I try to speak very slowly and distinctly in my messages. I introduce myself as so-and-so's online literature teacher, say I'm calling to see if student or parent has any questions or concerns, and leave my number. I pause after the area code, pause again after the prefix, then pause at the end of the number. I know how it is to need to write down a number and the person on the other end is speaking too fast for me to get it. Then I say my name again and the name of my institution, since they may have forgotten way back before I started with the whole telephone number nonsense.

I have mentioned before that I'm a trifle uncomfortable with the whole "Dr." title, so I usually introduce myself (especially to parents) using my first and last names. I do the same on voice mails. I figure they'll pick up the "Dr." part in my email signature soon enough. And if they don't, that's fine too. "Mrs." is fine with me, since I have failed miserably at any weak attempt at feminism.

One student hasn't quite picked up on that yet. She may not pick up on it at all this semester, as it has taken a solid week and four phone calls just to get her through the student orientation course. She leaves me cheery voice messages addressing me by my first name, and she begins her emails with "Hi [Bragger]!".

I have signed every email to her with the "Dr." before my name, I have left voice messages saying, "This is Dr. Bragger," and I even sent her a text message saying, "This is Dr. Bragger." I assure you that I am not trying to force her to use the title, but I think it's inappropriate for her to address me by my first name.

I'm not sure how to correct her, though.


KatyDid53 said...

How about trying, "Don't call me by my first name again, you little twit!"

frogger_blogger said...

Or how about "It's inappropriate for a student to address a teacher by the first name"? You could ask her to call you Dr. Bragger or Mrs. Bragger while she is your student and by your first name when she is no longer your student and IF she is invited to do so.

Maggie said...

Or how about "I'd appreciate it if you'd please call me Dr. Bragger."

AmandaSue : ] said...

It always annoyed me when other students would call you Mrs. instead of Dr. You worked real hard for that title!