What does your child’s teacher call you?

Learning the ropes as a parent

And do you care?

If someone from school has to ring you up, who do they as for? Do they ask for so-and-so’s mum or do they use your name. Do they always get it right?  If you the kind of family where everyone has the same surname, then you’re probably wondering what I’m on about. Of course they call you Mrs X…

But despite two marriages I’ve never really been a Mrs and never had my husband’s name. I like mine too much. 

It’s not unusual with modern families as they are, often the kids’ second names aren’t the same as mum’s or as dad’s. 

Actually, it’s not “modern” at all, in fact, you could argue that to have the same name as your spouse and therefore your kids is, possibly, becoming the old-fashioned option. And then there’s that whole thing about why should a woman take a man’s name.. why shouldn’t he take hers? Or should you hypenate your way into a whole new can of worms? 

In this house we have three surnames between five of us.

If school or nursery rings then I don’t expect them to know what my name is, just who I belong to. Good lord, I take my hat off to teachers for remembering the names of all the kids they are responsible for, I certainly couldn’t. I don’t imagine for a minute that they will know what my name is and if they do, it’s probably because we’ve been drawing attention to ourselves and not in a good way. 

This week my lovely cousin, who is a teacher, married her lovely chap, also a teacher. We chatted at the reception and I wondered if she was taking her name. I don’t care if anyone does or doesn’t, I’m just nosy that way. 

What she said surprised me. She said she was changing her name to her new husband’s because of her experiences with parents of her pupils. 

She told me that when you had to call a parent and if you mistakenly assumed the mother had the same name as the child the error could spark a cross and rude reaction. 

She said: “They expect us to know and even when we look up the records to check the information might not be there. It’s just really, really difficult.”

I’ve never been concerned when a teacher has called asking for Mrs S…. or Mrs L…. depending on which child they’re interested in. I often don’t even bother to correct the mistake, after all it’s not about me it’s about my kids. 

Do you care what your teachers call you? Would it be enough to make you change your name?

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  1. Jo says

    Funnily enough my dad (also a teacher) says the same thing as an argument for me changing my name. He says it's really confusing at school. I couldn't care less if people call me Mrs H though. Some people have decided to call me Mrs A-H which seems weird! C's teacher always calls me Jo, and I call her by her first name, but I have been helping in her classroom a bit so I suppose we work together in a different way.

    What seems weird to me, and it shouldn't, is when people call C or R my surname!

  2. says

    The primary school has had years of practice so they get my name right but if it's someone new they often ask for Paul's Mum. It's never bothered me, I happily answer to three surnames. In fact it works both ways – when I phone the school looking for Neil it's way easier to tell the office it's his wife calling than his bidey in for the last 10 years :)

  3. says

    with 3 names between three of us I used to just hope the teacher didn't call…..unfortunately it was practically a daily occurance, thank goodness those days are done….happy christmas!!

  4. says

    I have to say I don't enjoy being called Mrs Williamson. I would much prefer my first name. However I do understand why they do it, and there's no way I'd be upset if anyone got it wrong!

  5. says

    Well obviously anyone from my daughter's “school” calls me Mummy or Sarah LOL, but I don't mind when people who don't know me and who deal with H call me Mrs B-C because it's not an unreasonable assumption, but actually thinking about it, because her teachers are from activities, we tend to be on first name terms. I do very much mind when people who do know me address me as Mrs C!!

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