Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Day One: You Can Call Me...

At the beginning of every school year, introductions must be made, names have to be learned, and my students and I begin to build our relationships with one another.

Years ago, my maiden name was a difficult one for parents to pronounce.  My students could say my name beautifully, though its origin isn't American English, but Inupiaq Eskimo.  It has two "K's."  One family thought my name was Ms. Cowlick.

Yes, Ms. Cowlick.

(illustration found here)

Needless to say, I allowed my Super Star families to call me "Ms. K." whenever the need arose.

Two years ago I taught a young lady who still hadn't acquired her V's, so instead of being greeted as "Mrs. Sommerville," I received a sing-song-y "Good morning Mrs. Sommerbille" as she entered the classroom each day.

You can't deny the cuteness factor when you're a kindergarten teacher!

Today however, might be the one that goes down in my career as the ~best~ renaming day I've experienced as a teacher.

My morning group of Super Stars had worked through storytime, a center, a discussion about classroom rules, and a coloring page before their grumbling tummies let me know it was time for snack.  Students retrieved their pudding cups, crackers, granola bars, bananas, chips, and juice boxes from their backpacks and then sat down at their desks to eat.

Several students asked for help when snipping the tops off of their snack bags.  Another boy asked me to help him punch the straw through his juice pouch.  When all seemed right as rain, I walked back toward my desk to check the rest of the day's schedule.  From behind me, I heard one of my girls:

J:  Uh, teacher?  Teacher?  Mrs.... Mrs... *whispers to table-mate* What is her name again?

K: *using a whisper voice*  Mrs. Sommerville.  Her name is Mrs. Sommerville.

J:  Oh, okay.  Mrs. Happy Meal?  Mrs. Happy Meal... I need some help opening my snack please!

K:  *still using a whisper voice* Uh, no, her name isn't Mrs. Happy Meal, it's Mrs. Som.....mer.....ville.

J:  Oh, uh-huh.  I need help opening my snack!


I was ~rolling~!

And then the teacher in me took over: does she need a hearing evaluation sooner rather than later?  Was she just doing a food/snack association thing with my name?  Or is this the student who will be the main source of the laugh lines I'm bound to continue to develop this year?

Day One, down.

...and I'll take a chicken nugget Happy Meal with apple slices and a Diet Coke with a girl toy, thank you very much!



  1. Hilarious!!!

    With the maiden name of Winters, I was called Ms. Snow by someone every year. (I gave points for language association.) A 3rd grader called me Mrs. Windchime for a day (no points given).

    After I got married, my most common name from my fourth graders was "Mrs. Paddington, like the bear in the story". I think that each year's class told the next to say that, because it happened for ten years in a row.

    I loved the first day of school!!!

  2. Too cute! That made me smile and I swear I needed a smile today!

  3. I am still laughing. I definitely think Mrs. Happy Meal sounds like a great name! Very cheery.

    Have a great week.

  4. Great story. We go by our first names at my school which is probably good because my last name is Heinrich (it's pronounced like heinrick). But my first name is Kerri and my little kindergartners with their speech issues never can say it right. I also get called mom, dad, nana, and anything else they can think of. They are so funny.


  5. love it! love kindergartners...i had a student that thought my name was Mrs. Hulk...i use to tease him that he should never get my husband mad(he is the principal of the middle school that my school feeds into), as he might turn green...my name really is Mrs. Holt, but the last two years of teaching i have gone by Miss Tiffany...just easier!

  6. Anonymous11:35 PM

    One morning I was walking through the cafeteria and I heard one of my kinders say "Look mommy, it's Mrs. Martini!" (My name is Martinez) :)


As always, thank you for your comments, tips, suggestions and questions!