The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Drop gendered honorifics: Show respect in other ways

Reporter+Declan+Smith+argues+Dropping+the+honorifics+and+keeping+students+and+teachers+on+a+first-name+basis+is+beneficial+to+the+academic+environment.
Midway Staff
Reporter Declan Smith argues Dropping the honorifics and keeping students and teachers on a first-name basis is beneficial to the academic environment.

Since the 15th century, English speakers have been using the honorifics Mr., Ms. and Mrs., which originated as short ways of saying master and mistress, and even now students address their teachers with these terms.

The gendered honorifics Mr., Ms. and Mrs. should be dropped from the classroom, and teachers should go on a first-name basis with students.

Honorifics are used to show respect for teachers, but instead of confining respect for teachers into words, students should and can respect teachers through other means. Students can pay attention in class, take teachers seriously and appreciate and be grateful for the sacrifices teachers make for their students. 

Even the school’s founder, John Dewey, once said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow,” and although he wasn’t talking about honorifics, he does touch upon changing the classroom environment for the better. 

By addressing teachers by their first name, we can make learning feel more like a partnership, create a comforting classroom environment and we give less talkative students more confidence, according to Neal Brown, a head of school who believes in using first names in classrooms.

Dropping the honorifics and keeping students and teachers on a first-name basis is beneficial to the academic environment, and teachers should consider allowing students to use their first name in classrooms. 

 

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About the Contributor
Declan Smith
Declan Smith, Reporter
Declan Smith is a member of the Class of 2027 and a beginning reporter. He started writing during the 2023-24 school year as a ninth grader. Declan is interested in genealogy and participates in the Lab Robotics team. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Excellent, yearbook copy/caption: student life

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