A Good Name

Some of my experiences at work tickle me to no end. Last week I was sitting at my desk and the students were coming in for breakfast. As one of the students came in another teacher said good morning to him. Out of nowhere the student started yelling and asking why were we calling him by his whole name, because he didn't like it. He wanted us to use a shortened version of. Anything else, he told us, he was not responding to it.

The teacher calmly walked away from him and said. "Your parents gave you a good name and you should be proud of it. And because our system says that this is your name this is what I am going to call you." That just set the student off, did I mention it was a little after 8 in the morning? What a way to begin the day.

Well, first you have to understand the nature of my students. They would prefer for us to call them by the names that they are called outside of school. I have to remind them several times that I refuse to call any student "D-Money", "Juicy", or "Mr......". Those names are cool to them and represent who they believe they are. Many of them don't identify with their birth names. Even when they turn in work they often write their nicknames on their assignment.

I am not quite sure where students come up with this concept of you will call me what I want to be called and not what my parents named me. We stand firm on this issue at school. Hopefully one day our students will learn to value their names, maybe even sit down and have a discussion with their parents about where their name came from. Knowing the history of their name could lead to some embracing of it.

Often times when I introduce myself people will ask me, "Can I call you Linda?" No, my parents named me Arlinda not Linda. I know the family history of my name and I love the good name my mother and father gave me.


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