~Henry David Thoreau
It’s one of those really simple and obvious things. We like it when people call us by name. It makes us feel special – like they actually know who we are. I’m even thrilled when I see my name in comment boxes on blogs! And because it’s been misspelled more ways than you can imagine and sometimes mispronounced (rhymes with Madonna – the “o” is not a long vowel) I’m happy when the effort is made to get it right.
This hit me hard last year. A 14-year-old student who has a foreign name – not hard to pronounce but a name that felt heavy on my tongue – asked after being with me for about 8 months if I knew what her name was. Ouch. Yes. I knew. It hadn’t occurred to me that she might have noticed that I never, ever voiced her name, though I did the students on either side of her. I probably didn’t recover from that very gracefully.
I’m so glad she called me on it. One more little thing that goes a long way in the teacher-student relationship.
Image: LaDona Ahenda, 2012