Rather than being addressed formally by their surnames, they’re opting to be called simply by their first name. Some love the idea, while others aren’t too pleased.
Professor at the University of Ottawa’s faculty of education, Joel Westheimer explained the controversial idea on Ottawa Morning. "Students and teachers have to feel comfortable. "I spend a lot of time paying attention to the way relationships are built in my classrooms, and the way students connect with me."
Westheimer, goes by either "Dr. Westheimer," "Mr. Westheimer" or "Joel," depending on what his students wish to call him. He says the more casual approach helps ease the tension in classrooms.
No! It’s a show of respect for their elders. What kind of people are we trying to raise?— ...... (@willywillster) September 4, 2018
However, he thinks the choice is up to the teachers and their own comfort levels, "I never think that teachers should be forced to do this," he added.
The scrapping of surnames in the classroom has had some mixed reviews. To some, addressing teachers by Mr. and Mrs. is a sign of respect while using first names takes away authority.
I'm an EA and I've always asked the students to call me just Lily. It doesnt matter what they call me; respect is shown through how we treat one another.— Lily King (@Lilzillaz) September 4, 2018
Responses by some teachers have been in favour of ditching the traditional titles. Some are noting that showing respect is more about how one another is treated and less about formalities.
At the end of the day, this debate might be a to each their own type of thing. But seriously, just try and imagine Cory Matthews calling Mr. Feeny “George” on Boy Meets World? Weird, right?