Respect Is The Name Of The Game

| San Rafael, CA, USA | Learning | April 24, 2013

(I work with a group of ten second grade girls in a literacy class called GirlSMART. All of them are English learners, but most of them don’t have a hard time speaking the language. One girl, however, will lapse back into Spanish just because she feels like it.)

Student: “¡Oy! ¡Necesito ayuda, maestra!”

Me: *patiently* “Now, [student], I know calling me ‘maestra’ can be considered polite, but you know that I like to be called Miss [name]. Okay?”

Student: “Okay, maestra.”

(She proceeds to crack jokes in Spanish, not thinking I can understand her. I decide to prod at her.)

Me: “¡Oy! ¡Estudiante! ¿Todavía necesitas ayuda?”

Student: *in English* “Did you just call me ‘student?'”

Me: “Yes. Because if you’re not going to call me by my actual name, I’m not going to call you by yours.”

(She’s been calling me ‘Miss [name]’ and speaking in English ever since.)

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