Friday, 11 December 2015

Wandering Misfit: Part 19 ... and the list goes on

     It isn't only the locals that choose strange and unusual English names. Even amongst foreign teachers I have seen some odd choices when giving out names to students.

     The first one that comes to mind was a class I took over from someone else. When the class was brand new it had started with 11 children. For some reason, presumably known only to themselves, the foreign teacher in question had decided to give all of the students names beginning with T. This meant that for the boys for example there was Tom, Tommy, Tim, Ted and Tony. While the girls were called Tina, Tessa, Trudy, Tania, Tami and Tiffany. Altogether it made for a rather confusing situation.

     Other classes I have taught or at least covered for others included ones where all of the students were named after characters from a specific tv show and ones where the kids were named after places.

     Overall it really doesn't make a big difference after all they will most likely go on to choose new names for themselves as they get older if they continue with learning English. Somewhere in my mind though it just made me slightly uncomfortable both handing out new names because I was too lazy to learn their real names and also making the sole judgement call on what that name would be.

     By the time I was a year in I had gotten to the point where I simply refused to do it and made the T.A., kids or parent come up with names. Usually this worked pretty well, they often chose names that sounded as close to the poor kid's actual name as they could. Sometimes however it went badly wrong with kids choosing names like sheep and parents going for names like Ilex (pronounced Aleth according to the paretns involved by the way).

     All in all names to me ended up being something I tried to avoid after all it is hard remembering 100+ names when you only see the kids once a week without adding the strange and unusual to the mix. Personally I've never been good with names but I can't count the amount of times I have called a student by the wrong name so I always tried to make it as simple for myself as possible.

     Rory McDonald is an online marketer and digital entrepreneur, co-founder of the Online Business Expert and passionate blogger. 

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