A parent noticed that during his 7-year-old daughter’s remote teaching class, the teacher consistently mispronounced her name. He assumed that this would be a simple problem to resolve, but this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Keeley, Not Kelly
The father was in the same room as his daughter who was currently being remotely schooled in an online conference call. He kept hearing the name “Kelly” mentioned, yet he was sure there was no child in the class with this name.
A Simple Mispronunciation
After asking his daughter about this new ‘Kelly’ student, he learned that this was in fact addressed toward his daughter Keeley, and the teacher was mispronouncing her name. Keeley was becoming increasingly annoyed about this.
Repeated Attempts To Correct
The father wrote: “I asked her why she hadn’t corrected the teacher if it annoyed her so much and she said she had repeatedly at the beginning of the year, but the teacher kept calling her Kelly, so eventually she gave up”.
A Long-Term Problem
The man encouraged his daughter not to give up, as it should be a simple matter to resolve. Furthermore, the daughter would continue to be taught by the same teacher throughout the coming years, so it was important to resolve the mispronunciation before it became a problem for years to come.
Attempt To Address The Issue
Concerned about their child’s frustration and wanting to teach her the importance of self-advocacy, the father sent an email to the teacher explaining the misunderstanding. Unfortunately, there was no response from the teacher, and the mispronunciation continued.
Encouraging The Daughter To Clarify
To help his daughter assertively correct the teacher, the parent encouraged her to speak with the teacher privately, thinking that a one-on-one conversation might resolve the issue more effectively. The child politely clarified her name’s pronunciation to the teacher before class, explaining her name was “Keeley like really, instead of Kelly like jelly”.
The Parent’s Intervention
Despite the persistence of the father and daughter, the teacher once again mispronounced Keeley’s name. The father decided to intervene by addressing the teacher directly during the virtual class, correcting her once more with increased impatience whilst maintaining a polite and understanding tone.
Taking The Teacher’s Side
Following this incident, the father was shocked to receive an email inviting him and his wife to a parent-teacher conference with the vice principal. During the conference, the school’s perspective was that whilst the teacher’s persistent mispronunciation was an issue, they were more concerned about the parent’s actions challenging the teacher’s authority during class time.
Amidst his anger and confusion, the father was now questioning whether he overstepped his bounds and acted like an overly protective father. He was unsure if the teacher’s persistent mispronunciation warranted his intervention or if he should have allowed the issue to resolve itself.
Seeking Other Perspectives
Troubled by this conundrum, the father recounted the experience online, hoping for assistance from others. One reader suggested: ‘I would instruct my daughter to ignore any statements the teacher made to the wrong name. After the teacher gets frustrated she should then explain, “Oh, I only answer to Keeley as that’s my name.”’
Most readers were furious – one wrote, “You were teaching your daughter to stand up for herself, and you showed her that when she needs your support, you’re there. It’s outrageous for a vice principal to suggest that you correcting the pronunciation of your daughter’s name (after she had already tried multiple times herself AND you had tried via email!) is a ‘drastic’ action.”
Poor Teaching Standards
One commenter focussed on the poor communication skills of the teacher: “Your daughter has tried to correct her several times and the teachers ignored her. If the teacher doesn’t want her authority challenged she should be a better teacher”.
Taste Of Her Own Medicine
Another commenter offered a rather humorous solution: “I had a teacher do that to my daughter and she only corrected herself when I started addressing her by the wrong name”.
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