maestra / maestro / profesor / profesora

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Elibennet, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Elibennet

    Elibennet Senior Member

    Buenos Aires Argentina - castellano
    This may seem a rather stupid question, but how exactly do you call your teacher in class? (primary and secondary school I mean) Miss or Madam? Sir? Teacher? Ms/Mr. Thomas? If possible, I´d like to know opinions from both sides of the Atlantic!
  2. waliche

    waliche Senior Member

    USA English
    I think in the U.S.

    Mr. Smith

    Mrs. Johnson

    Miss Brown

    or even by first name in some high schools.

    Madam or Sir are not that common in most of the U.S.
    The possible exception might be in the Southern U.S.
  3. Elibennet

    Elibennet Senior Member

    Buenos Aires Argentina - castellano
    And do you use just "Miss"? "Miss, can I go to the toilet"?
  4. LaReinita

    LaReinita Senior Member

    East Coast, USA
    USA (Northeast Coast)-Inglés
    You would use their last name also:

    Miss Robinson, may I have the bathroom pass?
  5. Snubby

    Snubby Senior Member

    The second graders in my daughter's class call her "Mrs. Ritsema," so I think that when the kids know their female teacher is married they would use Mrs. rather than Miss.
  6. Conejillo

    Conejillo Senior Member

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    English - England / West Coast USA
    Children at the Elementary school that my daughters attend refer to their female teachers as "Miss" + last name (even if they are married) and their male teachers as "Mr." + last name.
  7. Elibennet

    Elibennet Senior Member

    Buenos Aires Argentina - castellano
    Sorryt that I insist, but I´ve never been in a school in an English speaking country, and yet I´m an English teacher, and I don´t know exactly how my students should call me. My question is (referring to Snubby´s post) is, do they say all the time "Mrs. Ritsema, is this all right?"Mrs. Ritsema, can I go to the toilet?" Mrs. Ritsema, Jenny is calling me names." Or is there a moment when they turn to just saying Mrs.?or Ms?
  8. Snubby

    Snubby Senior Member

    As Conejillo indicated, there is probably some regional variation in usage.
    According to my daughter (who teaches in Michigan), they usually call her "Mrs. Ritsema", but sometimes they'll say "teacher", as in "teacher, I need to go to the bathroom", etc.
  9. Elibennet

    Elibennet Senior Member

    Buenos Aires Argentina - castellano
    Thank you, Snubby!
  10. rwest Member

    USA (currently) English (mostly)
    Miss/Mr + last name is always appropriate in all situations, and considered more polite that the alternatives. Variations may even be found from school to school.
  11. Wormentude Member

    I'm at secondary school in the UK and we tend to call our male teachers "Sir" or "Mr Smith" and the female ones either "Miss" (on it's own, irrespective of marriage) or use the full title "Miss Smith" or "Mrs Smith," depending on whether they are married or not.

    In French classes, they become "Monsieur" or "Madame" and in Spanish we use "Señor" or "Señora."

    Hope that helps.
  12. Elibennet

    Elibennet Senior Member

    Buenos Aires Argentina - castellano
    It does help! thank you all.
  13. inda70 New Member

    spanish/ (spain)
    Hello, I'm Spanish, but this year I have to teach English at a primary school and I would like to know if in the classroom, the students should use ," good morning miss..". (without the last name), or "good morning miss Anna".Does it sound artificial or wrong? Because I wouldn't like to be told "Good morning, miss gonzalez", I prefer my real name not the surname. Thanks
  14. siempreinexorable New Member

    Mexico City
    Mmmh... "Miss Ana" sounds very current. To be told Miss + surname is a bit in an old fashion way, but it's still common in some schools, mainly in the countryside in the USA.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  15. AlliMagee Senior Member

    English, USA

    I know this is an old thread, but I just came across it and for what it's worth, I wanted to include what may not have been clear from the other responses. It may or may not be useful to you!

    I live in the Northwestern part of the U.S. and we always refer to our primary/secondary teachers formally, using Mr./Mrs./Miss + surname. In preschool or daycare, it is also appropriate and common to say Teacher or Miss + first name. In college/university, teachers are referred to as professor alone or professor + surname (both male and female). If the professor has a Doctorate degree, they are referred to as Doctor + surname.

    With surname:
    Mr. Reyes
    Mrs. Robinson
    Miss Johnson
    Professor Smith
    Doctor Gonzalez

    With first name:
    Miss Cindy
    Teacher Sharon
    Teacher Alex

    NOTE: We never use Mr. or Mrs. alone, we always include the surname (not the first name) with these terms. This is different from Spanish in which you could say Señor/it/a without a name or with a first name.

    Mr. Gerald
    Mrs. Sharon
    Good morning, Mr.!
    Good morning, Mrs.!

    You might hear someone say to a stranger, mister or lady (not Miss) without a surname if they are upset by that stranger. But this would be interpreted as DISRESPECTFUL. "Hey, lady, you just stepped on my toe!" "Excuse me, mister, just who do you think you are?"

    Sir, Ma'am and Miss (as well as Teacher in preschool and Professor in college) are the terms that are appropriate to use alone and are most closely related to the way in which Spanish uses Señor/it/a. (Miss is used for a young woman and Ma'am for a mature woman, married or unmarried). In certain parts of the U.S. and maybe the U.K., people may use Sir/Ma'am/Miss to refer to their teachers in school, but in the Northwestern United States, we only use these terms when formally addressing a stranger.

    Professional interactions:
    -Good morning, Ma'am, how can I help you?
    -Hello, Sir, I'd like to deposit this check.

    Showing respect to a stranger on the street:
    -Excuse me, Miss, you dropped your wallet!
    -Oh! Thank you Ma'am, you're so kind!

    And ultimately, if someone insists that you call them by their first name, then that is an appropriate thing to do. There is one teacher at the primary school where I work that asks his students to call him by his first name. Another example is that my boyfriend's parents told me from the first time I tried to call them Mr./Mrs. Evans that they preferred I call them John and Anneli.

    However, if you are teaching English, I suggest that you use the formal English usage (Mr./Mrs. + surname) because you want your students to learn what sounds correct. I will be teaching Spanish this coming year and I want my students to get used to using Maestra or Profesora.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009

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