This teacher doesn’t let his class use typical honorifics and instead makes students call him by his first name. But they couldn’t take it and started suggesting other “honorifics” they could use to address him!
On a First-Name Basis
Flint, OP (Original Poster), is a “transgender, non-binary” high school teacher. Ever since he came out, many people have asked him what his students call him since he didn’t allow them to call him “Ms.” or “Mr.”
He said, “The answer is nothing. I don’t put anything in front of my name, and students just call me ‘Flint.’”
The Gender-Neutral Honorific
According to NBC News, usually, non-binary teachers who don’t use common honorifics like “Ms.” or “Mr.” just prefer the gender-neutral one, which is “Mx.” This alternative is pronounced as “mix” and has been accepted as a respectful term for people who are transgender or non-binary.
It’s Your Choice
This story was posted on TikTok because one day, some of Flint’s students stayed behind after class, telling him that they didn’t like that kind of arrangement anymore. They simply refused to continue calling him by his first name!
As an alternative, they presented him with a roster of honorifics they could address him with.
Starting Off Strong
The very first option is “Captain,” which Flint liked because it sounds like he’s leading a crew on an enterprise instead of “begging students to study literature.”
A Manly Name
The next one is “Sergeant” or “Sarge,” which is a good option for him. According to Flint, “It is masculine commanding, but I don’t think I can be counted on to reliably spell it.”
It’s a No for Him
Another option that the students presented is “Lord.” This one made Flint feel immediately uncomfortable.
He said, “Fun in principle, but I think in practice, I would be immediately alarmed if I heard somebody calling their teacher ‘Lord.’”
Might Not Be Suitable
Their fourth option is “Coach,” which he does hear as a roller derby coach. However, the only thing that Flint actually coaches at their school is the academic decathlon, so he doesn’t think he qualifies for this one.
The Seven Dwarfs Reference
The fifth one is “Doc,” which he dismissed.
Flint said, “I think it makes me sound like I should be helping Snow White with her house chores, so I’m going to pass.”
A Personal Favorite
Flint’s favorite one is “Chef” because, as an English and film teacher, his day doesn’t include dealing with food at all. To him, “the absurdity is its charm.”
He added, “It reminds me a lot of those people who are upset that I’m not closeted at school, who tell me to teach ‘math and science.’ Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”
The “Chef” Inspiration
Flint also mentioned that his students love the film “The Menu,” so he’s pretty sure that’s where they got it.
Straight Out of the Courtroom
Flint was also given “Chief” as a suggestion, but he so obviously disliked it that he didn’t talk about it much, skipping ahead to the last suggestion. His students’ latest entry was “Your Honor.”
He thinks that this name might put students in a defensive position immediately. Jokingly, Flint said, “Sometimes they deserve it.”
People found Flint’s story funny and inspiring at the same time. Some also shared the names they liked personally and how amusing it would be to use in class.
Someone commented, “I just need everyone to imagine an entire class of high school students going, ‘Yes, Chef!’ at the top of their lungs every time they are asked a question.”
“If they pick captain, you’ll be able to ask, ‘Are you ready, kids?’ and have them all respond with ‘Aye, aye, Captain!’ which is a great attention grabber,” someone commented in reference to Spongebob’s opening song.
Other Teachers’ Nicknames
Some TikTokers also shared the honorifics they used with their teachers and how it felt.
“My high school teacher changed his ‘boring’ name, which we suspected is ‘Smith,’ to ‘Stoneking’ and bought a lordship, so we called him ‘Lord Stoneking’ and loved it,” a commenter said.
A teacher also wrote, “My students call me ‘Captain.’ Can confirm; it’s awesome.”
Young and Respectful
While many focused on the humor of things, some also pointed out that even if Flint’s students were still young, they were incredibly respectful and accepting of him.
Someone said, “The fact that these kids can understand that you are transgender, non-binary, and can respect it makes me question so many of these adults who can’t.”
Another person commented, “Proof that high-school-aged people are actually really accepting and can have a sense of humor about things while appreciating them.”
What would you like your students to call you if you were Flint? Do you have some suggestions?
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This post first appeared as A “Transgender, Non-binary” Teacher Abhorred Being Called “Ms.” or “Mr.,” So He Made His Students Address Him by His First Name. They’ve Had Enough and Suggested Clever and Ingenious Alternatives! on Quote Ambition.