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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Terms of address at institutes of higher education

    Hi,
    Please, may I know what the most common ways of a addressing teachers and professors at universities and secondary schools are?
    (Does it matter if you're calling them in the class or, say, in their rooms?)

    Thank you a lot!

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Terms of address at institutes of higher education

    Given the information in a couple of recent threads about this, it appears that there are a lot of different ways of addressing such people and the standards appear to be set by the individual schools and colleges.

    For example, at my secondary school, all teachers were addressed as "Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms + surname".
    At my Sixth Form College, my form tutor was happy to be addressed by her first name, two of my other teachers were "Mr/Miss + surname" and one professor insisted on being called "Sir".

  3. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #3

    Question Re: Terms of address at institutes of higher education

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Given the information in a couple of recent threads about this, it appears that there are a lot of different ways of addressing such people and the standards appear to be set by the individual schools and colleges.

    For example, at my secondary school, all teachers were addressed as "Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms + surname".
    At my Sixth Form College, my form tutor was happy to be addressed by her first name, two of my other teachers were "Mr/Miss + surname" and one professor insisted on being called "Sir".
    Thanks!
    Could 'Sir' and 'Miss' be safely used in the class, if one wanted to ask a quick question, naturally avoiding using the last name?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Terms of address at institutes of higher education

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Could 'Sir' and 'Miss' be safely used in the class, if one wanted to ask a quick question, naturally avoiding using the last name?
    The safest way of all would be to avoid any form of address.

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    #5

    Re: Terms of address at institutes of higher education

    [QUOTE=Mehrgan;837371]


    professors at universities

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) It has only been 60 years since I was a university student, so things "may" have

    changed.

    (2) But I still feel that professors with a Ph.D are pleased when you address them

    as Dr. Smith. And when you answer "Yes, sir" or "Yes, ma'am."

    (3) This first-name business is for the birds. He (or she!) worked hard for that

    doctorate. The least his (or her!) students can do is to show respect.

    (4) Of course, I shan't name the country, but I hear that there is a European

    country so in love with titles that some professors with two doctorates insist on

    being addressed as "Dr. Dr." Now that is going a little too far.

    (5) Here in California, most high school teachers are addressed as Mr., Mrs., or

    Ms. I think that most high school students themselves would feel uncomfortable

    calling them by their first names. And I think that the few teachers who encourage

    such a practice often come to regret it. As the saying goes: Familiarity breeds

    contempt. (That's the reason why royalty does not eat in public. Seeing them

    stuff their mouths would remind us that they are just like us ordinary people.)

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Terms of address at institutes of higher education

    In British schools and universities, most teachers are fairly clear about how they wished to be addressed.

    When I left the Britsh secondary school system in 1998, very few teachers in 11-16 schools allowed the students to address them by their first names. The use of 'sir and 'miss' (never 'ma'am') was much less common than it had been thirty years before, students tending to use title + name, "Mr Postule", "Ms Fitt".

    In 16-18 colleges, teachers were commonly addressed by their first names. In 11-18 schools, the sixth-form (16-18) students tended to address teachers by title+name. The use of 'sir' and 'miss' was dying out.

    In British universities, 'sir' and 'miss' have not been used for many years. The use of first names to address lecturers was extremely common in 1998, and now appears to be almost universal.

    Note that in Britain, the use of a name (with or without title) when speaking to people is not nearly as important as it is in some countries.

  6. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Terms of address at institutes of higher education

    In North America, you need to make sure whether they have a PhD (most do) and call them Doctor So-and-so. Otherwise, any form of "Professor" in their title (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Professor Emeritus, University Professor) is actually considered slightly more impressive than just "Doctor", so you should call all of these people "Professor So-and-so" unless otherwise requested.

    In the UK, and similar places, it's much less ostentatious, and most extremely learned people are merely "lecturers" and "tutors" with a few places starting to follow the North American style. In such places, "Mister" is not disrespectful, nor is "Ma'am."

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