Why they call me “Teacher” and it’s not weird.

Calling a teacher, “Teacher” in the states sounds anywhere from childish or ignorant to a bit rude. I’ve quoted several times that students call me “Teacher Brighid” at school, and it’s not because they’re horrible at English or unintelligent.

In Colombia and other Spanish-speaking cultures, teachers are profesores. Profesor(a) is a title, like professor in English. Instead of calling their teachers Señor or Señora-Something like we would say Mr. or Mrs. in English, students say Profesor or Profesora. In my school, among others, the students address teachers by their first name, making me Profesora Brighid. Students learn that the word for profesor is teacher, so calling their adult educators “Teacher” is logical and acceptable. I could rock their worlds and explain that we, in fact, do not say that in U.S. English, but if any of them do an exchange at a North American school or university they can learn for themselves. After all, utter confusion in foreign environments builds character.

Therefore, I answer to any of the following:

“Brighid!”

“Profesora!”

“Profesora Brighid!”

“Teacher!”

“Teacher Brighid!”

At all levels of education, students efficiently and affectionately shorten profesor to “profe!”

More often than not, I am

“Profe!”

“Profes!” (if with other teachers)

“Profe Brighid!”

“Teacher profe!”

“PROFE! TEACHER! TEACHER PROFE! VEN! COME HERE! FINISHED! I HAF A QUESTION! CÓMO SE DICE…?”

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