WHO WAS THAT?

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A parent has complained that her child’s teacher has not pronounced the child’s name correctly. The teacher shortened the name as the full name was apparently difficult to say. As a teacher I have faced this problem a number of times over my 35 years of teaching. Some names when pronounced correctly sounded the same as English swear words so roll call could be challenging. Some were just too long or contained too many consonants for me to pronounce easily and I always prefaced any roll call with the simple statements that I would do the best that I could.

I know that a mispronounced name can be annoying although not offensive if they try to do their best, but many students found Fitzgerald difficult to pronounce. Apparently the “tz” sound is difficult in many languages. Some of the mispronunciations were actually funny but I tried not to laugh at my own name.

The main consideration is that people should do their best and that we should be willing to accept these efforts. Teachers already find the job challenging and most find parent feedback/complains only add to the stress. The world as a whole needs to relax in these times of difficulty.

Dennis Fitzgerald,
Melbourne, Australia