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Dr. Leslie C. Miller

One thing I do in my attempt to keep students from getting too familiar and trying to become my "buddy" is to only refer to them as "Mr. Hawthorne" or "Ms. Banks." I rarely ever need to explain to them why I do this; they seem to automatically pick up on what's going on. When they do ask, I respond that they are adults and I am attempting to show them the respect they deserve, and I expect the same in return. Since I began doing this in my second year of teaching (I am at year 10 now), I have only had a couple of failures with students getting too familiar, but those have been my fault for not sticking to my guns.

Delaney Kirk

Thanks for the suggestion--I would think this would be especially good advice for young profs, especially women who look close in age to their students.

Stephan DeLong

I was actually going to adopt this practice in the coming year (addressing students as Mister Jackson, or Miss Hammond, etc)... I've been teaching for about 17 years, but I've been noticing an increasing sense of informality in class, and I think that that may be contributing to students working a bit less diligently on the course materials... I figure it's worth a try.

Dr. Delaney Kirk

I'd be interested in knowing your results-please email me after the semester is over.

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