Student names are rarely a problem for me. I pride myself on knowing ALL of them by the second day of school, have never used a seating chart, and can typically recall them even years later. Sure, there’s the occasional kid who happens to look like a former student, and is then called by the wrong name all year, or the one with more vowels than a Wheel of Fortune puzzle, but I’m usually pretty good at it.
Nicknames on the other hand…
Middle school kids are impressionable, and twisted, so nicknames bestowed by teachers tend to stick. I learned this the hard way my first year, when I was explaining to my class how their new computer usernames were created. I told them it was simply their first initial and first three letters of their last name, but some still looked confused, so I pulled out my roster to give some examples.
The first kid on the list was Andrew Butcher, so I said, “For Andrew, he’d take the first letter of his first name, which would be A, and then add the first three letters of his last name, which are BUT, so his user name would be…ABUT!”
The whole class started laughing, and poor Andrew has been known as A-Butt to this very day
More recently, a colleague of mine had to cover my class while I was at a workshop. He was taking attendance and called on a girl named Katherine, who prefers to be called Kat, so when he said, “Katherine?” she cheerfully replied, “It’s Kat, but hi!” He gave her a look and repeated, “Your name is Kat but hi?”
Again, the class laughed and she’s been Cat Butt High ever since.
But they should both consider themselves lucky, for back when I was in school, a teacher with the last name Abate was promoted to the position of House Master, and instantly became known as Master Abate!