Dear Teachers: Make The Effort To Enunciate Brown And Black Names

Name pronunciation is a very important element when it comes to education. Mispronunciation of a student’s name is a form of microaggression, creating an uncomfortable environment for students to learn. According to Bronx-based teacher Adam Levine-Peres, the mispronunciation of a student’s name in the classroom raises three different problems that affect the student’s learning process.

READ: Illinois Teacher Violates Spanish-Speaking Students’ Rights

  1. No Trust: Not pronouncing a name correctly creates an environment where the students don’t trust the teachers. Choosing not to learn something as simple as how to pronounce your students names properly and asking the students to learn new material is hypocritical. More than likely the students will trust you more and put more forth effort if you take the time to learn how to pronounce their names correctly because they trust you.
  2. No Perseverance: The teacher not being able to pronounce a name and deciding to give up and change the pronunciation to something that is convenient for the professor, sets an example of giving up and taking the easy route. It promotes the idea of stagnant behavior which will message to the students to choose to be comfortable.
  3. Common Courtesy: Taking the time to learn how to properly pronounce someone’s name shows a huge level of respect. Not caring to pronounce someone’s name properly shows a level of disrespect, and it shows a sign of not caring. It is common courtesy.

Proper pronunciation is a simple action that will go long way in the classroom and makes the educational experience a lot more effective. Mispronunciation strips student’s from their identity. It does not allow them to be who they are but it says that they have to be who you are telling them to be. Pronunciation allows for a more personal and intimate relationship with the students, it shows a sign of affection and they feel that you actually care. So teachers, please take the time to properly enunciate your students’ names—it is important!

READ: If Latinos Can’t Be Themselves At Work, What Does That Say About Their Bosses?