Should we stop calling teachers ‘Miss’ and ‘Sir’?


14th June 2023

A LONDON school has asked students to stop calling their teachers ‘Miss’ or ‘Sir’.

Harris Westminster Sixth Form won’t use the terms any longer, after head teacher James Handscombe said they are “deeply unequal” and unfair to women.

Mr Handscombe told pupils in a school assembly that ‘Sir’ suggests men are heroic like Sir Lancelot, but that ‘Miss’ is how you might refer to “a small girl, or an Edwardian shop assistant”.

Now, students have been asked to call their teachers by their formal names, for example Mr Handscombe, or just ‘teacher’ if they don’t know that member of staff.

The head teacher posted his “No more Sir, no more Miss” assembly on Twitter, where it’s had more than 162,000 views.

What do you think of Mr Handscombe’s new rule? Should all schools follow it?


Should we stop calling teachers ‘Miss’ and ‘Sir’?


Leave a Reply

sy24 · 8 months ago

It's unfair for both women and men. Some women prefer not to say whether they're married or not and most men aren't knighted by the King.

lovelymrj · 8 months ago

What is so bad about calling teachers miss and sir

uniquestar · 8 months ago

looking at it from that perspective we should not continue to say Sir but not stop saying Miss.
In my school the teachers are known as Mr and Miss or Mrs.

bonniebill · 8 months ago

I think that everyone is used to calling teachers miss and sir and would find it hard to change what they say. It could be annoying to some teachers if pupils keep saying 'miss' and 'sir'.

coola · 8 months ago

Personally, I do not think we should call teachers who we know the name of "Miss" or "Sir". However, if I didn't know the name of the teacher, I would.

rabbit789 · 8 months ago

No because children don’t really respect their teachers and it is probably nice for them to get a little good attention for a while.

mario49 · 8 months ago

If we just call a teacher by 'teacher' if they didn't know their name it would ruin the whole cause for them to have a unique identity and status above the students. Also, it's generally more polite

aces10 · 8 months ago

Calling a teacher ‘sir’ increases the formality between student and teacher, and is a sign of respect. However, I would never call a teacher simply ‘Miss’, as it doesn’t seem formal, and a teachers’ formal name seems more respectful.

kb1. · 8 months ago

They might not like it , but we think it is ok . I call my teacher Miss Elango . Also i am related to Rishi Sunak because my grandma's cousin is his godmother.

austria · 7 months ago

It is vitally important to respect teachers because they provide knowledge.

In India, you are severely punished if you don't respect your teacher.

Nowadays Miss and Sir are respectful terms.

PS: @kb1. That's crazy!

rawr12345 · 7 months ago

I call my teachers 'Miss Smith' and 'Mrs Cartwright' already so no difference for me, but I think everyone should do this so there is no confusion when you say 'Miss!' and about 10 voices say 'Yes?'

elsamyd · 7 months ago

Using Miss and Sir is a very old-fashioned thing. Also, it implies that you are not a proper woman (Mrs) until you marry. And what about non-binary or gender-fluid teachers?

15645 · 6 months ago

I don't think we should stop but i think the teacher can say arbthe start of the year what they want to be called