This Is Darryl And My Other Brother, Daryl
For example, a few weeks ago, one of my students came up to me and told me that, as it turns out, she had actually been spelling her name wrong her entire life. For anonymity purposes let's just say her name is Staci and suddenly she wants to spell it Stacy.
At first, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I thought it was cute even. I guess this was because the whole time I was thinking that there must be a reasonable explanation. Perhaps the kid was watching TV or reading a book and recognized her name, only spelled differently, and became confused. It's a long shot, but if you knew my students, you would see long shots don't seem so long after all.
But then she tells me her mom was the one who told her "she" was spelling it wrong, which she here I'm not too certain. I mean can the kid really be blamed for spelling her own name "wrong" if that's how you spelled it to begin with? Once again I told her she must have misunderstood her mom, although I will say this particular nine year old is relatively bright, at least comparatively speaking to the rest of my students.
I figured that maybe what mom was trying to say was that there was more than one way to spell her name. She assumed she was ready to here that without being confused and obviously she was not. But then again, given the track record of the parents in my district, sometimes the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, if you know what I mean.
In other words, anything is possible.
So, I sent her home to get clarification. I know you're thinking I could have just contacted the parents myself, but there are two main reasons why I didn't do this:
1. Mom doesn't speak English.
2. It seemed odd to inquire about a student's name at this point in the school year without feeling like a fool.
The student in question comes back the next day, insisting mom meant what she said. So this time, I called for reinforcements. I went to the source, the cum folder. The cum folder is a culmination of a child's tenure in a school, including registration papers (and sometimes even a birth certificate, if you're lucky, which I was not). A few years ago, when the mother registered the child, she clearly wrote S-T-A-C-I, not S-T-A-C-Y.
So now I have a confused student who has gone from writing Staci on all of her papers to writing Stacy-- and literally overnight.I mean she's got to be confused because God knows I still am.
The only saving grace is despite "the name game" she still answers when I call her.