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You open your class list and you see all of the names of the new students  in your class this year. As you go down, you notice there are some names you may have trouble with. What’s your first inclination, do you practice the name before the student enters your room? Or do you wait until you meet the student to learn how to say their name? Well, today on season 2, episode 10 of The Educator’s Room Podcast, we are going to discuss, “The Microaggression of Mispronouncing a Student’s Name” .

I was actually inspired to record this podcast from a post in a group for teachers that was lamenting having to work in a school where students did not have “normal” names. The poster even went as far to say that the student’s names made it difficult to establish relationships with her students.

Needless to say, I was angry, disgusted and frightened that people actually think like this. Why? Well, I was the child with the difficult to pronounce name for my entire life. My first name is Franchesca and for years, I had people chop, dice, and skew my name. Teachers did it. Kids did it. People in line at the DMV did it. Everyone did it.

During this episode I will discuss:

  • what is a microaggression and how it applies to the repeated mispronunciation of student’s names?
  • my struggle as a child to keep my name how it was intended
  • what strategies you can use to now how to properly pronounce your student’s name.

To listen to the podcast on iTunes,  click here and leave a review!


For fifteen years Franchesca taught English/Language Arts in two urban districts in Atlanta, Georgia,...

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