September 18, 2012

The Power of Nick Names

Some nick names are annoying . . . for example when on the softball field my coach used to shout "BIG E!" (my name is Erica) . But some nicknames are endearing. . . like when my basketball coach would call me Fed (a short version of my last name that I liked because it was my big brother's nick name too, and doesn't every little girl want to be just like her big brother?) 

Nicknames With 600++ names why would I want to learn any more? Because a good nick name can pull any kid out of any "funk." 

Last week a first grader corrected me during attendance and said his name was Metroid. I wrote it down. I noticed he had been a little distant so I wanted a way to really get to know him, I knew Metroid was the ticket. This week, when I got to his name, instead of saying it I said Metroid with a straight face. He answered with a straight face. The rest of the class was baffled. It got the squirmiest of first graders attention. I asked the class, "can anyone tell me who Metroid is?" I was suspecting it was a character I didn't know about. The class had a lot of answers but no one knew. So I asked the boy where he came up with this name. He said Metroid is a character that no one can beat and can never die. Hmmmm . . . Interesting that one of the quietest boys has an alter ego of Metroid. I had to take the opportunity to explain that no matter what Metroid was pretend and no one was "invincible." We agreed that we all had to be safe and talked about the word pretend. 

Of course the next hand that went up was a kid who wanted to be called Batman! 

Later that class, I talked with the boy and he told me how his dad plays video games with him and how his dad can never beat him (how sweet!)  It was so cool to hear my quietest boy finally come out of his shell all over a nick name. I will probably call him by the name his parents gave him, until I need to remind him of how cool he really is. Metroid is really an awesome name don't you think!

Do you ever have nick names for your students? I love a good story. 


Unknown said...

Funny you should ask, Erica! I tend to call students, Sweets or honey bunny when I can't remember their name or I'm in a hurry. I don't know how it came up today, but a cute little first grade girl told me her Grandma calls her, Squeak. I asked her if I could call her that and she said I could! Isn't that the cutest nickname?


Phyl said...

I had a few nicknames for kids over the years but you have to be careful you don't offend them. Messy Bessy (real name was SummerTyme) was a good sport and loved her nickname. It was very fitting; I swear paint would jump across the room onto that girl! I can't tell you how many times I washed paint out of her hair over the years!

But Hannah did NOT want to be Hannah Banana!

My son's first grade teacher called him Benny-boo. He HATED it. But his (male) second grade teacher called him Benzoid or Benitron and he loved that.

Like Pat, I used a lot of sweetie-pie and other endearments, especially with kindergarten to cover the fact that I could never remember their names.

Unknown said...

Hey Erica,

Just checking in to see how you and Baby Stella are doing this fall! I know you are crazy busy and don't have a lot of time to blog, just wanted you to know that your voice is missed!


Unknown said...

Thanks Pat for caring about lil ol me:) Seriously it is super awesome that you care because it has been one of those years where it's just been a lot of me caring for everyone else. Very busy at school with loads of students, I mean loads! I am lucky to eat! Oh and did you know it is a fact that teachers get the most UTI's? We don't go to the bathroom I guess either. Stella is great, although I think I see everyone else's children more then I see my own! I love her and I love my job! Just too overworked and tired lately to find inspiration to blog.

Thank you for caring about me! I will be by your blog:) for a chat soon.

Angela said...

Hello, Miss Erica! I wanted to let you know that this story is really endearing to me!

I love video games, and when I work with students (I'm still in college getting my Bachelors), I would love to connect with them with that common ground.

Just to let you know, Metroid is a series of video games from Nintendo (you're probably more familiar with their most popular franchise, Mario). The main character who you play in the game is a really strong female named Samus. I thought you would like a little insight!