Friday, February 11, 2005

maestro

I noticed this week that some of my students refer to our classroom as el salon. The more common term is aula, but I like salon better. It sounds very chic. Certainly much more so then the ultra-utilitarian English term classroom. Another school-related term in Spanish that I like a lot is maestro, which they use for teacher. While I generally try to encourage them to use English at every opportunity in class, I’ve repeatedly and emphatically discouraged them from calling me "teechurr," which they are fond of doing. Maestro, on the other hand, I tell them is A-OK with me.

The funny thing about maestro is that it’s also used in Mexico as a respectful form of address for just about anyone. So you might here someone calling the taco stand guy maestro, or even the fellow who delivers water to your door might be referred to as maestro, if people think he’s an upright sort. Still, I think it’s nice that people think enough of the teaching profession that calling someone maestro serves as a great compliment.

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