I am Tracey.
Well, Juliet may not have thought much of them, but I’m rather fond of mine. Blogging has reminded me of this. So many of my wonderfully supportive fellow bloggers address me as “Tracey” here in comments. I like that. A situation that I suspect may be almost unique to teachers is that we tend to almost forget our own first names. I can call my doctors by their first names once I’ve gotten to know them well, but one of my best friends is a former teacher of mine, and she will forever be “Miss Lewis” in my mind–no matter how many times she has told me to call her Ruth.
I am Mrs. Rains.
At work, I am Mrs. Rains. Even among ourselves, the faculty tend to refer to each other as Mr., Mrs., or Coach. Heaven forfend that students should find out that we have first names! In fact, the only time I can recall we didn’t stick to honorifics was when we had a (thankfully) temporary principal who forbade us to address each other by first names. This dictatorial command awoke the latent rebel within even the most timid teacher, and first names flew through the hallways. At home, my husband calls me Sweetheart. I am “T” to some students with whom I’ve become particularly close. Chelsea (the former student who nominated me for the Sondheim Award) calls me Mama. My family is so small that we rarely use names; just turning a head is enough for everyone to know who has been addressed.
I am Tracey Rains.
Here on Socrates Underground, I get to be all of who I am. I’m a professional. I’m an individual. I am part of a community that embraces both sides.