The recent news that a esteemed professor of English wants schoolchildren to address all teachers as Sir regardless of their gender is a crackpot idea.
Just stop and think about it for a moment.
A married woman teacher might not be a Miss outside the classroom, but one thing she certainly is not inside of it is a Sir.
And if a married woman takes offence at being called Miss by her pupils, heaven knows what she would feel like if she had to be addressed as Sir.
Mr Pendle remembers his days at Colne Grammar School where the rule of thumb was to address all teachers as Sir or Miss, while boys were referred to by their surnames.
Then, a young history teacher called John Munro arrived with the idea he wanted to be on first name terms with the pupils he taught.
This “let’s all be mates” attitude might have sounded OK to a rookie teacher in his first post – but to a young Mr Pendle at any rate, used to addressing other teachers in the traditional manner, it didn’t seem right that a stranger he had never met before tried to bring in his own set of rules for history students in Room 5.
The use of the terms Sir and Miss instils a sense of discipline into pupils, and tinkering with it can only do damage to this.
The professor who thought the idea up of turning all women teachers into Sirs might think it is a good idea – but from Mr Pendle, it gets nought out of 10.