• Monica Gupta Mehta

Pronouncing Student Names

My name is not pronounced "Monica" in the traditional sense. It is pronounced, "Mo-nee-ka." Almost no one pronounces it right the first time, which I quickly made peace with. However, what I find mildly upsetting is the people who still pronounce it wrong after I have corrected them twice. By then, if they are still saying it wrong, they are telling me, in not so many words, that they simply don't care. They don't care about my Indian heritage or my sense of identity, my family who took care in selecting my name. They don't care about me other than the specific purpose I am currently serving for them.


When we mispronounce a student's name one time, it is understandable. However, not making every attempt to pronounce it right has been labeled "a tiny act of bigotry," a "microaggression," which impedes both learning and the student's sense of belonging, identity, and value in the classroom.


I found an article that dives into this topic: The Lasting Impact of Mispronouncing Students' Names.


Photo from the My Name, My Identity Campaign

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Core Competencies: Self Awareness, Social Awareness

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