Just call me Misi Collado

I recently started teaching third, fourth and fifth grade students for the first time.  During one of the initial meetings at the new school a teacher asked me “Will the students call you señora or señorita?” and I quickly replied “I’m single so I guess they’ll call me señorita.”

But as I drove back home that day the question stayed in my mind.  The truth is that I’ve never been crazy about students calling me “Señorita Collado” but it was the appropriate title for a single Spanish teacher.  On the other hand, I thought it was hilarious how I became “Miss Señorita” or “Señorrrrita” leaving the Collado completely out. 

In recent years, my colleagues were also found in a predicament at times when referring to me as “Señora Collado” as students corrected them that it was “señorita” not “señora”.  But being that I’m no longer in my twenties, regardless of being single or not, “señorita” seemed inappropriate.

Then, I remembered a scene of the movie Casi Casi, based on a group of high school students in Puerto Rico.  At some point in the story Maria Eugenia tries to explain to the principal, Mrs. Richardson, what’s going on…, Maria Eugenia nervously says “Pero Misi, Misi…” AHA!! How about I become Misi Collado? I thought.

Growing up in Puerto Rico I used to call my female teachers Misi, along with their last name.  This wasn’t an official title but the popular way of referring to a teacher, and it was really a substitute for the English titles “Mrs.”, “Miss” or “Ms.”; a sample of the influence of the United States in Puerto Rican culture and language. 

So after surveying my closest American friends I decided to make the change.  I’m now officially Misi Collado and I’m pleased that faculty members, parents and students liked it and got used to it right away.  To me is very meaningful as it represents my cultural background, plus it takes me back to my school years in Puerto Rico.  It’s like being a Spanish teacher back home.  It can’t get more culturally authentic than that! And most importantly, I’ve rid myself of the use of a title that either reflects marital status or an educational level. 

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Copyright © 2015 Ericka Collado
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