We can't risk teachers making assumptions like this. Now you can see why ID cards are such a necessity. They're not just about stopping terrorists any more.
As teachers eye the register on the first day back at school this September, they'll be nervously keeping a sharp look-out for certain names which "strike fear into the nation's tutors". The list of those likely to make mischief includes young 'uns dubbed Aliesha, Brooke, Brooklyn, Casey, Chelsea, Connor, Crystal, Demi, Jack, …
There is also an alarming correlation between children's names and their likelihood of needing foster care / social intervention.
This is all of course down to choices made by the parents, not the children themselves.
Hint: If you've called your daughter Dawn or Eden, social services are watching you like a hawk.
In my day Adolf was likely to be a badun while Winston was alway a good girl.
The fears may, or may not, be true for the first year in primary or secondary education but after that they have a track record and the teaching staff will be aware of it by report or reputation. The Professional Teacher may have ideas/prejudices but they will also be informed by the childs family name and address. Any inner fear they may have are just that.
Self evidently - Education is not a beauty contest. Badly behaved children are a PIA to the Teacher and other pupils and stand in the way of effective education & learning for the majority. If the parents haven't started them off with appropriate social skills then it is improper to burden the Teacher and other children with them. Or am I being a bit harsh here?
There's a whole chapter in Freakonomics about the relationship between names and success in life. And it really only produces two results. If you get a shit start in life, you usually don't make it all that far. And peer pressure makes you name your children like the aforementioned list.
'Cos I'm sure that "Connor" is far more well-behaved in Northern Ireland where it's a pretty common name among a certain segment of the population, similar "Callum" in Scotland and the other half of the NI population.
Regardless, the uselessness of this list is underscored by the fact that we already know that being middle class is the biggest preindicator of classroom success, and these names are all (English) middle class.
Liam and Connor are the disruptive troublemakers in my childs class, and the 1.5 sets of related parents are foul mouthed chav scumbags who seem to blame everybody else for their childs discord rather than taking any responsibility themselves.
Coincidentally (or not) both of these kids are on the remedial tables for key subjects.
All the chaviest names (sorry Liam) belong to the tinkers, while all the nice middle-class names belong to the angels.
My wife (who is a teacher) asserts that Joshuas are always naughty. And indeed, the only person I know with a child called Joshua has indeed given birth to the spawn of Satan.
Thank christ my son is called Harry.
Paris, 'cos it'd be interesting to know where she is on the list (she certainly seems very popular).
The only thing you can draw is that stupid, trendy, "modern" names will be picked by the, be polite here, more financially challenged parents, in an attempt to give their kids some class. By stupid, I mean names of wine, cars, that sort of thing! Kids growing up in urban environments may be more likely to get be bored more quickly than kids coming from other backgrounds, so they play up. A big mash of consequences forcing researchers to try to justify next year's budget!
Wayne was always thought of a "dodgy" name, but when I was growing up. I knew 4 Wayne's and they were what our Yank friends call "straight A students", all four in the top classes, strangely the two biggest troublemakers in my school were both called Jason.
At school I hated my name, my name being George. Yes, before you ask I do know practically every variation of that wonderful nursery rhyme! It's still quite a unique name and people tend to remember it, I really appreciate it now.
I have heard many teachers talk about the time that could be saved allocating children into Sets (or Streams) directly based on name and then correcting after 6 weeks. As well as many comments like "That's definitely a Set 4 name."
Anecdotal* studies indicated that such an approach would be at least as accurate as the usual method for new joiners. Adding in family history and staffroom gossip, the whole process becomes an uncannily good predictor. Not defensible, maybe, but accurate nonetheless...
*An anecdotal study is one with a disproportionately high alcohol-to-facts ratio.
"claimed that the naughtiest children are often the brightest - and the most sensitive"
There is a good reason for that, says me (AC for reasons that will quickly become obvious).
For many, many, many years, bright kids^H^H^H^Hchildren have been ignored and neglected. Children who fall into the bottom few percent of intelligence/ability automatically get special treatment - and any hint of them not getting enough special treatment brings up claims that they have been failed by the educational system. At the other end of the scale, highly intelligent children are more or less ignored - stuck in large classes being dragged down to the level/speed of the lowest in the class, because it's assumed that they are bright enough to cope.
The result is terrible boredom, and the biggest lessons learned are not what is being taught, but that to get anywhere you need to hide your intelligence and 'act up' (ie be naughty). As a result, highly intelligent children leave school having missed out on learning how to learn, and often suffer from this later when they reach a level where the work ceases to be boring and trivial. It's not uncommon for the brightest children to fail at university - or even to leave school without good qualifications.
Thankfully the issue is now starting to be recognised by some, but not all, in the education industry. Where it is recognised, intelligent children stand a much better chance of succeeding later in life.
I think people can guess why the AC now !
When I was in primary school, I was made to sit next to a guy called Jason. The theory was that if he sat next to "sensible" kids, he would stop misbehaving.
We never got to find out if the theory worked because 2-3 days later, he called his mum "a boat hoor" and tried to shoot her with a shotgun. Jason was never seen at our school again, he was sent to a special school for bad, bad children...
It's quite refreshing to see how few Reg readers are slating the principle of assuming chavness from crap names. Good Lord, we might even be sitting on a potential epidemic of 'common' sense.
If you're older than about 12 then your parents might have had a very good reason for calling you Britney. But if you were born around 1999 with that moniker then there's a very good chance you were born into a family of pikeys. I pity the young Britney I saw on a bus in Birmingham being shouted at by her mother earlier this decade.
-- hey can you run this on your DB and post the result
-- as AC maybe :-)
AVERAGE(exam_result.results.grade), candidate.first_name, COUNT (candidate.cand_id)
cand.cand_id = result.cand_id_fk
candidate.first_name, COUNT (candidate.cand_id)
We named my firstborn Callum. But we're here in the States, and had no idea it was such a popular name in the UK. NOBODY over here had ever heard it, nor can they pronounce it half the time( KAY-lum? Call 'em? Caleb? Coltan? (I know some very slow-witted people))
He's 2 months from being 3 years old, very clever, and real little shit. He uses the prongs to pry the electrical socket cap off, so he can plug things in. He's been pushing a stool/chair around and using it to climb since he was barely walking. The little monkey's been using tools to accomplish his goals since before he could talk.
So maybe there is something more to it than the Pygmalion effect.
See also: kids named after products, labels or designers. I heard a mother yell "DOL-CHAYY!" at her toddler once in Woolies. I didn't hang around to see if any of her other kids were called Gabana, or Gucci.
I suppose once you get children showing up with 'Reebok Heskelthwaite' on their name tags you're obliged to call the police.
This type of filtering is much more clear if you cross the Channel: you can pick out the specific tv programme that was popular when names were chosen (esp. aussie sitcoms).
In the UK this is harder because some of the offenders are traditional (possibly revived) english names, or chosen from older US or aussie family members' names etc.
On the continent it is also getting harder now: 30y ago any (esp. female) name on -y was either straight UK/US import or a english-inspired bastardisation, with a few exceptions, and those were 99% children of parents with sitcom-devoted lives. Now this gets harder, with say uncles/aunts with such names, there's much more influences and less straight tv-derivations. Plus (lack of) talent shows/reality tv producing such a rapid turnover that the "peak" names are not those novelties but olde favourytes.
Exceptions were e.g. in harbour cities (Calais, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen I can vouch for), John was already a normal name in the 50s while the rest of the country stuck with with (french) Jean or (dutch, german) Jan/Johan.
> Furthermore, over a third "claimed that the naughtiest children are often the brightest ..."
They have that backwards. It's the brightest kids who are often the naughtiest.
It's the bright kids who get bored in mixed-ability classes where everything is dumbed down so the poor little chavlings still "pass" their exams. The obvious result is that the bored kids who've already done all the exercises start causing mischief. "idle hands" and all that.
Bring back proper streamed classes, so the bright kids get stretched, and the thickos at least learn to read, write and count.
PS I never thew a chair in my life :)
Back in the day, in an RC parochial school, the names pretty much came from the calendar of saints, and the biggest pains were a Mark and a John; the most obnoxious girls Kathleen and Christine.
Moving forward from that Neolithic day, my son once threatened to leave home (at age about 12) if we moved next door to a sometime classmate named Elizabeth, extremely clever but not a little malicious. And an Alexander in his class was noted for tackling classmates in the halls (NFL tackling, not futbol tackling).
But face it, being named Brooklyn does beat "Bronx" or "Queens".
..it's about the things their parents do to them. Starting a girl's life by calling her "Chardonnay" is the same as tattooing ' C H A V " across her forehead. Teachers have learned to associate chav names with kids from chav households - and who can blame them? Pity the kids that have to grow up with people dumb and tastless enough to call them such things.
Being a secondary teacher, I don't attach any significance to pupils' names except perhaps trying to make the connection between the proliferation of certain names and the 'cultural' influence that led to them becoming so 'common'.
Right now, there are 'Justin's everywhere, although the ubiquity of 'Jordan' is a strange one (for boys as well as girls!)
Myself and my colleagues are eagerly anticipating the spate of 'Leon/Leona's and 'Alexandra's in about a decade's time. 'Jade' came and went, but we expect a resurgence in that one too....
When I went to grade school there was a set of twins named "Cinnamon" and "Sugar".
For Shiggles my wife will sometimes check out the inner city hospital birthing announcements. Some of the names look like the losing rack in a scrabble game.
Some of my favorites, while fake, are here: http://www.snopes.com/racial/language/names.asp.
Common biblical names = Boring middle class (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Daniel)
Uncommon biblical name = Slightly demented religoes (Noah, Job)
Old fashioned name = attempt to appease grandparents (Frederick, Henry, Gordon, Clarence)
Weird foreign name (on white kid) = attempted nod to ancestry (Henricus, Paolo, Prince)
Trans-gender names = intellectually lazy parents (Terry, Bobby, Lee)
Mis-spelt names = drunk father at registry office (Stefon, Daved)
Every "Sharon" is invariably butch
Every "Wayne" is usually thick
Every "Eugene" is a nerd
Already done by "Frank Chalk" but nonetheless an interesting premise.
I'm quite surprised at how bad the Jason's are on here, I was a shy kid, bullied a lot too because of my surname (Indian) and that I was quiet and somewhat cleverer than most, though not the brightest.
I don't know about trouble really, there was a Quinn who threw a table, but that was it. One guy did have two kids by the time school finished for A-levels, so who knows...
Plus 1 for this poster since what he/she posted describes me to a t
It is no fun at school when as part of a book study is to read a chapter for 45 mins then answer questions about it.
But in the 45 mins allotted you've read that chapter and the 4 following ones, then you answer the question "what was the author's motivation is writing about such and such a character?" with "to sell books and make money"
But can you guess what I'm like just by my name?
It seem to me that the issue here should be more about the prejudice that the teachers are following in regards to names.
Being inappropriately treated like a "bad" child for even a few days may very well have a lifelong effect on what would have been a "good" child.
That teachers, as people, experience these sentiments is normal, however giving in to and acting on such prejudice is abhorrent and they should be ashamed of themselves.
I'm noticing a startling tendency for those names appearing on the naughty list also cropping up early in the earlier half of the alphabet. I present the hypothesis that there's a correlation between not being able to raise good kids and not being able to make it more than half way through the big book of baby names.
Saying that, there's also an early-alphabet trend amongst the good kid name list too, maybe it's the people who compiled the list who can't be bothered to finish reading things about names...
- Nigel, an ex-(spectacled, unpopular maths-kid)
Anybody notice that 3000 respondents is pretty thin for basing conclusions on hundreds of different names? I can't find the study details, but just suppose that each respondent listed 10 "worst" names, and there are 1000 names total to choose from. That's 30000 total votes, or 30 votes per name on *average* (i.e. an implicit random error of about 20% on each). But the rare names will have fewer counts, with an even greater uncertainty...is that why the most fearsome ones tend to be rare, because randomness happened to boost their relative scores?
Regardless, I can't imagine trusting the final sorted list too much with errors like that floating about: the top-ranking ones could just be dumb luck, until we know the details.
"If the parents haven't started them off with appropriate social skills then it is improper to burden the Teacher and other children with them. Or am I being a bit harsh here?"
Quite. What happens is that when said brat first enters the education system as pre-school, his/her parent(s) then end up enrolled on the school's parenting class (and Social Services also begin to take an interest), at least until said brat no longer demolishes the classroom or thumps the other children during a tantrum. It's quite a common complaint from teachers that much of their work these days is to try to raise these brats into something a little more tolerable, when really it should be the parent(s)' job, but from what I've observed, there's little parenting taking place with children seen as "friends".
There's a French blog called "tribulations of a checkout girl" in which she tells a great story of a young couple who've just paid for their shopping, and call to their young twins: "Clara, Morgane, we're going home now".
The checkout girl had great difficulty keeping a straight face, the parents seemed blissfully unaware that "Clara Morgane", now a singer, is probably better known for her past as a hardcore pr0n actress... Wait until those kids reach high school
My Mum tended to cop a bit at school because asian was close enough to Japanese during the post-wartime for some people. A friend of hers copped it very bad from a teacher (who in hindsight more-than-likely had post-POW PSD) for having a German first name (the friend - was actually 4th-gen Australian and the name had been chosen from a popular singer 4 years before WWII began).
From my short stint as a primary teacher, I found that surnames are often even worse for a kid, especially uncommon ones. If the oldest child was a brat, 90% of the time the rest of the kids from that family will be treated like brats from day-one too. At least half the time they aren't... at least until they work out that, if you are going to get in trouble regardless of your actual nature/behaviour, may as well as live up to the adults' expectations.
Bright kids are often troublesome - sometimes they are just brats that happen to be bright, but mostly I feel it to be a side effect of the "No child allowed ahead" policies popular at present. (I was an exception, but I was effectively living under my desk with undiagnosed chronic depression). I'm all in favour of giving every child every opportunity possible and am well aware of problems with academic streaming (grouping kids into graded classes), but you can't expect a smart child not to invent their own amusements when the classroom is set up to cater for future consumers of daytime soaps and reality TV. I never finished highschool for that reason - fortunately I found a much more educationally healthy environment in trade-college, where half the class was already in the workforce and training for career progression, and anyone against letting others learn could be escorted off the premises by security.
You know, there seems to something to this... I pre-dated Steve Ballmer's efforts by two decades; I, too, was punished in class for chair-throwing (the teacher refused to do anything about the kids throwing spitballs at me, so I sent a chair their way!)
Troublemakers names at school (70s - early 80s) were Wayne, Rick, Glenn and Robin. A surname I had problems with was Spencer: I was bitch-kicked by a girl called Nadine Spencer as a child in the UK, bullied by a boy called Robin Spencer in one school, and another called Scott Spencer in another - and none of these Spencers were related (except perhaps by some 15th century ancestor?)
So here's a beer for all the chair-throwing Steves out there. Let's have a reunion party at Ikea!
we were strolling casually round our local ned heaven / shopping "mall" some time ago, surveying the plebs from our morally/socially high brow platform of aloofness, when we spied the best there can possibly be.
An obviously new born wee unfortunate (for reasons soon to become clear), smothered in pink frills, and pink frilly cushions in her shiny new silver cross baby bucket/pram, being paraded round her soon to be playground by the obviously proud parents, attired solely in "sports" gear, with said trackies tucked into their sparkling white socks, just below the knee. Oh, let's not forget the burberry hats at a jaunty angle either. Or the cheap-looking gold hanging off the pair of them.
We chanced to spy that one of the cushions had the wee girl's name stitched into it, along with her dob (primitive form of ID card I guess) , and this is where it gets groovy.
What does the research suggest about this wee one's life/school performance? <wait for it>
She appeared to be named "Chantelle Latrine".
erm...getting me coat before it gets rifled....
Unfortunately It dose seem that there are three types of bright kids. Those who work hard and are loved by the teacher, those who go mental through lack of stimulation, and those with mental health problems who never get the help they need (PTSD from years of bullying and Dyslexia in my case, called laziness by my teachers, and ME in my wife’s, called skiving by her school, because she couldn’t move for days or weeks on end).
...when they named the girl at my child's school "Ikea"
My fear is that was where she was conceived.
Wayne and Waynetta Slob:
Wayne "You can't call her Spud-You-Like-Ah"
Waynetta "It's pronounced Spud-ewe-lick-a. It's exotic, innit?"
[Other furniture outlets are available. I don't think she has a sibling called MFI, but I could be wrong.]
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