I was always taught never to sign a letter, note or article I'd written as Mr. John Smith.

It was ingrained into me that my my name was plain John Smith and it was for others speaking or referring to me in some manner to use the title of "Mr" if they so wished.

I now find teachers from my old school referring to themselves in the school magazine as Mr XYZ!

Am I correct?

  • 1
    Can you provide some context so we can evaluate the specific situation? Just quote the sentence (and a couple around it) where the teacher refers to himself as "Mr. XYZ". (Bear in mind that referring to oneself in the third person is already unusual, so it's not as surprising when it breaks other conventions as well.)
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


Teachers use "Mr" and "Mrs" because they have students that must call them by that. If it's for the school magazine, then they have to continue to promote themselves in that manner, because students are generally not encouraged to address their teachers as "John Smith". They are taught to address them as "Mr Smith" or at least "Mr John".

If you're not a teacher, then the rule you learned is correct. "Mr" and "Mrs" is for someone else to address you.

  • This is a very good answer. I have noticed this trend with teachers since my grandson has been going to school. When my own children were at school in the 1980s/90s teachers never introduced themselves as Mr, Mrs or Ms. It is not just that teachers want to be known as Mr Jones to their pupils, but also perhaps to the pupils' parents too. It perhaps fits with a modern educational ethos of encouraging more formal respect.
    – WS2
    Commented Nov 13, 2014 at 21:08
  • Thank you all for your observations which I found most interesting. I hadn't thought of the teacher pupil relationship entering the equation (these were articles written by teachers on their subjects and published in the school magazine) and can see the sense of using Mr in such a context. I just hope they are not teaching the pupils to write letters and sign themselves off as Mr etc! Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 11:09

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