March 11, 2016
“There Ms Brown goes again, messing up the boards.” I said. Realizing I was talking to a group of adults, I quickly changed my tone and said, “Wow, that was a huge problem.
Why do people speak in 3rd person? I find that I speak in 3rd person often with my students. I find that is somewhat of my teacher voice. However, when I catch myself speaking in 3rd person in front of adults I instantly feel awkward.
So, I looked it up, Illeism- the act of referring to oneself in 3rd person. I guess it is a thing. Politicians do it, comedians do it, friends do and so do teachers. I think we all do it for different reasons.
Politicians- to show power. I remember Bob Dole talking about Bob Dole and now Donald Trump talks about Donald Trump (but that was even before he was a politician.) It gives a sense that they are separated from themselves and their cause or statement is bigger then 1 person.
Comedians and friends- to show sarcasm. Referring to oneself is funny, it bring out the person and again separates that person for the personal self. Kind of detached way of looking at life.
Teachers-to show thinking and understanding. As I started thinking about it, I guess I use it as a was of showing my thinking from the student’s perspective, a form of meta-cognition? “Ms. Brown forgot her comma in the sentence.” I think it is a way of modeling appropriate thinking and what students should be thinking in a certain situation.
Ms Brown will continue using 3rd person with students, however, probably should stay away from using the teacher voice in public.