In the Art Room

Miss vs. Ms.

At what point do you drop the “Miss” and become a “Ms.”?

Who makes that call?

I never quite got the delicate maneuverings of using Miss, Ms. and Mrs. When I was little I used to assume “Miss” was used for an unmarried woman, “Mrs.” was used for a married woman, and “Ms.” was used for a divorced woman. But then my stepmother, who was obviously married to my father, came along and she used “Ms.”, but she was married.

And then my mind was blown.

In the past, I’ve always used “Miss” in the classroom. You know, because I’m unmarried, and, quite frankly, I thought it sounded… sweeter, if you will. Plus, hey, you never know, someday I might have ended up married and could then easily slip into the more matronly sounding “Mrs.”

Do teachers even still use “Miss”?

But now that I’m 30 (and still unmarried), using “Miss” feels… wrong. It feels like false advertising. Like, “Yes, I’m still young and sweet and totally marriageable,” when in fact I feel myself becoming increasingly bitter and snippy. I lack a certain spring in my step. A particular childishness I once had.

Of course, none of this really matters because the county decided I was a “Ms.” without even consulting me.


8 thoughts on “Miss vs. Ms.

  1. My students call me “Miss Mary.” (Although I have heard everything from “Dude” to “Your Majesty”)I'm closing in on 43 and married. The “Miss” makes my delusional mind feel younger, so I'm embracing it. πŸ™‚


  2. It doesn't matter much at school, I think, because the kids won't get it right anyhow. I'm a Mrs, but the kids often call me Miss, or sometimes Mr. (to which I delicately respond, “Mr. Brown is my HUSBAND. I'm sorry he's not here right now; he doesn't teach art. If you want ME, you need to ask for MRS. Brown.” So I think you can be whatever you want, because 1/2 the kids won't remember or understand, and will just call you Miss Art Teacher. Some years I've said that since my name is a word made from many colors all mixed, any color is OK, so I've been called Mrs. Magenta and Mrs. Turquoise, but my favorite would also be least likely in an elementary art room – Ms. Alizarin Crimson. Doesn't that have a nice ring to it?


  3. Just curious as to when/why D used “Ms.”? I didn't know that. How do you remember these things?

    I switched to Ms. when I had kids. It just seemed more appropriate in my situation. Also, I probably would have switched when I turned 30 anyway. πŸ™‚ I am always thrown off reading my books and a character named “Miss Wilson” is really 80! :=_


  4. I'm loving your posts….BTW — I'm Ms. G… πŸ™‚ I find myself feeling sorta isolated in my art room teaching 100000000000 students a week. You made me smile tonight – THANK YOU! Hang in there sweetness. You are fun!


  5. Haha! totally relate. I too am 30 and (gasp!) unmarried. This totally confuses the kids and they can't believe that I'm that OLD and do not have a husband or kids. I usually don't care to tell them until it becomes..”well, I have a single dad!” and “My older brother needs a wife.” (that was actually said to me once).


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