I'm down to last few days of my 14th year subbing and at this point I'm feeling that there isn't much that I haven't experienced...so.
Roll call and name pronunciation is usually the first bit of unintentional humor the class gets to experience with me. Yesterday's 6th grade class was no exception.
If I have the time, I scan the roll sheet before class and try to "guess" pronunciations on the names with unusual spellings.
There is one name listed that I'm pretty sure isn't pronounced as it's written and I know that if I attempt it, it might be insulting or worse so I'm not even going to try.
As I get to that name in the roll, I just stop and look up. One girl in the back is nodding her head and gesturing to continue. In fact, the whole class is intently watching to see how I'm going to pronounce this name.
Instead I ask: "Ok, I know I'm probably wrong on this one so would someone tell me how to pronounce 'I,S,Y,S,S'. I'm pretty sure it isn't pronounced the same as a terrorist group in the nightly news."
They just stare and wait so I plow ahead. "Ok, is ISIS here?"
Nodding girl: "HERE!"
It seems I'm not the first to encounter this delicate dilemma.