Phonetic Spellings To Be Added to Infinite Campus
The beginning of each school year brings its own set of challenges for students: learning a new schedule, finding new classrooms and, for students like Vyomesh Tripathi, junior, correcting teachers on the pronunciation of their names.
Tripathi said he generally doesn’t mind when his name is mispronounced. It happens often and it doesn’t worry him. However, when his name is pronounced correctly on the first attempt, it brings him joy and excitement.
“My name defines who I am,” Tripathi said. “When people think about you they think about your name first. It defines who you are and everything you do.”
Principal Dr. Greg Mathison said this is true for all students.
“Your name encompases so much with who you are, and for some students daily, their name is being changed, and I just think this is something we can fix,” Dr. Mathison said.
On Sept. 11 every student filled out the Trusted Adult Survey. In order to address the issue with mispronounced names, the last question on this survey asked students how they would spell their name phonetically.
The plan moving forward is to put these phonetic spelling into Infinite Campus as flags that the teachers can see. Flags are used to point out details about students such as allergies, IEPs or if they are in the gifted program.
Dr. Mathison said his goal is to get all of the names flagged in Infinite Campus by the end of the semester. In the future, the intention is to make a field that will connect the spellings to class rosters, simplifying the process.
Students who did not fill out the phonetic spelling question on the survey can talk to their grade level principals to get their pronunciation added to Infinite Campus.
“I think everything we do should be about building relationships and making sure our students feel comfortable,” Dr. Mathison said.”I think this will be another way students will see we are really trying to get to know who they are.”
Ryan Bixby, chemistry teacher, brought this idea to Dr. Mathison’s attention.
Bixby said if Infinite Campus could show a teacher student allergies, there should be a way for it to show phonetic spellings.
Bixby said having the phonetic spelling of a name when originally learning it could give teachers a better chance of saying the name correctly the first time. This way they won’t have to unlearn and then relearn a name.
“I saw a problem that had a reasonably simple solution, and I wondered, can we do it? Can we fix this little thing that might, to some people, be a big thing,” Bixby said.
Many students have the same experience as Tripathi where their names are mispronounced regularly. The phonetic spellings are one part of a never-ending goal to make all students feel seen, known and heard.
“Everyone would feel good if their names were pronounced right,” Tripathi said. “Even if teachers are still a little bit off, the attempt makes it better.”