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Miss, Ms, or Mrs for Teacher: Which Title is appropriate

Which Title is Appropriate

Addressing female teachers and women in general in the world today using appropriate titles has become a big challenge. If you have been having problems determining the title that you will use to address different women in your day-to-day life, this article will offer you all the help that you need.

Addressing teachers by their right titles is excellent in making the first impression, starting a conversation, and showing respect. The three common tiles for female teachers are Miss, Ms, and Mrs. They are mostly used at pre-tertiary levels where most teachers have not earned other high titles such as Doctor and Professor.

The three titles are well addressed and differentiated below to help you know to use each of them appropriately.

Miss or Ms for a Teacher

miss or mrs

The title “Miss” is used to refer to a female teacher or any woman in society, particularly young and unmarried.

This title can be used on its own or be combined with the teacher’s last name. This usually depends on their preferences.

Sometimes even married women prefer to be called Miss. Therefore, when you hear, a teacher getting referred to as Miss, it does not necessarily mean that she is not married.

The Title Ms does not revolve around the marital status of someone. It is used as a safe option when you do not know whether the teacher is married or not. It is also preferred by teachers who do not want to reveal their marital status to the public.

This is the main reason why this name came about in the 20th century as a preference for those who did not want to reveal their marital status.

This title is the female version of Mr which is used to describe all men whether married or unmarried. This shows that Ms is a title that commands respect among the public. Teachers can prefer any of their names to follow the title because it is suitable for all kinds of names.

 In summary, this is the most preferred title by female teachers. In the school environment, this title is very popular.

You can use it at any time when you do not know the marital status of the teacher but it is always important to inquire about the teacher’s preferred title because some may not want to be referred to as Ms.

Miss or Mrs for Teachers

miss or mrs or ms

As stated above the title “Miss” is mostly preferred by female unmarried teachers.

However, this might not be their favourite title as some would prefer to be addressed as Ms. Therefore, you must ask around for their preferred titles.

When you have had minimal interaction with a teacher and know very little about her, ask fellow students who have interacted with the teacher before how they prefer being addressed as.

Mrs is a respectful title that is used to refer to married and widowed teachers. Once women get married they mostly acquire the last name of their male spouses.

Therefore, the title Mrs for teachers is usually accompanied by the name of the male spouse. This name is mostly the spouse’s third name.

Just like in all other instances you must establish whether the female teacher prefers to be addressed as Mrs. This is as a result of the name being preferred more by older married teachers compared to the younger married teachers in today’s world.

Also, the world is changing. Marriage rates are dropping and divorce rates are high. Therefore, the title Mrs is becoming more unpopular as days go by.

Also, divorced teachers will not want to go by the name of their former spouses and therefore will prefer the title Ms.

When to use Mrs for Female Teachers

is it miss or mrs

You should only use the word Mrs when you want to refer to a female teacher that you know is married. For example, if you want to send an email to your teacher who is married you can include Mrs in the salutation then should look like, “Dear Mrs. Daniel.

Always make sure that the name they want to accompany the title because some prefer their spouse’s name and others prefer their names.

Above all always ensure that they are ok with the title Mrs because most teachers in the world today do not prefer it.

When to use Miss for Female Teachers

If you want to use the title Miss to refer to your teachers make sure that they are not married. These are mostly young female teachers and you have to make sure that you have something substantial to say to them.  

The aim of using this title is to maintain formality. This is appropriate even if you do not have a personal relationship with the teacher. The only rival to this title is Ms.

Therefore, you should establish before using any of these titles the one that the teacher prefers.

Can you use Ma’am for Teachers?

You can use Ma’am to refer to female teachers but you have to ensure that they prefer this title. Ma’am is the short-term address for Madam which is a formal address for women.

different titles

Madam can be used to refer to any adult female but it sometimes sounds disrespectful to elderly women. Also, Ma’am is a word in South Asian schools that is used to refer to female teachers.

However, most women especially teachers do not like being referred to as Ma’am. Most females in the teaching profession view this title as appropriate in business settings only and prefer Ms, Mrs, and Miss in their educational settings.

Can Female Teachers be Addressed as Sir?

Female teachers should not be addressed as sir because they are not males. Knowledgeable students should not be using the title Sir to refer to female teachers because it is a sign of disrespect.

This can only be excused among kindergarten or overall young kids in school who do not differentiate the use of various titles. Mrs, Ms, and Miss are the only titles that should be used when referring to female teachers.

Origin of Mrs, Ms, and Miss


Around the 14th century, when the honorific word mistress was falling into disuse around the world, the word Mrs originated from the contraction.


The title Miss came about in the 17th century due to the contraction of the title Mrs and has always been popularly used due to the increase of young female teachers over the years.

In society today, the teaching profession is more female-centered compared to the past when it was male-oriented.


In the 20th century there came a need to have an alternative title for those women who did not want to be referred to as Mrs and those who disliked the title Miss. This is when the title Ms came into existence.

It can be used by any woman whether married or unmarried and saves time for students who want to address their teachers but do not know their marital status.

Is Mrs common in the US?

In America, Mrs is an honorific name that is used to refer to married women who have no other rank such as Doctor, Reverend, Professor, or Dame.

It is a name that will not go away any time but its use is dropping. Many married women in America do not prefer the title misses. Also, people are taking part in different professions that guarantee them other titles.

Additionally, marriage rates are dropping thus many do not meet the requirements to earn the title Mrs.s