Instead of Calling Your Student’s “Guys!” Try These

Find yourself calling your students the same thing over and over? We asked teachers to share with us some of the things they call their students to help break up the “hey guys!”

Instead of saying

After you have been teaching for a while, you begin to develop habits and sayings that stick with you from year to year. Whether it’s a particular way of organizing your whiteboard or a phrase that you become known for, breaking out of those habits can be hard!

If one of the things you are known for is saying, “Hey guys!” or something similar, we have the perfect list for you below! Break free from your typical sayings and try incorporating some of these instead!

Nicknames for Your Students


Always popular, y’all is used by teachers all over the country. You don’t need to be in the South to make it part of your classroom language!


This nickname is often used to describe students when they are on their best behavior – and also when they are not!

Ladies and Gentleman

Add a bit of formality to student nicknames with the tried and true “ladies and gentlemen” saying. *This one may not be appropriate for non-binary children.


On the opposite side of the spectrum from “ladies and gentlemen” is the ever-friendly term “friends.” This one can be effective in building community or when having tough conversations where you want to put students at ease.


Keep school in the nickname by stressing why students are in your class. There can be no mistaking it when you call them scholars!


Although stating the obvious, this nickname tends to build rapport and make students smile. Older students especially like this one. Add the adjective “lovely” in front of it, and it becomes a gentler nickname with heart.


Reminiscent of marshmallow candy, this nickname is sweet and a little bit sassy!

Cool Cats

Channel your inner chill-vibe with the “Cool Cats” nickname for your students.


Embrace their favorite movies by using nicknames associated with characters. Minions is an easy and appropriate one to use.

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The School Mascot

Use the name of your school or district’s mascot as a nickname. “Okay, Wildcats, let’s focus!”

Baby Geniuses

They may not be fully grown yet, but this nickname reminds students of all ages that they have genius potential.


Focus on students’ love of superheroes and grace them with the nickname mortals.

The Grade

Call students by the grade they are in. For example, “Time to line up, 3rd Graders!”

My Loves

Inject some care into student nicknames by calling them “My Loves.” It makes it sounds nicer, even if you are frustrated!

Mathematicians / Scientists / Readers

Use the subject you are teaching to guide your students’ nicknames!

Kids / Kiddos

No matter how big they get to be, your students always feel like your kids/kiddos!


Friendly, informal, and funny, “dudes” is an easy go-to for student nicknames.


Remind students of the fact that they are a team with this easy to remember nickname.


Better for little learners, “lovebugs” is an endearing nickname that reminds your students that you care about them.

No matter what nickname you use to address your students, speak it with kindness and caring. It can go a long way toward building the rapport you desire.




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