I'm a 16 year-old male student studying at an American school in Kuwait. I'm currently having a problem finding the right way to address teachers... Students in my school (99.99%) ALWAYS call teachers "Miss/Ms." or "Mister/Mr.".. Yet, for some reason, I find that disrespectful to foreign teachers that are new to Kuwait.. About a year ago, I started addressing my male teachers (Americans/Canadians/Europeans) the name "sir" and have noticed that they really appreciate that and act more courteous towards me whenever I go talk to them..
The problem is I find it awkward to find the most polite way to address female teachers, especially those that are in their early twenties (just graduated from universities).... I don't like "Miss/Ms." because I find that just about as disrespectful as "Mister/Mr.".. The word "Ma'am" might offend some female teachers because they would be thinking "How old does this kid think I am?!" The word "Madam" can be interpreted differently because I've heard that it also means a woman that is in charge of a house of prostitution..
In Kuwait, teachers both male and female, are called by "Mr. First Name" / "Ms. First Name"..
For example I usually say "Mr. James" in front of my class, but say "sir" when I approach that male teacher individually ( to not be laughed at for being different).. On the other hand, I ALWAYS call a female teacher, by "Ms.+First Name". For example, "Ms. Kathy".. I call her "Ms. Kathy" as well when I talk to her individually..
Yet, I prefer to refer to my teachers when I'm talking to them on a daily basis by addressing them in one word... I'm sticking with "sir"..
Back to my original question, what should I address female teachers in my situation??
Sorry for the confusion and thank you in advance!