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No Knack for Names

Kirstie is a Canadian-trained Teacher working in schools around Milton Keynes. Here she shares 5 tips and tricks that have helped her remember her students names. We all know it can get a bit confusing!

No Knack for Names

I must admit, for someone in their early twenties, my memory isn’t the best! I have always had a hard time remembering details from my childhood, directions and (most detrimental to my career choice) names. As a result of this awful memory problem, I have had to come up with a few tips and tricks to remembering students names. If, like me, you just cannot remember all of your 300 students’ names within the first few weeks (seems easy enough!), try these few simple ideas. They have worked for me!

1.  Once you have a seating plan print out photos of the children in your class. Cut each student's picture out and stick it where they are sitting in your class! If you have a tendency to move your students around use sticky tack – then you can correct as you go and you can keep on top of the right name! Use this seating plan for as long as you need to….for me it helped to hold my plan whilst asking the class questions and then using the student's name several times during the conversation (i.e. “Yes, Sarah? Well done, Sarah. Thanks for sharing Sarah.”) Although this may make you seem, well,  a little nuts, it will help! Just remind your students that they only have one name to remember where you have thirty names per class!

2. Take the seating plans home with you and glance them over. Studying them a few times will help with memory. It also may help to associate them with the person they sit next to – in one of my classes, the first row of students happened to be Adil, Ben and Charles, which made it easier to remember as it was A, B, C.

3.  Make associations between the student's name and other objects, their place in the room, or their personality. In my Year 10 class, I had a few girls sitting one seat away from each other and they looked quite similar. What worked brilliantly for me was associating Farhia with being further away from me. I had another student, Shazmin, who was very shy. Problem solved. Devon sat next to my desk. You get the picture!

4. Get students to make name cards to put on their desk. Tell them to keep their card with them so for the first few weeks you can use those as a guide. Then have students remove them a few at a time.

5. When in doubt ASK. Rather ask them several times than  keep calling them by the wrong name! Allow yourself to make mistakes and move on. You aren’t expected to be perfect!

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Tags: Kirsten, Canadian Teacher, Names, Supply Teacher, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers

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