Learning names has been a challenge to almost all teachers. Addressing people by their names is a sign of respect. If you want to have a level of mutual respect in the classroom, learning students names is a great place to start. It isn’t impossible, even though it may seem so at the beginning of the school term! There are many ways to conquer what seems difficult and impossible for teachers like you.
Why do you need to learn students’ names?
Many situations prove that it is difficult to interact with students you do not even know by name. Take the time to discover who they are because the more you know each other, the easier and more comfortable you work together. Moreover, learning names enhance classroom atmosphere. It makes the setting more intimate, personal, and engaging. Calling students by name encourages them to do better and strive harder in class.
Breaking name barriers
If you have four to six classes consist of 40 students each, or you simply handle a large lecture class, learning students’ names is no easy task. This is one of those classroom practices that make an incredible impact to students. Believe it or not, students are hurt when teachers do not remember their names. You can even hear them telling endless stories about teachers who still don’t know their names by the end of first quarter.
First, you have to be interested. The secret is to apply the same enthusiasm you have for clothes, your favorite television series, and Hollywood celebrities. Take a fanatical interest in knowing your students’ names. Studies show that everyone has a good memory when it comes to things that interest them.
It is also important for everyone in the class to follow a seating arrangement. Make the students sit in the same seats for the first few weeks. This can be continued until you can match names with the right faces.
Remember by repetition. Considering it is difficult to match faces with students’ names in your class roster, have them say their first names every time they speak during class discussions. It is an effort the students also need to exert because, at the end of the day, it will still fall to their benefits.
It will also be a huge help to make the students wear nametags. Rectangular name plates work well for this. Students may use black or heavy blue markers for writing their names. You can also ask them to put nametags in front of their seats for better results.
Make name learning fun and exciting for you and your students. You can play games or do fun activities. For instance, each student must say his or her name followed by a unique yet identifiable characteristic. The next person must do the same and repeat what the person before him said. Name learning exercises do not only help teachers learn about their students, but it also makes the classroom climate fun and light hearted.
Roll up your sleeves and dive into these tips! Learning a long list of names is a tough job. However, your willingness and enthusiasm to know your students will eventually bring you to positive results.
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