Remembering your students’ names is very important in order to create a good rapport in the classroom. Even if you feel anxious about learning students’ names each semester, you have to realize memorizing students’ names quickly reduces feelings of nervousness that most students experience meeting a new teacher.
There are numerous tools that can help you to memorize new students’ names. Some methods work better for smaller classes, while others can be successful implemented in large classes. If you want to find the most suitable method for your classroom, you will have to experiment and go through trial and error.
Here are the best tools for learning students’ names:
1. Ask your students to choose a seat (or assign it by yourself) that they are going to sit in for the first few weeks until you have memorized their names and faces.
2. Use seating chart with photos. To help you remember students’ names quickly, create a board with a seating chart. Take photos of each child and place their photos next to their name on your seating chart. This will help you correlate names with faces.
3. For the first week, ask students to wear name tags or place them on the table during the class.
4. There are a few effective ways to use associations to remember the names: Create a rhyme to each student’s name. Funny rhymes will help you to learn names quickly. For example, Kim is slim, Jake likes cake. Make a few notes next to the students names associated with their appearance, like Jim – big nose, Alice – short dark hair,
5. Play the Name Circles Game. It’s a good exercise to improve yours and the student’s memory. Students sit in a circle. The teacher says his/her name, where he/she is from, and his/her favorite English word. Then, the next student says information followed by teacher’s information. The last student attempts to name the information of everyone in the room.
5. Group students in pairs and ask each student to introduce his/her partner by giving the partner’s name and identifying one unique trait of the partner.
Try some of these name learning exercises to not only memorize students names, but also to break the ice.
Have you ever used some of these strategies? Do you have some other techniques that work well for you? Please, share with us in the comment section below.