“Hey, You!” – How to Remember Names for New Classes

hello label for school

Entering the New School Year Optimistically

As a teacher you’ve had to remember the formula for Pythagoras’ theorem, the periodic table, and maybe even the spelling for ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, but for the life of you, you cannot remember the name of that quiet student sat at the back of the classroom. This Teacherboards Community blog post is here to help you come up with innovative ways to help remember the names of your new class.

Firstly, it may be an idea to be open with your class, let them know you may have trouble remembering everyone’s names and for them not to take offence if you eventually slip up. This makes them aware of your predicament and they will be willing to correct you if need be. If this is the route you decide to take, it may be an idea to play a quick game of ‘test the teacher’. This would make the task of remembering names a fun workshop for the students. By asking the students to write their names on a mini whiteboard at their desk, the teacher can then guess the name on the board and ask the student to reveal if they were correct or not. You might even consider offering a small prize for when you go wrong, this would help the students think positively about the situation. These mini whiteboards are available on the Teacherboards website and can be a great resource for kick starting you school year.

The Visualisation and Association Technique

There are also alternate ways that can help you remember the names of your students. You may consider going down the artistic route and asking your class to draw a name card that reflects their personality. Studies have shown that the visualisation and association technique is a beneficial way of strengthening your memory. The visual aesthetics of each colourful and unique card will help you remember a student’s name as you would associate it with their individual name cards.

Simple Ways of Remembering Names

A few more practical and simple ideas of handling this task do not require too much time to partake in. One method that might help with this is sitting the class in alphabetical order which may help you process their names in a less time consuming manner. Also, you might even contemplate asking your students to stand up or put their hand up when their name has been called. This technique would help you put a face to the name you are calling out, testing your visualisation and association skills. Another simple and overt method of name remembering is to ask your class to wear a sticky label with their names on; this will help you recall their names without having to ask.

Mind Games

Brain Training 101 suggests that the trick to remembering a student’s name is to correlate their names with other words to help create an image of the name in your head. For example; the name Rosie is similar to a rose, by relating a rose with this particular student would help you eventually remember their name through word and image association.

Building a rapport with your class when you face the new school year is a beneficial way of kick starting the annual year. By having an optimistic and encouraging attitude with your new students will make them aware that although you may have trouble remembering names to begin with; your goal is to have a positive and constructive school year with each and every one of them.


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