How do I remember students' names in large classes?
- One of the most important things about remembering your students names is
intention. If you ask the average instructor in higher education if they know
the names of their students, they will tell you&emdash;"Gee, I'm not very
good at remembering names." If you ask the average high school teacher the
same question they will invariably answer "Yes." Some know the names of the
student's parents and the dog as well. Some secondary teachers teach several
sections of a class and can have 100+ students. What's the difference? High
school teachers know full well the value of the relationship they build with
their students. Without this all hell could break loose. More importantly,
this relationship is a powerful part of the reason they teach. They also know
that it can make or break student success in their class.
- On the first day of class, pass out index cards and have your students put
their names (first name first) in all caps at the top, then their major, phone
number and any other address information you want.
- Alphabetize those cards by first name and rubber band them together, so
you can read first names without un-banding them. Have them with you at the
podium every day in class.
- Whenever someone asks a question, ask the student's name and look carefully
at this person. Does this student usually sit near the corner? Does the student
have long, chestnut hair? Does he or she usually wear a UO hat? Even if this
is the first time you noticed a particular student, notice
him or her, and as you talk, flip through your cards and write a piece of
information down on their card. Flip through your cards once a day, matching
cards to faces.
- Use those names when you ask questions to the class. Ask
students by name to respond to what another student said.