Granted Education - remembering names

Names are power!

Have you ever met someone a number of times and yet they still don’t remember your name? How did that make you feel? My partner works in the music business and has met a certain performer on many different occasions but despite that, not only do they not remember her name but they don’t even remember meeting her! Unsurprisingly, it turns out that people are more willing to do things for you if they remember your name! It makes you feel acknowledged and important, building a subconscious connection (click here to read more).

If you have ever spent time doing substitute teaching, you know what insanity can be lurking around the corner. Lucky you’re well equipped and understand that “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Screw that – get those student names nailed as soon as possible because something magical happens when you do … they become accountable.

Here’s another teaching strategy to add to your box of tricks – before you go through the roll, draw a quick diagram of the desk layout. When you call the student’s names, write them down in the position on the diagram. My favourite part is to freak out the kids when you can call them by their name despite only just meeting them. This is a very powerful tool for substitute teachers and its importance can’t be overstated!

Here’s an example of a classroom map/seating plan from a lesson I supervised last week.

On this picture (can you tell that I’m a visual person?), I spin the diagram around so that when I look from my teaching desk, it exactly mirrors the class and I don’t even have to think about where people are. It’s also easy to tell who is out of their seat or in the wrong place.

At the risk of sounding like a bit of a “fairy”, names are powerful. Have you ever been in a crowded room with lots of noise and all it takes is someone saying your name – it doesn’t even need to be done loudly, but your ears pick it up. Then we turn around like a crazy person, trying to find where to direct our attention. To be fair, this is me, most days in our collaborative classroom!

If you remember nothing else from this post, it should be this: employ whatever strategies you need to know someone’s name – they are powerful. If you are particularly poor at remembering names, here’s a post that outlines some great strategies that deal with how to remember names.

We would love to hear if you use this method or if you have another amazing teaching strategy to know student names … comment below!

Have an awesome week!

Vikki Grant


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