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It’s a common predicament for educators: Despite working closely with all kinds of students, they can’t always easily retrieve names on demand—especially during the first weeks of school, when faced with both new students and new responsibilities. And biology does us no favors by storing visual information and names in separate parts of the brain.
Some teachers turn to awkward work-arounds. But “Hey, Boss!” or “Good to see you!” or “How is my favorite person in the whole world?” are obvious giveaways, and “Can you spell your name for me?” might be answered with “J-i-l-l.”
Everybody has a good memory for things that interest them, according to Richard Harris, a Kansas State University psychology professor. So take a fanatical interest in connecting with your students and using their names.
Remember why you’re studying learners’ names: because remembering them is important. Here are a few effective tactics for internalizing students’ names.