Easy Techniques to Learn Your Students’ Names The first Days Of School

Mistakes teachers usually make 

There are a lot of teachers out there making a lot of mistakes every day. They don’t pay attention to these mistakes and they have no idea they are making them.

Some teachers have bad habits of “stealing” students’ pens and pencils when students come to them asking for help. They don’t steal, they just forget to give them back. But, it shouldn’t happen anyway.

Some teachers make mistakes when correcting exams and tests. Some of them don’t respond to e-mails in time and some of them forget to give feedback at all. There are many bad things habits teachers should stop.

The worst thing is when some teachers don’t memorize students’ names the whole year.

Imagine teaching students the whole academic year and can’t remember their names, or at least most of them. It is very frustrating.

 I think this is one of the things that teachers should avoid. Knowing students by names is very important in managing the classroom and establishing good rapport. So, in this post, I would like to share some secrets and easy techniques to learn students’ names during the first days at school.

What is needed:

  • One piece of cardstock paper (for each learner).
  • One black marker (for each learner).

 What’s to be done:

The first thing you need to do is greeting students at the door, and ask them for their names. As you are calling them one by one, try to look at each one of them on the face and build the relationship in your mind. This technique will help you memorize some names right at that time.

You already wrote some instructions on the board, read them to students and make sure they understand them very well. The instructions say: fold the cardstock papers in thirds, make name tags and write your first name in capital letter. If you are afraid this will take a lot of time, you can set a timer and make sure students do it as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, you are monitoring to make sure nobody is writing a silly name tag or doing something else.

During the time when you are explaining the code of conduct, sharing procedures, or anything that has to do with class management, make sure you use as many names as possible. Repeat the names if possible more than twice. For example, you can say: Can somebody read the paragraph for me? Yes, James, James, James”.

You have to make sure you practice them three minutes several times a day, and then try to test with each class you have. Meanwhile, you tell students to keep their name tags up, you go over each student’s name and you repeat it out loud.

After this, ask students to put their name tags so you can’t see their names and try to see how long it will take you to get them correct. You can turn this into a game where you challenge yourself as a teacher and try to remember all the names while one of your students is taking time.

At the end of the class, tell your students to leave their name tags on the desk, and bring to class for the rest of the week.

It might take you more than one day to memorize all the names. It all depends on the number of students you have in the class. You will definitely forget some names, the following day, but just keep practicing and you will get them all by the first week.


So, you.. are they any easy techniques to learn students’ names the first days at school?  Share them in the comments.

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