Students are never more attentive than they are on the first day of class, when they’re eager to determine what kind of professor they’re dealing with, and although it is tempting to delay the real work of teaching and learning until the class list has stabilized, it can be difficult to change even the subtle norms that are established during this initial class. Several years ago, I tried a new approach, and I’ve been using it with great success ever since...
I have no hard proof, but I suspect that this opening day reading helped set a tone that encouraged this broader openness and that it will inspire me and my students to maintain that tone throughout the term...
The interest inventory is a simple tool to help you acquaint yourself with your students. Unlike the many icebreakers, the interest inventory is a paper-based activity and students do not have to give answers aloud in front of class. The interest inventory, therefore, helps you get to know your students privately and allows you to ask different questions than you would during oral introductions...
Each new semester as I walk down the hallway to my classroom, I am a little nervous, even after 27 years of teaching experience…and I’m okay with this. I think when I get to the point where I don’t feel this anxiety, I won’t be as effective a teacher. After all, I will be walking into that classroom for the next four months and it’s important to make a good first impression. Below are 10 tips to help you get off to a great start...
So now...how to go about learning your students' names??
One of the most frequent comments I hear from faculty throughout the year is that many have a tough time learning students names. We all know the importance of learning student names as soon as possible and the impact it has on student success. I thought I would share a great list that I found (divided by ways students can learn each other’s names, and things instructors can do both in and out of class to learn names). Visit 20 Tips for Learning Student Names to check out these helpful tips!
I was excited that the techniques I use most made the list too, so I’ll share them here:
14. Association Techniques
Associate any students who have the same name as someone you know to help you remember them. This method of “anchoring” a student with someone else you know can help you establish a system for remembering other students. For example, if you know who Leah is because she looks like your neighbor, you can learn that “the person who usually sits next to Leah is…” and so on.
When calling roll, annotate the class list and take note of any memorable features beside the student’s name. For example, “Stacy has curly blonde hair.” Additionally, using the above association technique can be useful here.
I will also make an effort to show them I am trying to learn their names by repeating them often when I address them in class. It’s okay to say “remind me of your name again…” if you happen to forget. Feel free to share any tried and true name-learning tips that you have!
The TLETC Blog is a great way to find out what is going on with regard to teaching, pedagogy, and educational technology.