Monday, March 2, 2015

What's in a Name?

"The sweetest sound in the human language is one’s own name."
— John Brock

 It's no secret that names are incredibly powerful when dealing with people, especially students.  However, this doesn't stop many people from not using people's names.  Whether we're not sure we'll pronounce them correctly, or we simply CAN'T REMEMBER a person's name doesn't lessen the impact of not addressing people by their names.

I, personally, have my own struggles with names.  First off, I find it very hard to remember most people's names- I get similar-sounding names (and sometimes not-so-similar names) confused, I convince myself that a person has this name, when it's actually something totally different, or I just go blank on someone's name.  In addition to this, or maybe because of it, I really struggle with calling people, especially students, by their names when I interact with them. 

In my training for my current test-prep teaching, my trainer made a BIG deal of using student names in class, especially when asking questions.  I still, however, have a bad habit of addressing questions to the class at-large, despite knowing what the company method is and how effective it is to use student names.

So, here's the technique for this week.  First off, LEARN my students' names.  There are only four in this class, so that should be easy.  Next, plan out for both lessons this week which student will be asked which questions.  Assigning questions in advance will take the guess-work out of calling on students.

What about you?  Do you struggle with using people's names?  Do you have any fool-proof tricks for learning names?  Leave me a comment!  And don't forget to come back next Monday to see how this technique worked for me this week.

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