I’m just not good with names: It takes me a long time to remember them and even then I sometimes forget. 

Not anymore. For you are the Name Rememberer. The One Who Remembers Names.

It’s difficult with so many students. These first few months of school it’s hard to get names straight. I’m not a names person. 

It matters not. You will remember their names, Name Rememberer.

I’ve never been good with names. I can remember a face, but names are hard.

Maybe names are hard, maybe they are not. It doesn’t make any difference to you, the Name Rememberer.

I’ll get their names by the end of the month. It’s October, there’s still plenty of school year left.

You will get their names by tomorrow morning 8am. If this means you need to print out flash cards that is what you will do. If it means you need to find their address, drive to their house, wake their house up, and have a 30-minute conversation to remember their names, that is what you will do. That’s what the Name Rememberer does.

But I don’t know their addresses and I don’t have a car.

For every student that is in your class tomorrow whose name you do not know, you will give them free 100’s on assignments for a month. You will give each of them $100 a day until you remember their name. You will do 50 pushups for each student whose name you can’t immediately recall. And you will NOT under any circumstances make that face where you’re trying to think of their name.

But I have these kids that sit next to each other and they really look alike. What if I —

QUIET! You will learn every student’s name and you will learn them all now. Tomorrow morning you will stand by your door, greet each student BY NAME, and welcome them in to your classroom BY NAME.

But – 

SILENCE. You are wasting valuable time, Name Rememberer. Time that could be spent on remembering students’ names. The school day starts in 10 hours and you have names to remember. Or, as the Name Rememberer, do you have them all memorized? You have the proper pronunciations down seamlessly? First and last? There will be no beat skipping when you want to call on a student with his or her hand raised? 

Good. For tomorrow, you – in addition to being the Student Name Rememberer – will also become the What Students are Passionate About Knower. 


2 thoughts on “You are the Name Rememberer

  1. I give each student an index card and have them fold it in half. On the side that will face me is their first name. On the side that faces them is either their goal for their math class or some years what they want to be when they grow up. Each day I give out the cards at the start of the period and collect them at the end of the period. I do this for about 2 weeks and by then I know them and where they sit and something about them.

  2. Someone once told me (or I read somewhere, or something–I am not the Source Rememberer) that we remember things that we think are important; the corollary being that if names are important, then we will remember them. In my experience, this has been true. I remember my students’ names quickly, most of them by the end of the first day of class (my classes are pretty small, which certainly helps). Learning my students’ names is important to me.

    Now, if I’ve been introduced to you at a happy hour or other random gathering…um, I’m just going to plead the fifth on that one.

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