Teachers know how important it is to learn their students names. Names are powerful, not to mention essential for good classroom management. However it’s not easy to learn all your students names at the start of the year. It turns out that memory experts have a trick that is really helpful. They learn memory aids for names they are likely to need to memorise ahead of time.
For example, if you have been given a list of names before the summer you can spend a little time over the summer coming up with a memorable image to associate with each name over the summer. If you don’t have a list of names you can find a list of most common names from the year that your new students were born. These lists varry quite a lot by area, so try to find one for your area.
Suppose you know you will have a student called Ben, but you don’t yet know what Ben looks like. Simply think of an image that will remind you of the name Ben and which you can add Ben into once you meet him. In the case of Ben you could imagine a giant climbing up Big Ben. Once you meet Ben you put him into the picture, so the giant now looks like Ben. Perhaps this sounds complicated, but with a bit of practice it becomes a powerful way to learn names quickly. It works as humans are designed to remember pictures much better than we remember names.