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How to Remember Names

How to Remember Names

Do you have a hard time remembering your students' names?


Especially if you teach overseas and have a list of names you can barely pronounce, it can be quite difficult.



In my first years of teaching, I didn't think it was that important to remember the names of all 200 of my students.


However, I found that getting to know students on a personal level helped to improve the attitude and behavior of the students in class.


Students show more interest in the teachers who take the time to get to know them. These small acts show the students that you care about them as a person. 


I also tried to remember small pieces of information about them, such as new haircuts, styles, or plans they had for the weekend.


Remember Names Within First 4 Lessons

Throughout the years, I started to make a conscious effort to remember the names of my students within the first four lessons. 


Lesson 1

On the first day of class, explain to the students that you would like to remember each of their names. Remind them of how many students you have to reinforce the difficulty of this task.


Ask the students if you can take their picture to help you remember their names. Have everyone stand up and pose together to take a picture.


Lesson 2

Print the picture and bring it to class. 


While checking attendance, ask each student to point to him or herself in the picture. Write the students’ names next to their faces.


Lesson 3

Before class, review the names with the faces. Challenge yourself to try to remember as many names as possible in class.


Remember, it is fine to make mistakes in the first few lessons, but after the fifth lesson it is no longer acceptable to make a mistake. A student may feel bad that you cannot remember his or her name, even though you have remembered all of the other students’ names. 


Lesson 4

Again, review the names with the faces in the picture before the lesson. Challenge yourself again. Pay careful attention of students names you can't remember. Make an effort to say their names many times in class.



Remembering students' names can be difficult, but the students will notice your effort and will be appreciative of interest in them.

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Hi fellow EFL Sensei!

I'm Becki, the Co-Founder and the one who put up all these great speaking activities. We’re here to provide enjoyable lessons for teachers like you! Learn more