[nobe-l] question about learning student names

Carolyn Brock mmebrock at spiritone.com
Tue Jul 20 16:19:39 UTC 2010

   I taught French and English in high school, six classes of 20-35 each. 
It sounds obvious, but the first step in learning students' names is to 
simply learn the names!  I always memorized class lists before the first day 
of class.  It takes work, but it does wonders on that first day of class to 
call roll from memory, giving the students the impression that you know who 
they are.  Sure, it's somewhat of a trick, but it's a lot easier to learn to 
associate voices with names if you know the names in the first place.  You 
can use only one name per student to start with (first or last names, 
whichever you use in your classes) and pick up the other name later.
   I know that most college professors allow students to seat themselves 
wherever they like, but we humans are territorial by nature and so students 
tend to arrange themselves in pretty much the same way each time.  It would 
be helpful for you to establish a seating chart and stick to it.  If you do 
any small group work, you can rearrange the seating every few weeks so that 
the students aren't always working with the same group.
	Train students to call out their own names when they wish to ask a question 
or give an answer.  After years of raising their hands, they are resistant 
to this, and so you have to be persistent, doggedly ignoring those who call 
out your name instead; eventually they will pick it up.  As for encountering 
you at a time/place other than in class, they seemed to get it when I told 
them to identify themselves to me the same way they would on the phone: 
"Hi, it's Morgan from second period."
   It sounds as if you're doing a good job of giving the students the 
message that you are attentive to them personally.  One more way to do this 
is to keep track (either mentally or in writing) of significant things that 
happen in class and refer to them later.  Examples:  "Remember on Monday 
when Jackson brought up that idea of." or "Brooke made an excellent point on 
the essay question, and I want to discuss the idea."  Students get the 
message that you pay attention to what they say and do.
   Hope this helps!

From: "Sally Friedman" <sfriedman2 at nycap.rr.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 7:57 AM
To: "'National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List'" 
<nobe-l at nfbnet.org>
Subject: Re: [nobe-l] question about learning student names

> Hi All,
> How do you guys learn the names of your students?
> The reason I'm asking is I just read something put out by my university 
> (I'm
> a professor) listing the top 10 ways to learn student names, and more than
> half of their ideas centered around the need for eye contact or photos.
> Needless to say, it doesn't exactly make a blind person feel included, and 
> I
> want to point that out to them..
> What I do (and I guess it's different for students of different grades) is
> ask people to repeat their names often (sometimes they do, sometimes they
> don't), take attendance and learn from both where they sit and their 
> papers.
> Sometimes their voices will do it but in classes of 40 to 50, that can be
> tough. I also simply set a tone indicating that their input matters a lot.
> Any thoughts?
> Sally
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nobe-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nobe-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On 
> Behalf
> Of Faith Manion
> Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 6:37 PM
> To: NFB Education
> Subject: [nobe-l] question about learning student names
> Hello all,
> I have about a year before I begin my student teaching and this semester I
> am teaching several lessons.  With these lessons I am giving multiple 
> choice
> tests and writing activities.  In the past someone has just graded the
> multiple choice items for me and then read the writing responses out loud.
> Do you guys know any other way to grade papers when they are hand written
> and not typed?  Is there any new type of technology out there that I am
> unaware of that will read handwriting?
> Thanks
> Faith Manion
>> Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 04:43:16 -0600
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>> Director, NFB-NEWSLINER
>> National Federation of the Blind
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