“What’s in a name?”

Ahh, the joys of the first week back at school!

New classes to get to know, a new GCSE spec to teach, new colleagues, a new headteacher and A2 courses being tackled for the first time.

It all passed by in such a blur.

My main challenge thus far has been learning names. Knowing names is such a powerful tool in the teacher’s armoury. I’d be very interested to hear how others go about the challenge of learning pupils’ names.

I work on the simple seating plan philosophy: I’ve allowed my older classes to sit where they wish so far, but have requested that – for the first few weeks – they stay in that chosen place in order to help me learn their names. I think that being able to picture them in ‘their place’ when I try and recall their name helps me learn names quicker.

I also spend my first week or so asking pupils their names whenever they answer a question. The visual cue of them sitting in the same place is then reinforced by the aural cue of hearing the pupil say their name.

So, what do you do to learn pupils’ names? Are there any tricks and tips I could be employing to nail the name game quicker?