So Simple: Just Learn Their Names

I was just standing by the classroom door as the primary students headed out for recess. As the Kindergarten children were walking by, I started to say, “hello,” to them, calling as many as I could by name. I don’t know all of the Kindergarten students’ names, but I’m pretty good at remembering names, and so I’ve learned most of them. Just as the children were almost out of the door, I heard one of the boys say to his friend, “She knows my name. She really likes me!” Such a small comment, but really it had so much power. It’s amazing how students respond to us just by learning their names. They believe that we care about them because we’ve taken the time to learn who they are. This boy’s comment made me think: I need to remember to call more and more students by their names.

Have you had a similar experience before? What impact did this have on you as a teacher? I’d love to hear your stories too!


11 thoughts on “So Simple: Just Learn Their Names

  1. We had a conversation this morning at the work room about names, too. One thing we all agree on is that it’s worthwhile to make the effort to say someone’s name correctly. It makes them smile and show you care. 😉

    (Blog over a lunch period, that was cool!)

  2. I’m adult and feel the same way! I go into many schools to train students to use assistive technology therefore I meet a lot of teachers and principals. It surprises me when I meet someone and a few days later they remember my name.

    • Thank you, Mara and Jenyi for the comment! You’re right: it does make a difference for both adults and children, and saying the name right, matters too! This was just too good not to blog about! 🙂


  3. So true… And in my world, even more important for a principal. I love it when a child says “how do you know my name?” or when a parent walks in with their child and imam able to say hello and know the names of both the parent and the child.

    I try to greet most children by name as they get off the bus… It is a challenge for me but always bring a smile to their face… Even if I cannot remember for that moment and have to say Mr. Or Ms. And use their last name to sound “formal”. 😉

    It all starts with the name… And understanding who they are.

    Thanks Aviva!

  4. I make special effort not to call siblings by the wrong name – I’m the youngest of five and that used to annoy me. 🙂 I love the smile on former students’ faces when I see them out and about and call them by name. The fact that I remember them has the same results as you experienced in kindergarten.

    • Thanks for the comment, Jen! I think that you make a really important point here. I’ve taught lots of siblings before, and it’s great to get to know each of the students as individuals … and that means remembering all of their names too!


  5. Working between four schools makes it difficult to learn all the names and I am always amazed when the children remember me. Lots of the kids call me math lady, and when I call them math pro or superstar I always get a smile. It works almost as well though when you stop and talk to them and ask them a question or have a quick conversation. I do miss knowing the names of all the students in my school.

    • Thanks Kelly! You make a really good point here. Taking the time to stop and talk to students means a lot to them too. I’m glad that you can still make some connections with students even though it’s more difficult to learn all of their names.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *