It’s week one; can you name all of your students yet?
Go ahead, feel free to play a round of the name game if that helps you, but the Circles Team has a strategy that might make the task much easier than you think. In fact, this week, on the first day of class, I am playing a new kind of name game with my students. I am welcoming all of my students by name even before I have met them. Students in my first class were like, what??? How do you know my name? But that soon turned to laughter as I continued to greet each student by name. It also led to an amazing first day where I was able to cold call students and engage them in discussion and learning. How did I do it??? Read on to find out.
In Alexander Austin’s book, What Matters in College (1993), it was suggested that two things make the difference in getting students involved in college: student-student interaction and faculty-student interaction. And while it can be argued that many faculty don’t have total control over student-student interaction, they can change faculty-student interaction with one simple teacher trick…
***Learn Your Students’ Names***
“When the professor engages the student in personal conversation, recognizes her by name, and seems to include her in the domain of attention, the subject matter seems more accessible. The nonverbal message goes out that the student is a part of the community of people who can do mathematics, statistics, chemistry, or whatever the subject is” (Willemsen, 1995).
A quick Google search reveals that Austin and Willemsen are not alone in recognizing the power of knowing student names.
- The League of Innovation: Learning Your Students’ Names
- Inside Higher Ed: Learn Your Students’ Names
- Teachingonpurpose.org: The Importance of Learning Students’ Names
- The University of Nebraska even offers 23 different strategies for learning student names. Click here if you would like to learn those.
So, are you ready to give it a try? You might be surprised by how it changes your classroom dynamic this semester. Here is a link to a Youtube video of how to do it, or you can just watch the looping GIF file below.
We hope you will join us for our first Circles sessions of the fall:
Mindset and Motivation
Osceola – Sep 22nd @ 4
Lake Nona – Sep 22nd @ 1
Special Thanks to Professor Carl Creasman for sharing this teacher trick!