Putting Names to Faces

It was a big disadvantage, as a teacher, that I always had difficulty putting names to faces.

A typical example: _  during the first week of term a child comes to me during break to ask  about music lessons. I give him a brief explanation and then, to find out if I teach his class for music I ask whose class he is in.

“Yours.” he replies.

To help with this ‘disability’ I used to enlist the help of  the children. We would play the game of  “How many names can teacher remember?” They would keep a record of  the scores and so I was motivated to improve. When I did get better they would change places to make the test harder. After about three weeks I usually managed to learn to recognise all the children in my own class but have to admit that sometimes I never really got to know everyone in the classes I taught only once a week.

This could prove to be most embarrassing when it came to parents evenings  and report writing.

In view of all this you can imagine my delight when term started for my Monday English classes this week and I found that – at last – I knew almost everyone so didn’t have to keep referring to my seating plans.

Problem is, I’m not sure I’d recognise them if I met them in the street. . . . .



11 Responses to “Putting Names to Faces”

  1. Z Says:

    What a good idea, to tell the pupils and enlist their help. I have no idea how teachers manage it, I find it terribly difficult. I’m much better than I used to be, because I’ve been trying really hard for years, and most people think I’m very good at remembering people and their names, but they don’t know how much effort it has taken!

    After three years helping at the high school, seeing a class once a fortnight, I’m doing better than I ever have, but I still only know about a third of each class’s names. It’s the best and the worst that stand out. And the redheads!

    • sablonneuse Says:

      Yes, Z, it’s definitely easier to remember the good, the bad and anyone with any outstanding features.
      I forgat to mention how easy it is to confuse children who ressemble one another. Do you ever have trouble with that?

  2. guyana gyal Says:

    Oho, so that’s why some teachers used to point and say, “You,” instead of calling the student by name 🙂

  3. sablonneuse Says:

    You could be right G-G.

  4. Little old me Says:

    I could never remember the names either, the kids loved it! haha

  5. tillylil Says:

    Funny how it was easy to recognise the naughtier ones!

  6. Pat Says:

    I’ve always found that young children (including my own) are delighted when they realise that you admit to weaknesses and frailties. It was particularly successful with my step-children in the early days.
    As for remembering names and faces just you wait!

  7. Gigi Says:

    I have no problem remembering names but a terrible problem remembering where we’re up to in the book I’m using! This is totally my fault – I’m using the same book for two classes and get terribly muddled. My New Year’s Resolution was to ‘be more organised’ but I haven’t managed to put it into practice yet 😦

    • sablonneuse Says:

      Oh have that problems as well, Gigi. This year I’m keeping a record of page numbers and I also have a variety of bookmarks in the textbooks!

  8. Keith Says:

    In the Army if a sargeant wanted a volunteer and he couldn’t remember any names, he would shout “Smith, step forward” and at least three men would step forwad and he had his “volunteers”. Let’s face there is always a Smith in a crowd!

    Mind you, nowadays there is always a “Muhammad” in the crowd. . .

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