Forum: Teaching Assistants

How do you remember A LOT of names?
By DanceFreak8
On Tue Feb 03, 2015 05:49 PM

Names are my worst enemy! I can't remember all of the students names! I assist 2 classes and teach 1. And I need to know all of there names before March! (I have over 60 students to assist/teach) Please let me know how to remember Peolples names! Thanks!

14 Replies to How do you remember A LOT of names?

re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Feb 03, 2015 08:49 PM
So I'm just going to say one thing - if you've got three classes, and over 60 kids, your studios class sizes are far too large. FAR. TOO. LARGE. With the exception of technique classes, we never run a class larger than 10 kids. :O

That said, I'm not good at names either. My strategy is to always apologize in advance (cause I know it's annoying when someone can't remember your name, I'm no dummy...), and use their names. A lot. Even if you're wrong. I don't have any weird name combinations this year, but two years ago I had Madison and Addison in a class, and last year I had Malayna and Elayna. I had to purposefully say Elayna wrong all year, because if I said it right, she'd never answer me, but Malayna would! Elayna, apparently, is pronounced "Ah-layna", and Malayna is "Mah-layna". Point of that being, I got their names wrong, lots. But I kept using them. And now they're stamped in my brain. :)
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By hummingbird
On Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:24 PM
Always take a roll call at the beginning of class, make sure you write something next to the name that'll help you remember who they are and don't be afraid of making mistakes and asking them what their name is as the class goes on. If you do make a mistake own up to it, never try to pretend it didn't happen.

I agree with T though, those classes are too large for dance, you're not going to be able to see anything properly with that many kids jumping around.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By kr_WDance
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:28 AM
I try to learn a few a class. For example, I will take attendance and then I will write down something in pencil the kid is wearing next to their name (pink bow, purple leo, sparkly shirt). Then I consult my book to go across the floor.

You could also line them up for across the floor using your attendance book. I'll take Bella in the first line, etc. and see who comes over.

If it's ballet you can give them an assigned spot at the barre in order of your attendance book.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:37 AM
I am always honest at the very beginning, first class, that I am bad with names and I tell the students that they need to feel free to correct me if I get their name wrong. I spend the first few weeks using their names way more than I have to, and refresh with attendance each class. I ask them about their days, or favorite colors, and while I listen to the, I look at them and think their name over and over.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By dancerkid100
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 01:19 PM
Good question. although your studio's classes have way too many students in every class, it is understandable that it is a lot easier to forget names, specially since you mention you are not good with names. My advice to you is try this method by associating their look with their names. Like this student has glasses, this student wears a lot of blue, etc. Find something with them to help you memorize their names easier. If you are still having trouble than just be honest with them on why you have trouble with names.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By RileyA
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 03:34 AM
I have a studio of nearly a thousand kids and I do remember all their names.

Name learning is essential, make it a priority. When the child is introduced to you try to use their name again straight away. Ie when they say this is Sarah, say "hi Sarah, nice to meet you". Then try to use it as often as possible.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By Jenny1661Premium member
On Wed Feb 11, 2015 09:36 AM
I have difficultly remembering names as well and have employed some tricks to help me (some were already mentioned above).

1. Most importantly, let them know you are trying your hardest and apologize for being forgetful.
2. Start with roll call each class until you have all names memorized.
3. If you can't remember their names, chances are they can't remember each others names either. For little ones, every few weeks we play some sort of 'game' where everyone says their name (e.g. we call out our names one a time during plies, tendus or stretches). For older students, I like to create different groups to go across the floor and can call out who is in each group until I'm sure I know everyone.
4. Come up with an association or reason to remember each dancer individually (in my new creative movement class, Abby has the shortest name and is the smallest dancer, Madison is a cheerleader, etc.)
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By BreaMae91
On Sun Feb 22, 2015 07:47 PM
I agree that over 60 students in just three classes sounds insane. For about six months two of my classes maxed out at 18 children, but we also had three teachers and a volunteer who came every other week. We now max our classes at 15 (after my boss realized how difficult it was with such a big class) with two teachers and a volunteer.

ANYWAY, at one of my places of employment our sessions of class only last 8 to 10 weeks long. This means every 8 to 10 weeks I get a whole new class and have to relearn names all over again! Fortunately for me usually around half of the children are returning students, so it's not too bad.

The first week or two of class I always greet every child at the door and say their name as they pass (i.e. 'Hi Marissa! Welcome to class'). If I don't know their name I'm very matter-of-fact with the child (or parent if the child is too shy to talk) and ask. I would rather ask a few times then spend the entire class unsure of what the kids name is...and yes that has happened to me in my earlier days when I was not assertive enough to ask!

I also take attendance at the beginning of each class, because it forces me to say their name. With my younger kids I've created a song, so they don't get antsy while I take attendance (Susie's at ballet. Susie's at ballet. Clap your hands and shout hooray. Susie's at ballet--sung to the tune of farmer in the dell). With my older kids I ask them to go around the circle and share their name and answer a silly question.

Then throughout class I say their names at literately every chance. When they go across the floor I call them each by name when it's their turn to go. When I see them sitting where they should be I use their specific name to thank them (i.e. 'thank you Susie for sitting so nice' or 'I see Susie has a scarf'). Seriously. Anytime you can acknowledge them do so. It will help you remember their names if you use them AND noticing positive behavior helps with classroom management :). At the end of class when I let the kids go I say goodbye to every child using their name.

It might sound redundant, but I almost always know every child's name by the end of the second week and the parents like seeing and hearing you acknowledge their child on an individual basis.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By DMF_13
On Sun Feb 22, 2015 09:13 PM
I too have a TERRIBLE time remembering names. So many kids new and old walk in and out the door all the time. You'd think I'd know them by now, but I still don't. Usually the kid's names that I know by heart is the ones that misbehave (little kids) or need reprimanded a lot. So a good think to say to them is, if I don't remember your name, it's actually a good thing. If a name really stumps me or two are too much alike or are alike, I have to relate it to something or someone I know, or just simply ask them if either one prefers a nickname that all of us can remember. Don't make it difficult on yourself, just do the best you can. Most teachers here call us by what we're wearing. It's not offensive and it makes them pay attention to you more by having to look down to remind themselves of what they wore today! Lol! As long as you're doing your job, messing up names is little to nothing.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By DaDancingPsych
On Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:45 PM
I have done a lot of what is suggested already. I force myself to use their names in class (even if I have to cheat and look at the roll sheet or even ask.) I have found that I can teach an entire class without using one name, so I force myself to do otherwise. The best practice times are when we dance across the floor. "Ok, Tina and Renee are next!" Or if I give a reward (ie. sticker), I will say each kid's name.

I have played various name games and the kids do think it's fun. I would rather spend my time teaching kids to dance rather than practicing names, though. But if I'm looking for a fun activity and struggling, I have done this.

My greatest weapon? My camera! I put it on video mode and ask the kids to say their name loudly (you can throw in a pose if you're feeling sassy!) I go home and practice. I start by making an answer chart by listening to the video and writing the names in order. Then, I mute the video and simply practice naming the kids. Sometimes I have to pause to give myself some time to think, but eventually I can do it successfully. I at least learn the bulk of the class and then I am only left with a few stragglers (typically kids who were absent that day or late additions!)
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By DanceFreak8
On Sat Mar 07, 2015 05:52 PM
Oh my goodness! Thank you all for helping out me and remembering the students names! This helped ALOT!

re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By Sumayah
On Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:49 PM
I go in early and sit with the roll book so my brain can see the names of the kids I'll be teaching. I'm a very visual and hands on learner, so seeing the name in print sticks with me far better than just hearing it said. Then with a new class as I check roll, I make eye contact with the dancer and say, "It's nice to meet you, *name*." Then I tell them all that I will forget their name and they will have to remind me if I do forget. I can generally remember 80% of the class but there's always ones who I get messed up on. I'll do the, "Don't tell me, don't tell me..... Ah man, okay, tell me." Then I'll look at them and say their name a silly amount of times. "Sarah, sarah, sarah, sarah, sarah, sarah......sarah!" And that usually helps their name stick.

Duplicate names are hard. I'll either do first name middle name then: Sarah Jane, Sarah Beth, or just name name: Smith, Jones. Rhyming names or alliterative names are the worst. Madison/Addison/Alison, Jordan/Jayden/Jayley/Jacey, Hannah/Anna, etc. those I just try to enunciate clearly. Once you start getting returning students it's easier. Then you only have to worry about remembering the new kids verses entire classes.
re: How do you remember A LOT of names?
By TinyDancer62
On Thu Mar 12, 2015 03:57 PM
"Hello my name is ___" or just sticky address labels. Sharpie their name on and stick them to their back so they won't play with it. This year it seems like I have more Madelines, Madisons, and Makenzies than any other name! LOL
re: How do you remember A LOT of names? (karma: 1)
By SIBAPremium member
On Mon Mar 16, 2015 05:34 AM
I prepare in advance name tags with a logo of SIBA, and make the students wear it in classes. in addition I give each teacher a printed page with small photos and names of the students, it works great !


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