February 16, 2006
The Name Game
Posted by Christine Hurt

Hello Inside Higher Ed. has an article about the importance of learning students' names.  I'm not the best at learning names, but I try because I think it's important.  Everyone loves to hear their name.  (Of course, right now the student named Steve that I called Scott 500 times last semester is laughing at me.)  I am going to take some of these techniques in the article to heart.

One of the best by-products of professors saying students' names is that first-year students get to know each other at a faster pace.  I definitely learned the names of other students in my 107-person section due to the fact that one professor gave us U.N. - style cardboard tents that we personalized with our names and brought to all of our classes each day.  Of course, hilarity can unsue.  One of our classmates wrote his name, PHIL in ltall block letters.  Our desks had a ledge on them, so from the front, the professor could not see the bottom of the "I" or the "L."  He quizzically called him "PHTI?" -- pronounced "fe-tee."  For the next two years, guess what we called Phil?

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