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  1. #1
    Advanced BHUZzer rosehips's Avatar
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    Getting Students' Names...

    Welcome to the land of socially inept (hand high up here)- or maybe some folks don't think about this - but I had two new classes last night, over a dozen new-to-me folks, and I realized I don't know their names. Due to the studio set-up, I'm not the one checking students in/keeping roll/registration. They're only hour-long classes, so there's not really time to go around and for everyone to introduce themselves, especially when there will be new folks every week with drop-ins.

    I suppose that every time someone asks me a a question in class, I ask for her (or his) name, and then endeavor to remember that in the process of answering the question. Any other helpful ideas?


  2. #2
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. anala's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Newsletter sign up sheet, name address phone and email, thanks Georgine


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Jessani's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    IMO introductions are essential. I want my students to relax & also to begin to build a community. Introductions foster a sense of safety, and camaraderie that makes the class more fun & enjoyable for everyone. I build in several activities during the first few classes of each session that are designed to help me learn names & help my students learn each other's names. Its harder with drop-ins but you can always take 1 minute at the start of each to say "We have some new faces this week. Can you just quickly tell us your name".
    Take the time for introductions the first week of a new session. Then use each student's name during the class to help you remember.
    If you do any activities where students do something individually (like moving across the floor or taking turns dancing in a circle) have each student say her name before she goes.
    Do partnering or small group activities and have the students in each group introduce themselves.


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer mahsati's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by rosehips View Post
    Welcome to the land of socially inept (hand high up here)- or maybe some folks don't think about this - but I had two new classes last night, over a dozen new-to-me folks, and I realized I don't know their names. Due to the studio set-up, I'm not the one checking students in/keeping roll/registration. They're only hour-long classes, so there's not really time to go around and for everyone to introduce themselves, especially when there will be new folks every week with drop-ins.

    I suppose that every time someone asks me a a question in class, I ask for her (or his) name, and then endeavor to remember that in the process of answering the question. Any other helpful ideas?
    I am terrible with names, so it takes me a long time to learn anyone. One of the things I do is walk around the room and ask each of them to say their name while we do chest lift/drop isolations. This serves two purposes - helps me learn their names and makes them more conscious of not diring the movement with their breath. As I learn their names and they get better at it, I will ask them questions as well so they will have to breath normally to talk while drilling the chest movements.


  5. #5
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I haven't tried this, but I remember someone on Bhuz saying that she writes each student's name on the mirror with a dry erase marker. I thought that was a REALLY cute idea.


  6. #6
    Advanced BHUZzer rosehips's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by anala View Post
    Newsletter sign up sheet, name address phone and email, thanks Georgine
    I did this with my NJ classes, but the problem is remembering which name/email went with who. If I was independently wealthy though, I would pay to have someone follow me around, take pictures and the info of every person I meet, and then recall back to me when needed. Sort of like a portable human harddrive ;)


  7. #7
    I could get used to this! mysterywoman's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by rosehips View Post
    The problem is remembering which name/email went with who.
    Take roll every class even if the studio does it too. Tell them you're doing it so you can learn their names.

    As you go around correcting people individually, ask them - "I'mso bad at remembering names. Whatsyours again?" Do this with just 2 or 3 students in each class, not everybody. Find an excuse to call each by name again later inthe same class at least 2-3 times. Then call them by name when they hsow up next week.

    After you're told someone's name, jot a note to yourself on the class enrollment sheet to help you remember: "Waist-length red hair" or whatever.


  8. #8
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    oh dear! I am so bad! I teach 4 classes a week and often have lots of new students. Because I have 20+ people in every class I hate to say this but I don't even bother to remember their names until they have come at least 2-3 times.
    If I saw them all regularly this wouldn't be an issue. So I'd say I know about 1/2 of their names 1/2 of the time. However here's a good idea. About every 3 months or so I have a name tag night where everyone wears a name tag in class. It allows me to remember names but also helps the students meet each other and make friends. So you kill 2 birds with one stone.


  9. #9
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by eshtabellydance View Post
    oh dear! I am so bad! I teach 4 classes a week and often have lots of new students. Because I have 20+ people in every class I hate to say this but I don't even bother to remember their names until they have come at least 2-3 times.
    If I saw them all regularly this wouldn't be an issue. So I'd say I know about 1/2 of their names 1/2 of the time. However here's a good idea. About every 3 months or so I have a name tag night where everyone wears a name tag in class. It allows me to remember names but also helps the students meet each other and make friends. So you kill 2 birds with one stone.
    I'm in the same boat, Eshta. When I only taught one or two classes a week, I knew everyone's name. Now I teach a dozen or more classes.

    Of course I know the higher level students and the yoga students. But every 6 weeks I have between 10 and 60 new beginners, depending on the time of year. More than half of them will come to one sessin and never return. I'm terrible about learning their names! I do my best, but I just have to cut myself some slack.

    I think we all bring our personalities into the classroom. In a beginner class, i feel safer if I can blend into the crowd and just watch/follow and be left alone. So I wouldn't like a class where we have to introduce ourselves, or say why we're there. I want to be anonymous and invisible in a new situation, until I feel comfortable, so I give my beginners the chance to do that and let things become more personal as we move forward.

    I wonder how many of us prefer a situation where we introduce ourselves and start community building right from class one? I'd love to know. I may start a spinoff thread!


  10. #10
    I could get used to this! bella237's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Since I teach almost entirely college students, I have a private group on Facebook set up for them. I use this to message them any information I need to and to post any articles, videos, handouts,etc.

    A side benefit of that is that most of them use a picture of themselves for their profile, making it much easier to match names and faces.


  11. #11
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I hate team building and community building exercises. I am also someone who likes their anonymity. I like to be able to choose my own level of involvement.
    I have a number of regular/advanced ladies and here is another idea for you Rosehips. Ask your more advanced students to help the new ones. They can find out their names, help them tie their hip scarfs, help them with the most basic moves and questions. Because when you get to the level where your classes are full ALL the time you just can't go over the same basic intro stuff in every class and if you do you will get burnt out. But your advanced students will be honored to help.


  12. #12
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by eshtabellydance View Post
    I hate team building and community building exercises. I am also someone who likes their anonymity. I like to be able to choose my own level of involvement.
    I have a number of regular/advanced ladies and here is another idea for you Rosehips. Ask your more advanced students to help the new ones. They can find out their names, help them tie their hip scarfs, help them with the most basic moves and questions. Because when you get to the level where your classes are full ALL the time you just can't go over the same basic intro stuff in every class and if you do you will get burnt out. But your advanced students will be honored to help.
    Adopt-a-noob!


  13. #13
    Ultimate BHUZzer laura 2's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by eshtabellydance View Post
    oh dear! I am so bad! I teach 4 classes a week and often have lots of new students. Because I have 20+ people in every class I hate to say this but I don't even bother to remember their names until they have come at least 2-3 times.
    If I saw them all regularly this wouldn't be an issue. So I'd say I know about 1/2 of their names 1/2 of the time. However here's a good idea. About every 3 months or so I have a name tag night where everyone wears a name tag in class. It allows me to remember names but also helps the students meet each other and make friends. So you kill 2 birds with one stone.
    Same here - I teach 3 large Beginning classes a week, and usually about 80% of the students are brand new that session. When means that every 6 weeks, I average 50 students, with about 40 of them being people I have never seen before. I just don't have that kind of retention for names.

    About 10% of my students go on to my Level 2 class after completing two six-week sessions, and by that time I have generally put a face with the name.


  14. #14
    tamrahennatx
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I've thought about name tags for my students. If I SEE the name, I'll remember it, if you tell me, well....whooosh. In one ear and out the other...

    Maybe I could print out some cute belly-dance themed ones so people would enjoy wearing them.


  15. #15
    I could get used to this! omchantress's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I used to be terrible with names but I have worked very hard to be better at remembering! One thing that helps is to focus your attention on the person's face when they say their name, and then repeat it back, "Hi, NewPersonName!"

    I think it's worthwhile to take the time to do introductions the first class of the session, even if it takes a while. For me, it's a simple way to show that I care about each person/student that I meet. Still, there's nothing wrong with saying, "I'm sorry, I forgot your name... What is it again?"

    When I was working at a substitute teacher, I would take notice of the disruptive students during attendance, that way I could call them out by name later if they were out of line! Uhh... but hopefully you don't have that problem in your classes!

    ETA: I also love the name written on the mirror... that's a great idea!


  16. #16
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I do a lot of the things naya does- and I like to do intros at the first class both for names & so I can find out what other movement disciplines folks are coming from (modern dance, never exercised before, took MED 20 years ago, etc.)

    The other thing I do is take the class list home & review it on the way home & right before class.


  17. #17
    Official BHUZzer Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I like to finish all my classes with a round robin...the first 2 classes or so as someone goes into the circle, they clearly state their name. 2 birds - 1 stone!


  18. #18
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by laura 2 View Post
    Same here - I teach 3 large Beginning classes a week, and usually about 80% of the students are brand new that session. When means that every 6 weeks, I average 50 students, with about 40 of them being people I have never seen before. I just don't have that kind of retention for names.

    About 10% of my students go on to my Level 2 class after completing two six-week sessions, and by that time I have generally put a face with the name.
    I'm so glad you and Eshta are posting here. I almost didn't post because I got flamed on a thread just like this one (or at least it felt like a burn at the time) for not learning all my students names.

    I have about 50 long-term (6 months or more) students (and yes, I know ALL of their names). Literally hundreds of 'tasters' pass through my studio every year, taking one class just for fun or on a lark or because a friend dragged them in. I see over a hundred students most weeks. And invariably someone will call their second week and say 'Hi, this is Suzy from your beginner class. I'm not going to be there this week.' and I feel bad because I have NO idea who she is -- or even which beginner class she's in -- and she obviously thinks I should know her.

    I hate to sound jaded, but I've only got so much brainpower! ..c::


  19. #19
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    I'm so glad you and Eshta are posting here. I almost didn't post because I got flamed on a thread just like this one (or at least it felt like a burn at the time) for not learning all my students names.

    I have about 50 long-term (6 months or more) students (and yes, I know ALL of their names). Literally hundreds of 'tasters' pass through my studio every year, taking one class just for fun or on a lark or because a friend dragged them in. I see over a hundred students most weeks. And invariably someone will call their second week and say 'Hi, this is Suzy from your beginner class. I'm not going to be there this week.' and I feel bad because I have NO idea who she is -- or even which beginner class she's in -- and she obviously thinks I should know her.

    I hate to sound jaded, but I've only got so much brainpower! ..c::
    Lauren, you definitely came to the right place! even worse is when you get folks coming up to you- "remember me? I was in your beginning class 5 years ago." smile, nod... or the person who went to the restaurant for hubby's birthday 2 years ago & caught your show- don't you remember, we were sitting in the back by the window. sure.

    personally, I always appreciate the 'I'm in your beginners class' tag & have no qualms asking which one. the 'I emailed you about coming to class once' drives me nuts, tho.


  20. #20
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lara L View Post
    "remember me? I was in your beginning class 5 years ago." smile, nod... or the person who went to the restaurant for hubby's birthday 2 years ago & caught your show- don't you remember, we were sitting in the back by the window. sure.
    Oh, THANK you for saying this.

    Yes, in 2003 you were in that beginner class of 22 people, in the third row, near the left? But did you have a different haircut then?


    personally, I always appreciate the 'I'm in your beginners class' tag & have no qualms asking which one. the 'I emailed you about coming to class once' drives me nuts, tho.
    I actually really appreciate the beginners class tag too. It would be helpful if they'd say whether it's a yoga or a bellydance class, but we can't have everything.

    Just now I'm doing my books and one student handed my daughter cash for the next class session, paper clipped to a note with her FIRST name on it. I know who she is, and I know which class she wants (luckily!!) but I don't remember her last name. My bookkeeping program won't let me find first names, i have to go down a list of about 500 people in my 'customer cards' and find her so I can mark her as registered. sigh


  21. #21
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Lauren_'s Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    PS Before someone reads my posts and gets their feelings hurt -- we're talking about the students who come to class for ONE session, or one class, and are never heard from again.

    Those of you who come BACK earn a special place in our hearts, right behind our children, people who rescue puppies from burning buildings, and some assorted saints.


  22. #22
    Advanced BHUZzer rosehips's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    total doh! moment here, cause in both classes, I asked all of the students their backgrounds, or if they had classes before. Like I said, socially inept like that :P

    But at the same time, I do like to remember people's names or where they're from - yeap, it's hard when I'm teaching workshops of 25-80 people all across the world on a monthly basis ("hi! My name is Z, and I'm so and so on tribe, but my user pic is of J, and I came to your class in X, but I live in Y, and my hair was blue...") but if folks do show up regularly to a weekly class, I think I should know their names too :) Or try to!

    Cause OMG, if someone's been in my class for months, and I still don't know their name, then I really feel like a moron. Even if they've never told me. ;)


  23. #23
    Mega BHUZzer Lara L's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren_ View Post
    PS Before someone reads my posts and gets their feelings hurt -- we're talking about the students who come to class for ONE session, or one class, and are never heard from again.

    Those of you who come BACK earn a special place in our hearts, right behind our children, people who rescue puppies from burning buildings, and some assorted saints.
    AMEN!!!


  24. #24
    Advanced BHUZzer ANISAHDANCER's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by eshtabellydance View Post
    oh dear! I am so bad! I teach 4 classes a week and often have lots of new students. Because I have 20+ people in every class I hate to say this but I don't even bother to remember their names until they have come at least 2-3 times.
    If I saw them all regularly this wouldn't be an issue. So I'd say I know about 1/2 of their names 1/2 of the time. However here's a good idea. About every 3 months or so I have a name tag night where everyone wears a name tag in class. It allows me to remember names but also helps the students meet each other and make friends. So you kill 2 birds with one stone.
    ..l;,..l;, Then I am bad too!! I tell my student that I am bad with names, so forgive me if I don't know your name until you keep coming back! I say it half-joking, so no one is offended---but I am serious!
    I make them introduce themselves just by first name at the begining of the session, so "we're not all strangers"

    Actually, the Senior Center I teach at does it best. They have a table at the door with a sign, marker, and name tags, asking everyone to make a name
    tag as they come in so we can call them by name. Works very well!


  25. #25
    Mega BHUZzer eshtabellydance's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    It also depends on how much time you have for class. My studio is booked every hour so I've gotta get in on time and get out on time. I only have an hour. It already takes 5 minutes to set up the ipod, get everyone's attention, answer the questions that my students are burning to ask etc.. The last thing I need is an introduction session. But if you have the time that would be a wonderful way to get everyone into the community spirit. I'm a little no-nonsense in my class and have been called the drill sargent before but a lot of my students like that. I work them really hard. Even the beginners.
    So I guess you've got to do what works for you as a teacher and the students who like you will stick with you =)


  26. #26
    Viv
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I flat out suck at remembering names too. I tell my beginners at the start of every session that I am horrible at remembering names and to please keep correcting me until I get their names right. I make jokes that teaching classes is a little like having more than one child. You go to call for one and you have to go through the whole list of names until you get to the right kid ..l;,. I've noticed since I am more than willing to admit how bad I am at names and make jokes about my memory that students seem more at ease correcting me on their names. Quite a few will admit that they are just as bad at remembering names, including mine grin.

    I have noticed that since I started tracking student attendance by checking off the registered gals by name each week, making the face/name link is easier. It is still a big joke about how bad with names I am and I still quite frequently attach the wrong name to the wrong person, but it has gotten better.


  27. #27
    Advanced BHUZzer ErikaOH's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I am HORRIBLE with names!

    I have a sign-in sheet for each date of the class session as well.

    And for the first couple of classes of the session we (including me) were stick-on nametags. Not only does this help me with remembering my students' names, but it's also helpful to the other students in getting to know each other by first name and becomes more of a "one, big happy family" atmosphere when they can talk to and refer to each other by name as opposed to "that girl who stands in the back left of the studio."

    Also, if there are "drop ins" throughout the session, I will ask the class to wear a nametag for that day.

    It sounds stupid, but it really does work to help the girls get more comfortable when they know the others' names. And the more comfortable, the more likely they are to return! ..g.:


  28. #28
    A journey of ten thousand miles begins with a single post. Zumarrad's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    I used to take my own register, which helped, and was always just upfront about the fact that I am very bad with names. I'd apologetically say to people, when I struggled to find their name, that it takes me ages to remember names most of the time, but that doesn't mean I don't know exactly who they are. It's true - students quickly become "blonde lady who always comes with her friend who is kind of bubbly and works in admin at Business X and knows my parents' friends B and Z" but it can take a long long time before they become "Sharon." (Totally fictional example.)

    Name tags are actually a great idea for workshops...


  29. #29
    Advanced BHUZzer ANISAHDANCER's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Quote Originally Posted by eshtabellydance View Post
    It also depends on how much time you have for class. My studio is booked every hour so I've gotta get in on time and get out on time. I only have an hour. It already takes 5 minutes to set up the ipod, get everyone's attention, answer the questions that my students are burning to ask etc.. The last thing I need is an introduction session. But if you have the time that would be a wonderful way to get everyone into the community spirit. I'm a little no-nonsense in my class and have been called the drill sargent before but a lot of my students like that. I work them really hard. Even the beginners.
    So I guess you've got to do what works for you as a teacher and the students who like you will stick with you =)

    I like the way you think! I wish I could come to your class!

    But you've nailed it on the head----it comes down to what works best for you.


  30. #30
    Master BHUZzer wigglewhiz's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Students' Names...

    Um... I feel really bad. It took me a year to learn my student's names. Um... that's my regular students. The funsters who didn't come back I never knew their names in the first place.

    I am terrible with names. I never forget a face, but I'll almost never be able to put a name to that face! ..c::

    <hopes to join Socially Inept Club and hopes they won't mind that I'll never remember their names>


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