Jamie Goodwin

15 Tips to Remember Your Students’ Names

15 Tips to Remember Your Students’ Names
How will you remember your students’ names? Try any of these 15 ways to help you memorize them quickly.

Tips for Remembering Students’ Names

  1. Have students sit in alphabetical order by their first name. Doing this helps you match the face to the name.
  2. Greet students at the door. Don’t let them enter the room until you’ve recalled their name. (You can ask for help if you need it.)
  3. Make name tags for each student to wear for the first few days of class.
  4. Take pictures of each of your students. Create flashcards with the pictures, so you can test yourself. If you get to meet students before the first day of class, this is a great way to help you memorize names before class even starts.
  5. Utilize mnemonic devices, such as Curly-haired Curtis, Freckled Francis, Lovely Lakshmi.
  6. Think about other people that the students remind you of or have the same name as your students. These people associations can help you recall the names.
  7. Play name games with your students on the first day. For example, have students try to name everyone in the class. Or, you could have one student say something like “Jumping Jack.” Then, the next student must repeat this and make up something about themselves, such as “Dandy Danika.” Have students continue to repeat everyone else’s statements until everyone has had a chance.
  8. Have students pair up and introduce each other to the rest of the class. You could supply them with a list of questions to ask each other, or let them come up with questions on their own.
  9. Divide the class into several smaller groups. Work on memorizing the names of each group member. It’s easier for the brain to group names together for memorization.
  10. Use each student’s name as often as possible. From greeting them at the door to calling on them in class, always address them by name. If you can’t remember a name, ask until you don’t need to ask anymore.
  11. When taking attendance, call out each name. Instead of having students say “here,” have them repeat their name back to you.
  12. Rather than asking a student to return assignments, hand them out yourself. To do this, you need to remember who each student is and where they sit.
  13. Whenever students are working, walk around and test yourself. If you can’t remember a name, look for a clue on the students’ backpacks or name cards on their desks.
  14. Memorize the students’ names before class begins. Then, you can start putting faces to names.
  15. Create an assignment about the students’ names. Have them explain how they got their name. If they don’t know, they can make up a story to share with the class.

What ways have you used to remember students’ names? Share your tips in the comments below.


  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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