For many people this can be a challenge, but the good news is that there are many different tools you can employ to do it. Here are a few, along with some resources for more help if you need it:
+ For the first two or three classes, try to use names all the time. Students are forgiving if you forget in the beginning, but later on it can be insulting if you don’t remember a name.
+ Use a class list. I used to do this all the time…I’d print out a class list, then make a few notes during the course of the class to help remember who is who. Haircolor, outstanding features and anything else you can jot down will be helpful.
+ Make a conscious effort to remember names when people introduce themselves. If you are distracted, chances are it won’t sink in. Focus on the person and mentally (or even verbally) repeat the name so you solidify it in your head…
If you are just really bad with names–and some people are–you may need more help. Here are some resources to turn to:
Witt Communications has a “how to remember names” primer on their site.
BuildYourMemory.com has a really detailed piece on remembering names.
The Leaders Institute offers some good tips for recalling names.