What was your name again?

I’ve always had difficulties remembering names especially when I need to remember twenty-five names. One of the first things I look at when I’m assigned a new classroom is the attendance sheet. It provides more information than you’d think. A brief look I can tell you the students in the class, boy and girl ratio, attendance and tardy information, and of course a list of student names. I tally how many names I’ll probably mispronounce when taking the morning attendance. Some names, such as Jessica, Michael, Jasmine, or Jacob, I’ll have no problem pronouncing. I have more trouble with ‘unique’ names. I sometimes wonder what parents thought when naming their child. Sometimes it’s honestly not my fault, since Anna can be pronounced two ways. Ah, but then there are parents who take a relatively common name and make a ‘creative’ spelling change. I think one of the most helpful tools that any teacher provided wasn’t even papers or materials, instead it was a name tag. Yes a simple and clear name tag on the desk, so I can read the name while teaching up front. However, even with a name tag I may not be able to pronounce the name. I’m pondering the idea of a page dedicated to unique student names.