How do you feel when someone calls you by your name? Is it the feeling of love, care, and genuine interest or that of rejection, disdain, and repulsion? In truism, when someone addresses you with your name, the sentiments expressed in the former are experienced. However, when you are addressed with a mere title such as ‘hey boy’, ‘hello girl’, ‘Mr. Man’ and so forth, you feel that the person who addressed you is a distant person who hardly knows you and as such has an interest in your wellbeing. Indeed, instructors in educational institutions must endeavor to know the names of all the students in their tutelage. It is one of the essential ingredients that aids in oiling the wheels of the teaching and learning activities, assisting students to fully attain the expected learning outcomes. Also, being familiar and well versed in knowing the names of students is part of the classroom management skills that excellent instructors are expected to demonstrate.
Addressing a student by his/her name has an oasis of benefits. It aids in regulating and monitoring the behavioral patterns of students. This coincides with the popular maxim that says ‘As a result of propagating the ideal of goodness, God has assigned everyone a name’. This is true, in that, when a student realizes that an instructor knows him/her by name, s/he refrains from engaging in any unwarranted act with the fear of being fished out. Thus, it helps in regulating the moral and academic progress of the student in a positive way. A contrary situation would result in students being passive in class while exhibiting bad traits with the view that s/he cannot be identified.
In addition, students feel loved when instructors address them by their names. It is an indicator to them that they are also important and cherished. As such, they would want to return the affection to the instructor by striving very hard to excel in the subjects taught. On the other hand, students tend to perform poorly in the subjects handled by instructors who hardly take interest in them, thus, even caring to know their identities.
Moreover, calling the names of students when teaching and learning activity is in season, serves as a bait to keep them engrossed in the class discussions. This makes students active agents in the class, benefitting greatly from the lesson taught. Weaving them as part of the overall cloth of instruction reveals the academic potentials of even the shy and quiet student so that the instructor can carefully harness and nurture them for the student to achieve his/her optimum in their academic work.
Some instructors are overburdened with the task of familiarizing themselves with the names of their students. Yet, this is not a very painstaking activity. Instructors must first engage in student introductions of their names at the very first time of meeting them. Also, s/he must tell students to mention their names anytime they are commenting in class. Other instructors have realized that it is equally worthwhile knowing the names of students when they frequently use their leisure hours in going through the class lists and addressing students always with their names. If these strategies are put into force, within the shortest possible time, the instructor will be abreast with the names of all the students in his/her class.
Instructors must make the knowing of the names of their students a priority and it should be a great concern to them because it directly affects the teaching and learning activities in the classroom, either positively or negatively affecting the makeup of students. Thus, if you are an instructor, I am humbly asking you ‘do you know the names of your students?’
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