Names, Names, Names

No. I’m not that good at remembering names, especially as I see hundreds of different students in three different schools. So I devised a way to make myself a unique substitute and cover my faulty memory with names. I call all students by the same name…”Chicken.” It certainly gets everyone’s attention, especially at the high school level. Now to change it up a bit, I include “Angelface” and “Sunshine.” Believe it or not, they like it because it’s different. They even call me “Chicken.” I’ll be walking in the hallway, or students will come into the classroom and say, “Hi, Chicken;” to which I respond, “Hi, Angelface.” I can always tell who had me as a substitute before by this friendly banter.

There is quite a mixture of students in most classrooms, excepting the honors and AP classes in the high school. The types of student personalities I usually deal with are the good, the difficult, the indifferent to education, and the ones requiring special assistance. I try to even the classroom setting by calling everyone by the same name, as if to say, to me, you are all equal and I will assist you all in your endeavors today, if you’ll permit me to. Is it easy? Absolutely not. Some students won’t allow me to assist. They are simply too obstinate, and I usually find that even the regular teacher has difficulty in reaching them. But this doesn’t make my particular day any easier. I need to focus and help those who wish and require my assistance.

However, sometimes, by calling everyone “Chicken,” the tough guy can be cajoled into doing the assignment for that particular day. I try to keep the classroom and therefore the assignments light to keep the students moving forward in their work. And I collect all seatwork in the upper grades, say seventh grade and up, so that the students actually do something. I walk around constantly and ask questions and point out important facts needed in each assignment. I help students put into words what is dancing in their heads for essays, break down complicated questions or math problems into smaller parts so that the student is able to answer or perform the math little by little to gain that forward motion in education.

5 thoughts on “Names, Names, Names”

  1. It is amazing how difficult it is to remember someone's name, especially if you have a whole bunch of "someones" in each class and they all look alike to you. Calling everyone by the same name gives me one less thing to worry about so that I can concentrate on helping them instead.

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