I just realized why I’m having a hard time learning student names. It’s not because I have so many of them compared to last year. It’s not because I have a lot of students with similar last names. It’s not even because I keep getting things turned in over email from “lilflyone713” instead of their real name. The reason is because I don’t see their faces!
Teaching math, I always had rows of faces looking up at the whiteboard, and at me if I stood in front of the class for long enough. Now, I have banks of computers facing different directions, and the kids have monitors in front of their heads most of the time. My previous method for learning names was putting a seating chart on a clipboard and looking at it as I looked at them to associate names and faces. I backed that up with some glances at their papers on their desks to see names as I walked around. Now I don’t have either of those, and it’s a lot harder to learn names!