OK, so after putting time, effort, and energy into the task, you should know the student’s names with pretty good accuracy. Now, your next goal is to get to know them well as PEOPLE.
It makes a difference to a student when they have a teacher who truly knows them. Make a point to learn something new about the students each week. You may even notate “artist”, “soccer” or “private piano lessons” or other notes on your class list to help you remember.
Some students will be very easy to learn about…their personality makes their life an open book! They love to share (and sometimes OVER share) about themselves constantly.
Others will let their clothing do the talking. When the student’s wardrobe consists solely of hockey jerseys, it’s a pretty safe bet that you can start a conversation about hockey pretty easily and quickly find out if he/she is a player or fan or both.
The shy student who is content to fade into the background of the class presents the challenge. These are the ones to seek out and be sure to ask them about their special interests. Once they begin sharing with you, and realize that you want to know them better, and then little by little, they will come inching out of their shell.