As September approaches, it means that a new term is at hand. Whether your school is on a quarter or semester system, you inevitably have to learn quite a few new names and personalities. Memorizing names was never something that came easily to me. When I first started teaching, I was terrified that I wouldn’t remember any of my students’ names. Truthfully, it was a struggle the first time around.
As the term went on, it became easier to remember names because I had time to observed their personalities and work. The next term, I decided to plan an activity that accelerate this process. I adapted interview questions from the book Fashion Now by Susie Rushton and Terry Jones as an in-class assignment on the first day:
- What is the most important lesson you have learned?
- How have your experiences affected your work as a designer?
- What are your design signatures? (Themes/elements that continually show up in your designs)
- What is most important to you, the process or the product? Why?
- How would you describe your work?
- What inspires you?
- Is designing difficult to you? If so, what drives you to keep going?
- Who do you have in mind when you design?
- Is the idea of creative collaboration important to you?
This activity is something I use in all of my classes. Depending on the coure, I change the questions. The format stays the same. I ask questions that will expose what motivates and inspires my students.
At home, I can really take the time to read the responses. Knowing more about what motivates and inspires my students helps me not only remember names, but also gives insight onto how I should lead the classroom. This activity made a huge difference in my courses.
If you have other tricks for getting to know your students, I’d love to hear about them! Please share your ideas in the comments section.