Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Day 15


Saturday I had one of those “Cheers”  moments when I walked into a nail salon  and two of the girls yelled, “Hi Sue!” I was  taken off guard in that I’ve only been there  about 4 times and to be honest I’m not one  of those memorable customers. I am  pleasant, but when it comes to my world outside of education, I’m rather quiet and reserved.   Once I got over the shock of them knowing my name, I felt welcomed and immediately embarked on a conversation.  There is such power in knowing someone’s name.

Earlier this week, as I was assisting a colleague with interviews, one of the candidates came in and knew my name.  I continue to feel self-conscious when that happens and yet being in a system role, I am reminded that it is natural for educators to recognize me from a presentation or an event.  I try to learn as many names as possible as there is power in knowing someone’s name.

Yesterday I was reminded of the very same concept, when during our Innovation Forum; one of the short term goals to address communication concerns was to have all Board Office staff wear a name tag. We discussed the importance of being able to call somebody by their name as we pass them in the hall or connect a face that is all too often only associated with an email address.  Once again, there is power in knowing someone’s name.

As educators do we truly appreciate the power in knowing the names of the students beyond those in our classroom?  Especially those quiet ones?

My challenge for educators is to get to know the names of 5 students in your school who are not in your classroom.  If you work in a large busy environment, such as our board office, the challenge is the same ~ get to know the names of 5 new people.


I wonder what the challenges will be.   I  wonder what those “Cheers” moments will mean to others.

Come write with me….

One thought on “Where Everybody Knows Your Name

  1. I am a little behind this week and just got the opportunity to read this post. I find it pleasantly ironic that my post yesterday was on the power of a smile and a compliment and in it I talked about the power of knowing someone’s name. It often shocks some students when I know their name and their siblings name. Being able to start a not so positive conversation by using their name makes a difference….and when I have to remind a student to “Please stop running”….a name always helps. When I started at my current school I had the staff composite and staff list sent to me so I could learn the names before I arrived. Thanks for the tip from a respected colleague I spent the first month of September circulating the classrooms when the name cards were carefully placed on the students desks. Both of these things helped me with your challenge.

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