Today was my first day at my new school. Wow!
I had forgotten how overwhelming it is to be the newbie. I have already forgotten all the names of the people I met today, but I have a plan to help me remember names in the next week. I’ve done it before and it work! Here is my 3 step plan:
1. Floor sweeping
Take some time in the next few days to get to know every classroom teacher on your floor.
Make a mental (or actual) floor map and write down the name of the person.
Ask one question (same question to every teacher) but don’t build on that conversation. Just keep their answer as a piece of information to remember if that person.
- Did you travel tantos summer? Where to?
- How long have you been teaching?
- Do you have any pets?
The key to this is to remember every classroom teacher on your floor and have something that will remind you of them.
2. Meet the people behind the scenes
Once you have met everyone on your floor, meet anyone that works in the main office, building maintenance, ESOL, specials, and special educators.
Similar to the one above, ask a question and do not engage in a lengthy conversation. It might be helpful to write down their name and position. Any time you see them walking down the hall, say hello and along with their name.
“Hello Ms. Summer!”
I usually go in and out of the office at least 3-4 times in the day just to practice saying their name while checking mailbox or to ask a question (even though I could ask my next door fellow teacher). Repetition is key!
3. Expand your horizon
Once you are comfortable knowing the names of the people on your floor, and the people who help run the school behind the scenes, move on to meet other grade levels, paraeducators, and anyone else that doesn’t work directly with you.
Getting to know everyone is important, not just for respect but also to build a positive community.
These steps have worked for me before, but if all else fails, don’t feel stupid or embarrassed to ask for someone’s name. After all you are the newbie 😉