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Category: names of schoolchildren

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We’ve often wondered how teachers respond to the new menu of student names on their class lists each year.  Guest blogger Emily Gough, an experienced educator, tells the story from her point of view.

At the start of every school year, I am organizing notes, planning lessons, hanging up posters, and of course looking over the new class lists.  Each year brings 100+ new students, and of course new names.  I am always eagerly checking to see if my class lists are available yet as the countdown to school starts.  For one thing, I like to know what the class sizes are, but mostly it’s the names I’m interested in. 

If I see any that I am at a total loss with pronunciation-wise, I do some research to try to prevent myself from butchering a kid’s name on the first day.  I wonder over familiar last names, and whether this new student is a younger sibling, and if so will they be very similar or complete opposites?  I prepare myself for trying to keep Kylee, Kylie, and Kyley apart in one class and I wonder if Devin and Dakota are boys or girls. 

And the longer I teach, the more I get an impression of what each student might be like based upon previous students with the same name.  I think every teacher can give you examples- for me, a male Jesse is going to be a handful and Lily will be a quiet, shy introvert.  I even will differentiate my assumptions based upon spelling; I would predict John to be studious and Jon a jokester.

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