Say My Name, Say My Name

“Good Morning, Mrs. Bless. How are you today?” Tom says with a smile. Sometimes he is wearing his heavy coat, bright orange stocking cap, and thick mittens. Some days he is holding an umbrella with his rain slicker and boots on. Not matter what, every single day, he greets me by name and with a cheery disposition. Every. Single. Day.

This simple salutation starts my day on a positive note. If it has been a particularly hectic morning, Tom’s demeanor reminds me to take a breath and welcome this day ahead of me, to welcome the possibility that this day holds. His positive tone prods me to address our students in the same manner when they enter the building. Greeting people with a smile and a “Good morning” does matter. The simple things are important.

In addition to his perky morning salutation, Tom says my name. That simple, acknowledgement means something. It says, I know you, you matter, you are important. Names are a struggle for me. I know a lot of people say that, but it bothers me when I don’t know someone’s name. I have recently moved from the role of a classroom teacher with 25 names to learn into the role of instructional coach with over 600 names to learn. I want to be able to walk down the hall and greet students by name. I know it is important. I’ve got some strategies I’m using to try to learn every name. Is is a slow process, but a worthy one.

8 thoughts on “Say My Name, Say My Name

  1. Your story at the beginning is so beautiful in its simplicity. And then your lesson is so beautiful in its simplicity. And then your complication-600 names! Wow. Makes me think of our Somebody Wanted But So Then strategy for retelling narrative nonfiction. Mrs. Bless wanted to greet everyone by name but she needed to learn 600 students’ names. So she learned some strategies for remembering names then she began to be able to greet everyone by name!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a worthy task! I moved to a new school when I became a literacy coach. Names were hard! Now, five years later, I know most kids by name… until someone says a first and last name… I’m lost. First names only!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I second the above comment and know that my morning routine of still greeting kids in the primary hallway at the school where I am coach pays off until they leave us in sixth grade (and even beyond for the few that return). You have captured something so important here, and your title has me singing a little Destiny’s Child, too. Thanks for that!

    Liked by 1 person

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