Tip 26: 3 Things You Should Know about Your Students

You should ask for these things on the first day of class.  And do not think you have them just because they are on some handout the school gave you.  Phone numbers change and people move and accounts get deleted or are unread.

Phone number

  • You might need to call them.
  • They might call you but not give a phone number.
  • They might call and you can’t understand the number.
Make sure you let them know you need a number they are likely to answer.

Email address

  • You might need to get in touch with them at an inconvenient time to call.
  • Writing gives you time to review your communication.
  • Handouts and exercises for missed assignments may need to be sent.
Make sure they give you an account which they actually check regularly.

Preferred name

Because there is not a lot more annoying than being called “Sharon” when you go by “Elizabeth” or “John” when you go by “Mike.”

I know I don’t like it and you would not either.  So make sure you ask students what they want to be called.

As an aside, I tell the story of a high school student who told the sub he wanted to be called Fred.  I knew the sub and she told me, so I called the student Fred in class until he finally admitted he had just been causing problems for the sub and agreed to not do so again.  …It took two weeks of being Fred.

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