I was not in my classroom some time two weeks ago, and for whatever reason, I had various kids come up to me that I had to record their names. It was a mix of kids I teach and don't teach. I don't know about you, but in those situations, I panic and for the QUIET kids in my class, those who NEVER speak or never engage me in side conversations or never disrupt class or never cause a ripple and fall through the cracks of my attention, I feel time pressured and blank and either can't remember if they look familiar because I've seen them in the halls or if I actually teach them.
I mean, sure, if they are in my class, and quietly in their seats, and in a context my mind links with their names, GREAT! I remember their names. Otherwise, it's a 50-50 shot.
So I was recording names after looking at their faces, and for the ones I didn't know who were just standing there, I said, "who are you?". Well, of course, this one student got all wide-eyed, and her friend who I also taught looked at me, and there was red egg on my face as I slowly realized who she was. I made a joke about it, "well, you are SO quiet! Your homework is now to talk to me in class."
But then I festered on this situation later. Here is what I did in my classes this past week (when I remembered). If time and lessons allowed, I walked up to the ripple-free student in my class and said, "tell me 3 Laura facts" .... or "tell me a Judy fact". That opened up a short conversation and I actually heard their voices that I would not recognize ... yet.