Years ago, a friend and I talked about what our classes would look like if each kid was a different kind of animal. We had so much fun deciding who was the giraffe, who was the bear, and who was the koala. I still remember the koala, even if I don’t remember his name.
Another teacher and I spent a lunch period recasting sitcoms with our students. We also talk about which students would be fun on a road trip, which students be cool at a theme park or a museum, and who would have the best gossip at brunch.
This isn’t the most important thing in the world, but it’s fun to play games where you identify traits about your students. I think the better that you know them, the more you connect with them, the better they’re going to remember the important things that you teach in class.