Saturday, 6 February 2016

The importance of names

There is a question some researchers ask young people to begin to establish if they are more likely to engage in antisocial behaviour, it is a simple question and by no means definitive but it is indicative. The question is: does anyone at your school know your name? Sounds simple huh? It is suggested that if an individual believes (and it is believing that is important here) that no-one knows their name, or knows them, then they are more likely to engage in antisocial behaviours as there is no need for them to follow the norms of the group. As a school teacher I know that often we all know the names of the students who are more antisocial but, as I stated above, the important thing is what they believe.

Today I was supervising an inflatable slide for our local A&P Show and I know several of the children as they were locals but there were many who I didn't know. As they lined up I asked each of them their names and introduced myself then would use their names when they were climbing, sliding down or lining up again. One child, Ciara, noticed this and said with some admiration ' wow, you are really good at remembering people's names'. I responded that using people's names is something I have practiced over the years and thanked her for noticing.

What I noticed today was that the behaviour of the young people that were coming along was really polite and respectful, to me and each other... it was actually a pleasure doing this job and to be honest I hadn't expected that. In part I think learning people's names helped. To be noticed and known is important for so many of us and perhaps using people's names is a start. 

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