Friday, March 24, 2017

The Different Types of Students

Having been a teacher for over 15 years, I can still have some challenges with students and  while there are days that I could only scream for help or cry for helplessness, most of the time, I am happier with them.

But, for young teachers, facing various students with extreme personalities or annoying personalities can be quite a frustration. So, how do we actually face them? I am no expert in this field, but, I can only share my observations and what seems to work for me.

1. The Clown. These are students who  can either spark your class or disrupt it totally. It can be quite a relief in some days, but, if the behavior is beyond acceptable or gets your class to nowhere, then, make the clown stop.

2. The Brainy. Who doesn't love the smart kids in class? They seem to affirm that you are a good teacher knowing that they can pick up your teachings right away, but, they can be quite a challenge too especially if they are more knowledgeable than their teacher. So, be humble but be proactive too! Welcome their new insights, learning need not to come solely from teachers.

photo source: Bina Bangsa School,

 3. The Passive. These are students who come to class whether for attendance reasons only or for some unknown reasons. They fill most of the space of in your classroom. They hardly talk inside the classroom and would respond / act automatically to whatever you say (again without even any objection or affirmation).   You may reach out to them, but they seem to be in different timezone and space.

4. The Chatty. These students share your airtime with them talking non-stop to their seatmates. And,  when you call their attention, they seem to show that surprise ( or nuisance for disrupting them). Different teachers do have their ways of timeouts for these kind of kids and the techniques may vary from child to child. You can only wish that the good old days of corporal punishment can be put to good use again!

5. The Sleeper. With a very comfortable classroom and unholy hour, you can see one or more students dozing off. I guess if  the subject requires more lecturing than active learning, then, sleepers can be more than usual. So, prepare works for them to make them  up and alert.

6. The Artist. If you see students who seem to scribble in loops or otherwise at regular patterns, I have to tell you, these are the students who are just exercising their skills in creating a caricature of everything including their teacher or peers. Just watch out for alarming drawings and vandals though, cheat codes are normally placed on their arm desks or tables. Indeed, they are so creative! :)

7. The Seeker. They are labeled as teacher's pet, but these are just students who love to call their teacher's attention, oftentimes, after school, these students talk to you for about anything. I personally like it because students get to trust their teachers but sometimes the attachment can be annoying and / or alarming especially if students expect special pass for misbehaving or performing poorly.   So, consistently define the limits of attachment, it has to be clear most especially among the teachers their  duties and responsibilities.

If you are lucky, you may get a full house of these different kinds of students, but, just the same, have fun learning and teaching. Know that you are there to inspire them to be greater people than what they seem to think of themselves.