I was not a model student. In fact, I was a huge pain in the classroom. I was disruptive, annoyed by any teacher that asked me to work, and talked incessantly. Man, I had a good time. The teachers, not so much. However, they DO remember me when I come to visit. Because I am like a really loud, annoying boomerang that keeps returning.
Every classroom in the country is made up of individuals with different dreams, ambitions and goals. Each of my students is a unique person, but there are some similar traits that you see repeated. These similarities string their way through nearly every classroom in America.
- The Brown Noser: They’re not fooling anyone. And, in fact, I’m kind of annoyed by the obvious brown noser. Frequently, I’m insulted because they are trying to manipulate me, and I’M NOT ABOUT THAT LIFE.
Probable quotes: “Can I turn the paper in using a leather portfolio?”
You COULD, but that’s not going to help your grade. And I swear to God, if your sucking up is infectious and I end up with 30 pounds of leather portfolios to lug around, SO HELP ME.
- The Type-A: This kid stresses me out. Because I will, inevitably, lose their, and only their paper, and they’re the only kid that would notice. Ugh. Calm down, kid.
Probable quotes: “Did you grade my paper yet?”
Nope. I am 50 percent sure it’s under my couch…where I fell asleep grading. That, or under the seat in my car.
- The Heart throb– Heart throb is so busy taking brooding selfies in class that they hardly know what is going on half the time. Thank God they’re pretty, because otherwise they’d have some real trouble with making friends.
Probable quote: “Mrs. N, will you follow me on Instagram?”
Nope. No I will not. I see enough of your face as it is, darling.
- The Heart-broken: Heart broken shatters your soul. This is the kid with true tragedy and neglect in their life, and they have this horrible hurt in their eyes. These are the kids that break your heart and remind you exactly why you came to work that day. These kids come in before school and stay after just to be around an adult that looks at them and says, “YOU MATTER. I believe in you.” Likely, you’re the only one that does.
Probable quote: “Can I stay after?”
Yes, yes you can. I’ll be here. Also, here’s a puppy.
- The “Oh, honey”: This student says some magnificently stupid things. It’s not that this student is stupid, they just say things before they think.
Probable (and actual) quote: “Wait, Georgia is in Illinois, right?”
Oh, honey. Sure it is.
- The Athlete
Unlike the media portrayal of athletes, some of my athletes were some of the most motivated. You know why? Because the second that I find out someone is on a team, I give a little ringaling to the coach, and we form a relationship. There’s an understanding.
Probable quote: “I can’t turn in this homework that’s due tomorrow.”
Oh, you won’t turn that in because you have practice? Let me just see if your coach and I can figure something out…
- The Lazy Genius
This has to be one of the most frustrating students to teach. This kid should not really even be in my class, because I teach standard. This could SHOULD be in AP, but decided not to take it. I have to do triple back handsprings to get this kid engaged, because they are SO far above the rest of the class. Challenging them is the hardest part of my job, and they are not only unengaged, but they also don’t want to do the things. None of the things. I have the things, and they say no thanks. Untapped potential is infuriating for a teacher.
Probable quote: “If I get all As on my tests, how many essays do I have to turn in to still pass?”
- The Great Debater
The Great Debater argues about every single thing. Google searches are their best friend.
Probable quote: “Um, excuse me, I looked up the Anglo-Saxon era. It’s actually widely believed that most of their weapons were made of wood. Not metal. Cause that’s what you said yesterday. When you were wrong.”
- The Comic Relief
This kid is my favorite. Ok, not necessarily, but most of the time, I rely pretty heavily on this student to help break up the monotony of the day. I know a lot of teachers are annoyed by these disruptions, but if you can enjoy them for what they are (usually, a break we ALL need) then it ends up helping, rather than hurting the classroom environment.
Probable quote:”If an illegal alien and a child molester got into a fight, would it be alien verses predator?”
Even if I’m annoyed now and then by some of the students, no student is completely one or another on this list. Usually, they are a little bit of each, and it even changes over the year as they get comfortable. As I get close to starting the new school year, I’m super excited to see who will be staring up at me.
Did I forget someone that you see in your classroom? Sound off in the comments!