Remember that post I wrote a while back, called What Kind of Passenger Are You? (If not, you can check it out, here.) Well, the latest round of French lessons I took in April had me noticing the various types of students out there. If you’ve been out of school for a while and are thinking of enrolling in a class or two, consider that you might wind up in a classroom full of these:
The Silent Type
This student doesn’t say a word in class. Maybe this doesn’t sound problematic, but imagine those interactive moments that soon turn awkward when the spotlight shines their way. The Silent Type remains silent – even when the instructor directly asks him/her a question. Two minutes and a completely halted discussion later, you’ll probably still be staring blankly at the student who refuses to speak.
The Dead Weight
This person has signed up for a class that is out of their league. I’m not talking about learning disabilities or attention disorders, either. I’m talking about those people who genuinely feel that they are in a class that suits their current ability or level, but are clearly not. The Dead Weight often holds other students back by struggling to understand basic instruction, requiring all of the professor’s time and attention.
I was starting to think this kind of student didn’t exist outside of high school. You know the one – the person in the class who knows everything and snickers at you when you make a mistake or ask questions they already know the answer to (which are all of them). How dare you be in the same class as them?! (Note, having a Jeer-Leader and a Dead Weight in the same class can be severely detrimental to the learning of all other students.)
This is my all-time least favorite: the person in a class who tries to correct the teacher. “But isn’t the correct verb this? And isn’t that word spelled like that?” Come on, buddy. When you’re certified to teach this subject, you can have the right to make these suggestions. In the meantime, shut it.
This student can be particularly frustrating, especially if the class is extra small or if you’re working with them as a partner. He or she often begins an exercise very enthusiastically, but within minutes says something along the lines of “oh, never mind!” and proceeds to give little to no effort toward completing the task at hand.
The Impatient Explainer
When another student is struggling (usually either the Dead Weight or the Giver-Upper), this person intervenes and tries to explain whatever is happening to the poor sap who doesn’t get it in more basic terms. I’m definitely guilty of this one, from time to time, and I know it can be annoying to others (but, dang it, I just want to keep the progress going!). Teachers don’t often find it very amusing, either.
There you have it: my list of student types. What am I missing? And remember, you might be one of these, too. But which one? 😉