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4 Types of Students ALL Teachers Meet and How To Handle Them
Over the years, I have noticed an increasing tendency for students to walk through my door and carry with them personality traits very similar to those who came before them.
There are many types of students that we see each year. The advantage of seeing different “types” of students is that we know how to handle them before they even walk into the classroom.
Today we will talk about how to handle four “types” of students in particular.
Four Types of Students and How To Handle Them
1. The Drama Queen
This student requires a lot of attention and is often seeking it no matter what. Everything is a big deal and they tend to be into everyone else’s business. They are loud and often disrupt class with their outbursts. Once you get to know them though, you often find that they just want to feel cared for and loved. In many cases they are seeking attention they do not normally get outside of school. Remember that the “Drama Queen” can be either a guy or a girl in your class and will be easy to spot.
How To Handle The “Drama Queen”
- Let them know that they matter, that they are important, and find ways to demonstrate this to them.
- Give them an important role in your classroom that they can take pride in. Set guidelines for that role. Be firm and clear that this role can be taken away if rules are broken or if gloating occurs.
- Provide positive attention and praise them for doing things well both privately and publicly. All while keeping them accountable to your discipline standards within the class. Do not “let them slide” simply because it is easier and less of a headache to do so.
2. The Escape Artist
This student is often found in the hallways roaming aimlessly. They never seem to be paying attention and they always want to leave the room. Once you watch them for a while you will begin to realize that there are certain things or topics that keep them in the room and focused. They are students that want to learn, yet their attention may be elsewhere, so they need a little extra push from time to time.
How To Handle The “Escape Artist”
- Find out what really interests them and do your best to differentiate. Give students choice when creating assignments and always include one choice that centers around this student’s interest.
- Sometimes they are bored or daydreaming because the work is either too easy or too difficult for them. Take the time to talk to them and meet them where they are in the learning process. This way you can set them up for success in the class.
- Create a schedule for leaving the room that includes rules and guidelines. Keep firm on holding to the schedule and following through with the rules created.
3. The Smooth Criminal
This is the student who is charming and sweet almost everyday. It seems as if nothing bothers them and that everyday is the best day ever. They are always happy, always polite, and constantly cute. They tend to be popular amongst their peers as well. However, they never hand in assignments, they rarely complete classwork, and very seldom do they participate in anything learning related. It is as if they think they can charm their way out of anything and often are surprised that their grades are so poor. When you look deeper you will find that they really do want to do well and may just need a little discipline or guidance in their life.
How To Handle The “Smooth Criminal”
- Set a firm boundaries and expectations right away with this student. Follow through with consequences early and often when things are not complete. It is easier to start off tough and “ease the reigns” as the year progresses.
- Find out their specific learning interests or things they like in general. Give them opportunities to implement these interests into their experience. This will motivate them by giving them control over their learning.
- Put them in a leadership role when working in pairs or in group settings. They often do not want to let their peers down and many times their “charm” just doesn’t work the same with classmates.
4. The Overachiever
This student is a teacher’s dream come true in many cases. They love to learn and they seem to always be curious. They challenge teachers because they just fly through the work given and just want to do more. When an assignment is given they go above and beyond what is expected and tend to provide the sample work we use to demonstrate a job well done. One thing you may notice however, when you look closer, is that they often obsess over being perfect or getting the “A+” every time. In their minds, a “B+” is a failure. Although they are outstanding students we still have to be handle them with care.
How To Handle The “Overachiever”
- Encourage them to learn, learn, learn! Many times we tell these students to slow down and wait to complete things until everyone else is done. Make sure to never squelch their enthusiasm.
- Create things that will enhance their learning on the topic at hand. Since we know they will finish early, provide for them an “extension” project that they can complete and share with the class when finished. This will benefit both the class and the students by furthering knowledge on a topic.
- Emphasize the importance of learning without the expectation of an end. Grades often provide an “end” to the learning for these students, and the “A+” serves as the ceiling in which they can go no higher. Don’t offer them extra credit or “grades” at all for extra work. Teach them the importance and power of knowledge without end.
There are so many different types of students that teachers meet. We will touch on FOUR more in our next post! Make sure to come check it out.
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