Friday, August 8, 2014

The Ten Students You Have in Your Class

In my last post, I shared the nine teachers you meet at school. Today, let's consider the students. I enlisted my son and our Lego collection to help me think up the ten students you likely have in your class...

Does this look like your class?

I was amazed as I talked with my son about his insights into human nature as it manifests in the classroom. Here is what we came up with:

Some kids are always looking to help out! This is the kid who sacrifices for others, looks for ways to serve, and goes the extra mile. Always ready to provide triage for physical, social, or emotional trauma among peers. You know, the one you highlight on the seating chart for a substitute teacher.
The Basket Case
Always looking to borrow a pencil from a classmate, can't find his/her book, laptop is not charged, locker or desk is overflowing. "I'm sure that assignment you're missing was already turned in...or it's in my locker...or my backpack...or maybe I left it on the floor someplace? Let me check the trashcan a minute."
The Space Cadet
You know that kid who just always seems to...oooo...shiny!
Jar Jar Binks
Always a clown, but perhaps not always on purpose. Usually means well. Doesn't always fit in. More of a tolerable side-kick type to his/her peers...but only to a point. That voice just gets to you after a while...
The grade-grubber who quibbles with you over why he/she got a 98% instead of 100%, or is devastated to get a B+, or is always asking for extra credit. "My Preeeeecccioooousssssssss...."
Darth Maul
Anarchy personified. Brutal to his/her classmates. An aura of destruction (physical, social, emotional) surrounds him/her. Kids fear him/her. Some teachers do too.
The Rockstar
The kid who is automatically cool no matter what. Classmates worship the ground he/she walks on. Trendsetter. Can be an amazing role model, or an utter train wreck.
Boba Fett
Cooly calculating. Has the capability to wade in to any situation and complete the mission successfuly, but hangs back until he/she knows what's in it for him/her. Doesn't work well as part of a team, this one is best on his/her own. Methodical. Efficient. May seem like a mercenary but there is a unique moral compass driving this one.
Future Business Executive of America
You know this kid is going places, and is in a big hurry to get there. Big dreams, and ambitious enough to make things happen. Full of potential, but doesn't always have the patience to help his/her peers along the path.
The Ghost
You know that kid who is on your class list but is absent so much you aren't sure if they really exist? Yep.

Does this sound like your class? I think I've had all of these students.

The key? How are you going to connect with each of these kids? How are you going to serve them, to love them, to help them learn, and grow, and develop for the time you have each in your class? How will you make your subject, your class "for them?"

How will you make a difference in the lives of your students?


* With deep thanks to my new Twitterfriend, Greta Riffle, for the suggestion of using Legos to consider the students.


  1. The thing I'm most proud of in this post? My son totally came up with the Basket Case, Darth Maul, and the Ghost on his own, and he was the one to suggest Jar Jar for the clown and the Rock Star as the "cool kid."

  2. Love that you and your son worked on this together. Using Legos was pure fun and genius. I am sure that you created a lifelong memory for your son as well as a great post for reflection. Thank you.