A whole zoo at university

The churchmouse, teacher’s pet and other types of students

This term in class we’ve been observing different types of students’ behaviour. This might be of special interest to those of you who are going to become teachers. Of course, we don’t want to dissuade you from becoming a teacher, but it’s always good to be aware in advance, right?  And please don’t feel offended! The descriptions are slightly exaggerated and/or ironic. So have a laugh  – with us, at us, at yourself  – and have fun!

Word_CloudThe chatterer

Yeah, you all know them – those students who can’t keep their mouth shut for one minute. They just have to talk all the time, usually not about the topic being discussed, and in the case of a language course, not necessarily in the language in question!

The “churchmouse”

Church and university are different, of course, but a “churchmouse” is the opposite of the chatterer: a student who doesn’t say a word in class, at least not voluntarily.

Teacher’s pet

If teachers don’t have a pet at home, they may well have one in class. The so-called teacher’s pet hangs on a teacher’s lips, always does the homework and maybe even some extra reading, knows the answer to practically every question in class, and, naturally, does well in the final exam (grrr!).

The show-off

This is a student whose hobby is trying to impress fellow students, but especially the teacher, by either asking super-intelligent questions or permanently challenging the other students’ comments.

The techie

Jodel, Facebook, WhatsApp and whatever… the opportunities provided by modern technology are highly recommendable to all those students who love to distract themselves in class. Fortunately, the documents on Digicampus are still available after all, so there is yet another excuse to use technical devices in class…

The distraction seeker

How can students avoid boredom in lectures, without using any technical devices? Some are quite creative, and think of great activities, maybe taking a low-tech step back in time: writing poems, translating song lyrics, knitting or whatever else they might do to keep themselves busy while (more or less) pretending to listen to the lecturer.

Of course, the list could be continued endlessly.  Recognise yourself? Or is your type of student still missing? Maybe you can think of others. Observe your fellow students – we promise that it’ll be fun (certainly an entertaining activity for distraction seekers – maybe this was how we got the idea of writing this article in the first place)!

Authors: Anita Hauzenberger & Philipp Soballa
Picture: created with tagul.com

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