My Unique Student #1

Being a teacher is fun, not only I can teach students, I also can observe their behaviors. For these past 10 years I’ve been teaching, I’ve collected plenty of students from various ages and backgrounds, from children to adults, and from low, middle to high class families. Some of them are mischievous, some are calm and reserved, some are just unique. So, let me tell you my special ones.

*Disclaimer: This is just a personal opinion and because the objects are mostly kids (under 21 years old), I don’t post any of their pictures. I never took any, either.

So here we start…

Meet A, an 18-year-old boy, a Chinese-Sundanese born. His name is a unique Chinese-Western combination and the first time I met him I thought he was not a moslem, but he actually is.

He has an average body, around 165-ish cms, quite skinny. Those slanted eyes make him look like a real Chinese boy and his wavy hair somehow creates a childish look on his face. He said that he spent his high school in a boarding school and it appears to have made him a little spoiled.

His English is advance, his vocabulary is huge, his speaking skill is a proficient one. His behavior, on the other hands, is special.

He is in an intermediate class with eight other students to work with. Every time I come to the class, I check the attendance first and call out my students’ names one by one. This is a personal approach to get to know what they have done or experienced that day. Most of my students would just response in a simple answer, such as “I’m fine, miss”, or “My day was just so-so”, or “boring”. This kid is different story. Every time I call out his friend’s name, he would always come up with an idea and talk, like interrupting my conversation with other students. It’s like he wants me to focus on him by telling me his whole story, even not the important one.

It always happens every time, yes every time. Sometimes I want to avoid this kid because I don’t need a thoughtless chit-chat, or simply because I don’t like his big mouth and prefer to say “silent, please”.

This is not the end of the story. I realized that he is a talkative one, and his friends loathe it, I hate it as well, but he is more than just a talker, he is also a doer, a silly doer.

One night, when the class was having a test, while everyone was doing the test and focusing and looking at their paper, and needing silence, he came to me and showed me his paper. He said, “I’m finished, Miss”, “What should I do?” he asked.

“Let your friends finish their test and please sit down”, I said politely.

He sat down and looked restless, like feeling uneasy to not doing anything.

Then he stood up, stretched his body and did some movements, Taekwondo movements.

My mouth was half open and felt embarrassed of what he was doing.

“What are you doing?, I asked.

“Nothing, Miss, I am feeling bored, so I am doing my Taekwondo then”, he replied.

I asked him to sit down and told him that he might have disrupted his friends, and most importantly, I told him that the class was being watched by CCTV and my big B could watch it later. I also saw my other students grinned and funnily looked at him. He finally sat down and waited the rest to finish.

Another night, we were playing a game, a family game it’s called. I gave my students some family cards and gave them the instructions of how to play it. They seemed understand and we began to play. When it came to his turn, he felt confused and one of my male student told him the instructions with loud and stern voice, then he frowned and looked sad.

“I don’t understand the game”, he said. “It’s my first time playing this game”, he added.

I tried to calm him down and sat next to him and instructed him how to play it.

And he kept playing.

This kid once told me that he takes part in a German course as well and has always emphasized himself that he is bullied by his friends. He keeps saying that he doesn’t have any friends and he feels comfortable being at this English course because he can find friends he is looking for. Even tho I know that his friends do not actually like him, I told my other students to be careful to act since I know this kid is sensitive and needs attention.

I and my other students would have just waited to his presumptuous performance which sometimes it had made us smile broadly though.

Well, the class ended last Friday and the teacher shifted.

I know I am not a psycho-analyst and teachers are not supposed to perceive students whether they are weird or special. But, being a teacher has also widen my horizon about understanding children, not only to know that they are good at the target language, but also comprehend the ways to approach them regardless of who they are, or what they are like.

More story will come.

To be continued to my other unique student #2.

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