Thursday, October 21, 2010

Classroom Stereotypes

Who were you in school? Were you the class clown? The diligent student? The brain? The one who struggled? The incessant question asker? Or just a combination of all of these?

I have taught/instructed in several different venues and several different groups. I started instructing, when people wore leg warmers and headbands, teaching aerobics, when aerobics was in the 80's! I moved into substitute teaching at our high school, a place neither student or teacher wanted to be at the time. I lead Weight Watcher meetings for 8 years or more. Most recently, I have started teaching English to non-English speaking adults. It is something I have been considering doing for a while and now wonder what took me so long!

The point today is that in every group I have instructed the same stereotypes exist. There is always the person or people who just "get it". There are the ones who have trouble "getting it". There is the person who always has to talk and ask questions, sometimes dominating the class. There are the ones who sit and never say anything. There are the entertainers, the meticulous ones who follow everything to the letter and the ones who just don't really give a flip but show up anyway. Whether it be in aerobics classes, Weight Watchers meetings, school or learn English classes, they are all present. I guess there is no getting away from our real personalities!

As far as the English class is an absolute pleasure. They are so great! I love listening to them speak and watching them figure things out. The group seems so eager to learn and unlike many high school students (sorry high school students, but I was the "substitute", I always got a bum wrap), they all want to be there and learn. I guess if I can't learn a foreign language this fall I'll just have to teach one to someone else.

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