The Overly Enthusiastic One
He sat at the very front of the class always looking grave and serious. He raised his hands for every question I asked. Problem was he didn’t know the answer to most of the questions. When he got a question wrong, he sagged his head and hunched. His facial expression was a cross between a lost puppy and an old man who had lost everyone he loved. It was too funny. I picked him mostly for hard questions.
The Rebellious One
He gave me a really hard time in my first class. He wouldn’t listen to anything I have been saying and kept throwing bits of paper at his classmates. I told him stop. He wouldn’t. I told his to stand outside the class. He wouldn’t budge. At that point I knew that if I wanted any kind of control over the class, it was a fight I had to win. In the end I had to physically drag him out the door by his arms while he kicked and screamed sitting on the floor. Once he was outside, I slammed the door on him. Next class, he apologised and presented me with two origami stars. We were both relieved that it was over. I really ended up liking this one. He was quick, intelligent, and funny. After the big blow out, he was a great student. He still challenged me once in a while and sometimes I would let him get away with it because I didn’t want to crush his spirit. The world would be such a boring place if everyone was docile.
The Dirty Girl
Most of the kids at my school look very well taken care of even if they were poor. This girl looked the opposite. Her uniform was always covered with dirt and her hair always looked lanky and unwashed. While sitting in class, she would always have a finger up her nose, twisting it languidly. Once she collected enough material, she rolled it into a little ball with her thumb and index finger and sent it flying in the air. The worst part was, she kept on wanting to touch me. She would reach out her dirty little hands for a high-five whenever I walked to her corner of the class. I knew she just wanted affection. I wish I could have been more of a grown up about it but I was too busy dodging her booger hands.
The Class Clown
He was always getting into trouble. He actually liked being sent to the back of the class so he could make faces and make the other kids laugh. His constant attention seeking exhausted me. Little dude, why do you have to try so hard? He’ll probably grow up to become a Karma Whore on Reddit. He’d be good at that.
The Know It All
Out of all my students, she probably knew the most English. She knew the answer to every question and always raised her hand high in the air and shouted “Teacher, pick me! Let me try”. If I didn’t pick her she would get this desperate look as if she was about to pee herself. Since my biggest fear while teaching was that one of my students would piss or shit their pants, I called on her a lot. In case she actually wanted permission to go to the bathroom.
When I taught them the song ‘The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round’, she kept on telling me that I got the words wrong. “Sweetie, it doesn’t matter if bus goes ‘bumpdy bump’ or ‘clickdy clack’ first. It’s the same song. Just go with it. Mmmkay?”. She kept on singing the version she learned. “Whatever. As long as she doesn’t pee herself.” I thought.
The One Who was in Love with Me
After a couple of weeks at the school I realised that I saw this Six Grader way too frequently. At least once in the morning, once during recess and two to three times during lunch. When I turn a corner there he would be. He would stand tall, raise his hand, gave me a small wave and said “Hello Teacher!” He always said the same thing. Always the same wave. I found it utterly amusing and I would always laugh a little when I saw him. I think he took it as a sign that I liked him back because near the end of the school year I found him lurking near my apartment building. Not sure if cute or creepy.
The Devil Child
I should have known that there was something seriously wrong because as soon as I arrived, the home room teacher shot out without saying a word to me. She was the smallest girl in grade one. She had a baby doll face with beautiful round eyes. She was an angel, until she didn’t get her way. When she was displeased her eyes would fill with malice. She would ball her hands into little fists of fury, scream and run around the class like a deranged Velociraptor. She punched me with her steely little fists more than once. The beating I could take. But that scream! That horrid high-pitch scream that made all me feel like all my brain cells would burst. Her class learned nothing and watched a lot of Tom and Jerry. I was at the mercy of the Devil Child. I did her bidding.