(Not for the politically correct)
I have now attended classes in various parts of the world at different levels and for different subjects, and I am pretty sure that these classroom clichés turn up in every single classroom around the world….
1-The cocky dumb guy: There is always a guy (usually tall and cute, but not as cute as he thinks) who doesn’t have a clue what the class is about, who can never answer any of the questions, and who obviously would like to be somewhere else bouncing a ball or fiddling with an iPod or whatever it is these guys like doing. He thinks he can get away by grinning and flashing his teeth at the teacher… and unfortunately he may be right, sometimes.
2-The shy girl: The girl, who may or may not be pretty or smart- noone can tell because of the thick cloud of shyness which envelopes her. In fact, the only time she is noticed when she is called upon to answer a question or has to a do presentation, when she flickers into sight. Then it is pure agony, as the class waits for her to struggle to speak. The words are wrung from her lips one by one, each one hurting. Please. Let us just accept that some people are shy, and stop making them speak in public.
3-The know-it-all. This one can be of either gender, and sometimes there is one of each, in which case they will most likely marry after the term is over. It hardly requires further elaboration: yes, we are speaking of the infuriating person who knows the answer to every question, who has his or her hand up waving urgently in the air before the question is out of the teacher’s mouth, who has all their assignments done, on time, and who doesn’t complain loudly whenever the teacher announces a little, unexpected quiz.
4-The teacher’s pet. Usually (but not always) of opposite gender to the teacher, this creature is not noticeably smart, good-looking, or anything. However, the teacher’s eyes always shine with love-light whenever they rest on this particular person, and there is always a secretive half-smile on the teacher’s lips whenever she or he talks to their pet, as if they shared a night of passion the previous night. The teacher thinks that noone notices his or her behaviour, of course everyone does, and everyone jokes about it.