The Know-it-all can come in two breeds; the cute and enthusiastic or the ‘you are not worthy of my knowledge’ type. I guess you can tell which one is more annoying to have in your class.
Ask any question, pose any lexical conundrum to the class, and this student will shout out the answer before their classmates have had the chance to comprehend what is being asked of them. “Raise your hands, please”; the teacher tries to maintain some level of control over the Know-it-all’s outbursts, only to find that they are the only kid to sit, straining their arm above their head, fingers waggling in excited anticipation of being correct, once again.
Fellow students groan at their never ending knowledge. Teachers try their hardest to direct questions away from them. “Anyone other than [insert name of Know-it-all] like to give it a go? … No?” Their position as lead in answering questions and always being the first to finish is firmly set in place. It becomes the teacher’s objective to not only congratulate the clever child, but to keep them grounded and try to let the other students try for themselves.
Maybe they are naturally good at languages. Maybe they are extremely studious. Perhaps their parents can’t afford to put them on a higher level of academic programme. Private lessons on evenings and weekends often have a part to play.
Extra work is brought to class by the teacher, their key objective of occupy the Know-it-all put into action. A premature “Teacher, finished!” is met with yet another worksheet, each increasing in difficulty. Maybe this one will be the one to break the know it all.
The teacher lives for the day when the Know-it-all is stumped by something. Not that we like to see the students fail, but just for them to be challenged by something and for their classmates to see that the Know-it-all can sometimes get stuck too – they really are human after all.
Do you have a Know-it-all in one of your classes? How do you keep them occupied and control their ever-raising hand?
This is part of a series of ‘Some Observations of the Thai Classroom’ posts. See below for my previous entries.
Some Observations of the Thai Classroom #1 – The Buffalo Boy
Some Observations of the Thai Classroom #2 – Keen Bean
Some Observations of the Thai Classroom #3 – The Monkey Boys