13 Kinds of Hand-Raisers Who Sit in Your Classroom

9:00 AM


Shy, stupid, and sensitive people know that participation points are hard to come by in the classroom -- especially when there are twenty-five people crammed into desks (and by Murphy's Law you always get stuck with the left-handed one). If you want that full 10% of participation points, you've gotta fight for dominance. Here's your competition:

1. The Monopolizer. This person thrusts into his hand into the air every other minute, every single question, every single thought. (Yeah...that's me.)

2. The Wordy Bird. This person goes on and on in one giant sentence (with five semi-colons to make it grammatically correct), and everyone + your prof just stares in confusion.

3. The Valley Girl. Like, you know, like, like? You get the point.

4. The Intellectual. When this student raises her hand, everyone wants the prof to call on her first. She usually gets the right answer in beautiful language and big words, and crushes every hope you ever once had of being smart.

5. The Teacher's Pet. If five hands are in the hair and the prof says, "Okay, last comment," he always picks this kid...even if he didn't raise his hand first. Normally you would appreciate his thoughtful comments, but you're too busy nursing jealousy to do so.

6. The Once-a-Semester Speaker. They either get it out at the beginning of the class or surprise everyone on the last day with a pretty good question. Then they say nothing ever again.

7. The Reader. These students never actually ask their own questions or give their own opinions. Out of mercy for their nonexistent participation grade, the professor calls on them to read. Which is really frustrating when the reason they don't talk is because they're bad at speaking and now you have to sit through a torturous five minutes as they stumble through Shakespearean poetry that nobody can read, anyway.

8. The Crutch. She ends every sentence, every question with "You know what I mean?" 

9. The Fearful Extrovert. She starts out confident, sees the confusion on her professor's face, notes the giggle in the back row, and begins talking faster, explaining poorer, until she's red-faced, confused, and squeaking, "Does that make sense?" (Because it doesn't.)

10. The Broken Record. He says the same thing over and over and over again, hoping that the sixth time will clarify a hopelessly mangled question.

11. The Shuffler. She says something, pauses, goes back to the beginning, pauses, draws it out -- meanwhile, everyone tries not to look at her for fear that we'll scare her away.

12. The Class Clown. He never raises his hand. He just jokes and makes the crabby people want to switch classes.

13. The Riddler. She raises her hand. She speaks. She's speaking English; for sure, she's speaking Engligh. But none of the words make any sense. "I'm sorry," the bewildered professor says. "What are you saying?"

BONUS. The Homeschooler. Wait...how do you raise a hand?

What kind of hand-raiser are you?
I'm a mix of the Fearful Extrovert, the Monopolizer, and the Broken Record. I'm also the great friend who nudges her introvert buddies into speaking. You can imagine how fun it is to be in class with me. *cough*

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2 impressions

  1. I've been The Monopolizer. I've been The Wordy Bird. A few (very few) times I've even been the Teacher's Pet. I hope that at least some of the time I've been The Intellectual, preferably without the crushing hopes part! :-)

  2. Just wanted to comment that I thought this post was so funny! It's been so long since I've been in a hand-raising classroom situation, that I'm not sure what I am. Unless you count Sunday School. Then it's the heart-pounding decision-making of "do I really want to raise my hand and comment on something I strongly believe but that is going to be controversial" type of thing.


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