Middle School Students and Their Various Personalities

types of students
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Middle school kids are at different places academically, emotionally, and socially, and teachers need to work with all of them. Personalities also come heavily into play, as they do with adults. You'll want to be prepared for a wide range of personalities before entering any schoolroom of students at this age.


Bullies typically pick on students who either cannot or will not defend themselves. Bullies themselves are often exceedingly insecure people who prey on weaker individuals. There are physical, verbal, and cyber bullies. Most students will not stand up for others who are being bullied for fear of repercussions, and schools and parents need to be diligent in spotting this behavior and working to prevent it in and out of the classroom.

Busy Body

These students might be full of energy and lack focus to concentrate on the task at hand. From constantly bouncing in their seats or talking all the time to moving around the classroom at inopportune times, their activity can overwhelm the classroom. Find ways to keep their attention and keep them from distracting others. Sometimes students who are busybodies are dealing with learning challenges like ADD or ADHD and may need assessments to determine if there are underlying causes for their behavior.

Class Clown

Every classroom has students who believe their job is to keep the remainder of the class entertained. These students love the attention and make getting laughs their primary goal. This action often gets these students into trouble, as their behavior can detract from the learning that needs to happen. As such, they are often referred to the office for disciplinary action.


These students often don't seem to "get it." They may not understand social cues or sarcasm or are oblivious to what is happening around them. They can sometimes be easy targets for bullies, especially verbal bullying. They might be referred to as "dumb" or “airheads.” They are typically laid back and easygoing.


Motivated students are often extremely hard workers with specific goals they are trying to achieve. They may or may not be naturally smart, but they can typically overcome any learning issue through hard work. Teachers love to have motivated students because they are eager to learn, asks questions, and do anything to reach their goals. Motivated students can sometimes be the target of the bullies, who may tease them about being "teacher's pet."

Natural Leader

Everyone looks up to natural leaders. They are typically tremendously enthusiastic, well-liked, and well-rounded individuals. They often do not even realize that other people look up to them. Natural leaders often lead by example and have the unique ability to get people to listen to them when they do speak.


Typically, nerds have above-average intelligence. They are often seen as different or quirky and are physically immature for their age. They often have unique interests compared to their peers and can be extremely fixated on those interests. This can make them targets for bullies.


These students are almost always prepared for class. They seldom forget to complete homework and bring what they need to class. Their locker or desk is exceptionally neat and orderly. They are always on time and ready to learn when class begins. They do not forget deadlines, are adept at staying on task, and are good at managing their time.

Pot Stirrer

A pot stirrer loves to create drama without being in the center of the situation. They look for little pieces of information that they can use to turn one student against another. These students are master manipulators, even changing stories to ensure drama. They understand what buttons to push, for both other students and the teacher, and they are excellent at doing just that.

Quiet as a Mouse

These students are often shy or withdrawn, or they might be introverts. They only have a few friends, and those friends are also typically quiet. They are never in trouble, but they rarely participate in classroom discussions. They avoid conflict and stay clear of all drama. It can be tough for a teacher to gauge how much these students are learning, but it's important to find a way to connect. These students can be incredibly bright and highly motivated to learn, but prefer not to be involved in drama.


These students rarely have anything unpleasant to say and can be model students. They are often on task and are typically well-liked by their peers. Respectful students usually abide by the rules, rarely cause disruptions in the classroom, and are active participants in class discussions. They are typically hard workers and leaders, and involved in activities and sports. In general, they are motivated to do more than the bare minimum and are quick to look for new opportunities for involvement and to and try new things.

Smart Aleck

These students are extremely sarcastic, argumentative, and confrontational. They question or comment on everything that anyone, including the teacher, says. They are often sharp-witted and can respond quickly to any situation. These students have a unique ability to get under a teacher’s skin and enjoy doing just that.


Socialites would talk to a wall if they thought it would talk back. They always have something to say and find it difficult to go even a few minutes without talking. They love classroom discussions and are the first to raise their hands when the teacher asks a question. There is no limit to the topic. They are experts at everything and love to hear their own voice.


Unmotivated students are often labeled as lazy, even though that might not be the case. They seem to lack the internal drive to succeed academically, or they are just there because they have to be. In some cases, they do not have the necessary parental support at home to be successful or have a learning difference that hasn't allowed them to work to their fullest potential. They often frustrate teachers because many have tremendous ability, but appear to refuse to put in the time needed to complete or turn in assignments. Sometimes these students need extra assistance or testing to rule out learning differences.


These students can frustrate a teacher. They continuously forget to take homework or important notes home. Their locker or desk is chaotic. They often turn in crumpled papers due to being crammed into a locker, backpack, or book. They are often late to class/school and are terrible at managing their time. They may still be actively engaged and do well in school, or they may struggle with their academics.