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Any class you can think of in a school is heterogeneous in nature. It has to be! More so, with the changing times. You see, every child has the right to basic education and hence they are in school by choice or compulsion. Naturally, their attitude towards studies is coloured by their interest or lack of it.

Basically a class can be sub-divided into four groups: the intellectuals, the happy-go-lucky, the sloggers and the waywards. More often, students tend to cluster themselves into groups based on their temperament - sort of birds of a feather. The teacher naturally finds herself in a tight corner as she has to hold all the groups together, at the same time catering to their varied tastes.

The cream of the class are a lively lot, with keen eyes and sharp ears, quick to grasp, unhesitating in clarifying doubts, in a process, providing an incentive for the teacher to bring out the best in her.

The happy-go-lucky lot are a bundle `of mischief. They are usually endowed with a good dose of intelligence, but will not exert their faculties to the fullest. Otherwise, some can pose a threat even to the rank holders. This group is well-versed in the art of effective commenting not only to send the class into peals of laughter, but also the teacher into a suppressed smile.

The sloggers are the ones who try to make up with their hard work. They make sincere attempts to grasp everything. The teacher�s heart goes out to such sincere, struggling students and she tries to render special attention to them.

The way wards are the ones who have strayed their way into the school. Some come to the school with the sole aim of disturbing the class, looking innocent and the teacher pulls up an innocent fellow. Their only interest is in attracting the attention of the class by distracting them with their nonsensical interruptions.

What with the students as varied as the fishes in the sea, the teacher finds it necessary to adopt new techniques to tackle new situations. She has to run the show, by ensuring the co-operation of the students.

By Tr. Aruna Chatterjee