If you walk into a college dorm and ask if anyone has a copy of the movie “Friday”, chances are that at least someone has one bootleg copy of the craziness. The movie was essentially about two characters–Craig and Smokey–and all of the antics that they encounter on a Friday in their community. One of the things that made the movie a cult hit is the cast of characters in which they encounter throughout the adventure; One of the most memorable of those being the iconic Deebo.
Who could watch that movie and forget that guy?!? As impossible as it seems to actually meet a “Deebo”, students deal with them all of the time. I call them “Classroom Deebo’s”. They are academic bullies, and they can make life an absolute pain.
As a teacher, I can usually recognize them the first day that we have a group activity. They claim that they are establishing leadership and guidance, but they are really more like bossy and demanding. All activities within the group are dictated by their emotional approval, and members of the group (who are bold enough to do it) splinter off from the team to work solo or in pairs.
What’s really scary about Deebo Students is that their size does NOT matter…unlike Deebo from the movie “Friday”. It is their attitude of intimidation that elects them this title. What is spooky about them to me, is that they really feel that what they are doing is necessary whether it be for their own personal well-being or the well-being of the group.
Avoiding these students is simple–treat them like an illegal drug and ‘just say no’. But here are some ways to avoid BECOMING a Deebo Student:
(a) Avoid the urge to become the unrequested and unauthorized teacher’s second in command.
(b) If you are a strong leader, learn to facilitate the conversation–do not control it.
(c) Avoid “purposely” surrounding yourself with students who know very little on the subject that you are very informed in.
(d) Surround yourself with students who are high academic achievers.
(e) Volunteer your time as a tutor at the YMCA, United Way, or Student Support Services with your school.
I have even had to fight the urge to become a Deebo Student because of option (b). It can be difficult to know so much more than those who are part of your group. However, a true leader submits his/her gift to elevate those around them. Give it a shot.
Oh, and for those of you who have watched the movie “Friday”, then you will all recognize someone who has been abused by a Deebo Student by the fact that they seem to sound or act like this: “When he (Deebo) come around, I be quiet. But when he gone, I be talking again!”