"I think Chinese characters look very special."
It's quite common. But if your teacher says 你是很特別的學生! they probably don't mean it as a compliment.
It's not common. I've also never heard ＂很特别＂at the end of a sentence. "特别的＂is common, not ＂很特别＂ meaning "special."
Hmm… “…很特别。” just sounds natural to me, however common it is. It means “… is/looks (very) special.”.
That "te" (特) sounds a lot like "ke," but apparently that's the way it is, and I am not the only one to hear it that way. https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/9665-pronunciation-of-te4bie2-特-别/
Here are excerpts from newspapers and magazines: http://bcc.blcu.edu.cn/zh/search/2/%E5%BE%88%E7%89%B9%E5%88%AB