Hypothesizing Students Types Through Observation

Student number 1:

I hypothesize that a student who I often became frustrated with in their behavior during lectures is an ESTJ.  I find this interesting because this is the same type that I am.  Every day that students come to class they are expected to get their notebooks, a pencil & sit at the drafting tables.  If it is a journal day they must answer the journal question quietly to allow all students equal opportunity for concentration and then I either give a lecture on a specific topic or give a few simple directions for the day’s lab activity & then dismiss them to the lab to work on their projects. 

This student is clearly an Extravert because he always called out and interrupted.  He often got out of his seat to sharpen his pencil in the middle of directions or a lecture, and he was very loud.  I am pretty confident that my predictions on his other types are accurate as well.  The majority of my class is hands-on learning, problem solving, and teamwork activities. 

This student fits into the Sensing type well because he always interrupted during directions or demonstrations with questions I was about to explain if he had waited.  He excelled in the manufacturing project which is a hands-on activity involving wood working.  It was accurately measured, assembled according to specifications, and he took his time applying a finish.  I did notice that he struggled with reading & writing assignments, and when I allowed him to work with others he did much better because he could share his ideas. 

I believe that this student fits into the Thinking type.  During class I was doing a doing an assembly demonstration for the manufacturing project that 8th grade is doing this year and this particular student loved to critique me and make suggestions of alternative supplies or materials we should use.  He also loved to argue with me about my classroom rules like safety, and I always told him that the rules are there for a reason and to keep you safe. 

Finally, I feel as though this student is a Judging type because he did rush through his work and was resistant to my suggestions and critiques in things that needed to be fixed.  He did finally end up fixing them.  This student also did not like to stop working at the end of class.  I always save at least 5 minutes for clean-up and he always wanted to keep working.  Every day I put an agenda on the board which tells which day we are on in a project for example 6/10 and what step they should be on.  I feel this helps students know how to manage their time. 

This student reminds me a lot of myself in middle school.  He is very goofy, but likes to push your buttons and see how much he can get away with.  Although we are the same type I was often very annoyed by this student’s behavior, but I also think that the mix of other students in the class had something to do with his need to act out to be “cool”.  This student did well in my class, but it was sometimes a struggle to motivate him in certain tasks or correct his behavior. 

Student number 2:

            Another student is also in the 8th grade is quite the opposite of the first.  I hypothesize that this student is an INFJ.  I believe he is an introvert because he is always very quiet in his demeanor, and his participation in class discussions were delayed, but insightful.  He is someone who can work well independently, but also enjoys working with people he chooses that are similar to him.  When he finished his manufacturing project I asked him if he’d like to do another woodshop project and he said he’d prefer to draw or read. 

            This student strikes me as an Intuitive because when we did classwork I noticed he would often begin immediately without waiting for my directions and he did request to make changes in his caddy project.  I allowed him some exceptions because he brought up a good argument for why he wanted to make these changes. 

            It is pretty clear that this student is a Feeler was challenging for me.  I had to lean more toward Feeling thought.  He strikes me as a sensitive person who often looks out for the underdog.  He also did seek my feedback quite often to make sure he was doing things correctly.  I also think that this person is good at relating lessons and assignments to the needs of people.  I always have students do a project reflection when they’re finished with their project to express what they’ve learned and might change in the future.  I also ask them how they would market this product to consumers.  This student was able to give such a clear explanation of this. 

Determining whether this student is Judging or Perceiving was challenging.  He doesn’t really clearly exemplify most of these traits.  I am leaning more towards judging, but I might be wrong.  He seems like he is a student who plans things out and likes to know what to expect, but I don’t think that he rushes through work or necessarily minds changes in schedules.  He strikes me more as a J because I don’t see him as a student who would wait until the last minute to tell his parents that something is due or appear to be working without getting anything done. 

This student did very well on both the written assignments and the hands-on woodworking project in my class.  He was generally quiet, polite did not interrupt, is a sweet, and kind young man. 

When I chose these two students I didn’t really think too much about them other than that they were total opposites and I felt like I could easily identify them the best out of my students right now.  I didn’t begin analyzing their types until I really got to thinking about them and how they were in my class. 

One response to “Hypothesizing Students Types Through Observation

  1. Isn’t it fascinating how the annoying traits we see in others turn out to be those we share? Many people are not able to see those “faults” in themselves, so you are way ahead of a lot of people in that department!

    Regarding the “delayed participation” of the introverted student, that’s likely because introverts have to think BEFORE they speak, (as opposed to the extraverts who don’t know what they think until it comes out of their mouths). That’s why it’s a good idea for extraverted teachers to allow a possibly uncomfortable amount of wait time between asking a question and calling on someone for an answer. It levels the playing field for those students who need a bit of time to think.

    Based on what you have described, it sounds likely that the second student could very well be a J due to the amount of evidence you were able to collect about his Feeling function. That’s because Js extravert their T or F, so that’s what you would see. And as an introvert, his dominant function would be the N, and it sounds like he’s pretty solid there but tends to hide it.

    Sounds like you’ve gained a clear understanding of the differences among types. Yay!

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