Before starting this class and reading the text I was familiar with personality typing, but really only in how I function as an INFP. I am looking forward to further applications after increasing my understanding of how other ‘types’ get their information and make decisions. As I read through the first three chapters I was struck by how accurate the descriptions in chapter 2 are regarding how I teach. I always thought I was sensitive, aware, and pretty good at differentiating to others but when I read on page 16 the list of what intuitive teachers might do:
- Under structuring assignments
- Not wanting to stifle creativity or individuality
- Embracing change and freely shifting to new techniques when it might not be the best option
I thought, “Wow, that’s totally me!” The poor sensing children that needed clear expectations and orderly directions! I did try the object lesson variation described on pages 171 and 23. Students had five minutes to write about a jack-o-lantern. Based on student responses (6th grade ELA group) I think I have a 50/50 split of sensing and intuitive students. What’s interesting to me is that the students that I sometimes find myself getting frustrated with are the sensing ones who are asking for more direction in completing the task. I am now looking at their requests in a very different way.
I also was struck with the statements on page 18 on how feeling teachers might act. Yes, clearly me again. I can be too flexible with rules as I strive to build relationships. I have noticed with my homeroom that I have to be very clear and consistent with limits. This is hard for me. (Someone had a conflict at home, so I’m apt to let a behavior slide.) I am strongly intuitive and feeling. Knowing this and reflecting on the impact it has with my students (especially those with different types) will help to strengthen all relationships within the classroom.
I love the statement on page 24: When teachers develop an understanding of personality type, they can look at the behaviors without saying, “What’s wrong with that child?” Instead they ask, “How is that child different from me?” and “Could type strategies help this child learn?” I think gaining a better understanding of types will help at many levels. Understanding who I am will help me to adjust to those who function differently. I can reflect on my own behaviors (even word choices…I am always asking what students feel about a topic, not what they think!) and adjust so as not to be biased toward my own temperament. Understanding who my students are will help me plan lessons that will engage them and guide them while decreasing clashes based on our differences.