Personality Types: Are They Meant To Put You In A Box?

I’ve written multiple series on personality types and how they relate to education. Read about them here:

Myers Briggs Personality Types

Enneagram in Education

A lot of people are not a fan of learning more about personality types because they feel like they are put into a box when assigned a “type” or “number”. I see this point of view! I absolutely have felt the same way. I have also felt like as I read general overviews of types, I can relate to every single one, they seem very “vanilla” and are relevant to anyone with a pulse.

While these are valid, I have found in my research that these personality types are not trying to put you in a box, their goal is to help you understand yourself and those around you a little deeper. Just because you identify with one “type” doesn’t mean you have to or will act EXACTLY the same way. However, it can help you understand your personality better if there are aspects you do identify with.

For example: I am an ENFJ in the MBTI personality type. This tells me I am extroverted and breaks down what exactly extroversion means. This one in particular I came out with 95% extroverted when completing the test, so it is a trait that I can learn more about and help me apply these findings to my life.

(N) means I primarily use my intuition over my senses. Does this mean I don’t use my senses? No! It means I primarily tend to choose intuition over sensing, however, I can still use sensing at times too.

(F) means I use feeling in decision-making versus (T) which is thinking or logic. I use both, and often! But feeling tends to win over thinking. (J) means I use judgment over (P) perception. I can use both and I do.

Because I identify as an ENFJ I have lists and articles galore that can help me dive deeper into learning more about my personality. Including the ones I wrote. But if an article reads, “you thrive in group work because you are extroverted.” but I personally don’t like group work, it doesn’t mean they are trying to fit you into a box. That is the general consensus of the ENFJ type, and you are who you are. Not many people fit the exact mold or can agree with every single point in their personality type.

So next time you don’t want to research your personality type for fear of “being put in a box”, consider that it’s there for you to learn more and gain knowledge, not put you in a box!

What is your MBTI or Enneagram if you know it? How does it help you learn more about yourself to research personality types?

The Conclusion Of My MBTI Research: My Learning Summarized

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

In the last few months, I have analyzed all 16 Meyers Briggs personality types. Last week I wrote my 16th post in the series, the final personality type explained. Seeing my research come to an end was sad for me because I’ve dedicated so much time and interest in the subject. A few takeaways I ended  with were this: 

Figuring out student’s personality types can be hard and time-consuming, but also incredibly awarding if you’re willing to put in the work. 

You don’t necessarily need to know their MBTI personality type to know them better. Start with identifying introverts and extroverts and using that information to guide your teaching. Move on to identifying sensing versus intuitive students and then use that as well. 

Students can be aware of MBTI types as well to help them interact with other teachers and peers. 

When comparing personality types, they can be very similar and vastly different at the same time. 

There are not necessarily pros and cons to a personality type, just differences in how we think and who we are. 

Jane Kise has done extensive research on MBTI in the classroom. If I cannot convince you how beneficial is it, maybe she can with her TedTalk. Notice that she doesn’t find conclusive evidence by the majority of students acting and reacting in certain ways, but because every single student of the same personality type has the same actions. 

In the future, look for a post with links to each of the personality types to learn more about how to use your knowledge of MBTI in the classroom. Until then, share with me! How has your knowledge of MBTI helped you in your classroom? 

featured image: thedailybeast.com


Teaching The Boundary Pushers- ISTP Personality Type

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

Do you have a wandering student that struggles with keeping boundaries? They are confident and realistic in their thinking and learning. This personality type could be ISTP. Although, according to statistics, there is a small chance to have a student with this type in your classroom, ISTPs only make up 5% of the population, making it a lesser common personality type. 

Introverted
Sensing 
Thinking 
Perceiving

Being introverted, they keep to themselves. The way they process information is in a personal way, using all of their senses. They need hands-on manipulatives to sit and work with while they quickly take in the information. Often working in groups or even with a partner can feel stifling to them because they don’t want to be limited by other’s thinking. They never want to discuss topics with peers, they want to answer questions as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

The sensing side of them thrives on using all of their senses to learn. Worksheets and procedural learning are difficult for them to use to understand concepts. In fact, ISTP students are commonly known for having a difficult time excelling in school and are the least likely to continue education beyond high school. 

School systems are built around extroverted, intuitive personality types, which are students who engage with others, work in collaborating groups, and learn in a procedural way instead of learning using hands-on techniques. While learning in a personal setting with hands-on manipulatives is becoming more and more common, it is still not ideal for this personality type to learn in typical schools. A study was conducted asking ISTP types what type of school they preferred. Trade school came in first place with public or private schools receiving very few votes. 

So how can we help these students be more successful? First, be aware of their needs. Give them the independent study time they need, as much as you can feasibly do with the collaboration-driven schools that we are in now. Also at the same time, teach them ways to cope with learning in groups and speaking with peers on learning topics. Provide them with learning that uses all of their senses, and find a balance with their resistance to structure and boundaries. And obviously the most important, just know who they are and be in tune with what they need. That’s the best thing you can do for any of your students. 

How do you keep respectful boundaries with your students who resist them?  

Teaching the “Entreperneur” Student: An MBTI Personality Type

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

Picture a student that is highly motivated by competition, one that is highly practical, yet disorganized. Perhaps spicy would be a word you could describe this student as. A student that you see someday owning and running their own very successful business. In fact, an ESTP’s nickname is “The Entrepeuneur”. 

Extroverted
Sensing 
Thinking 
Perceiving 

ESTP students have a hard time with theoretical ideas because they are the “get to work now” type. When they find excitement in a subject, they excel. ESTPs are known for jumping in with two feet with an idea and doing the thinking later because they want results and they wanted them yesterday. 

Group work and collaboration are where they flourish, especially with their extroverted tendencies. Bouncing ideas off of peers and working with others gives them energy and fuels their fire to take off and create something great. They are known for their original ideas and especially for making them happen. 

Their quick personalities also give them a love for games in the classroom or anything else that requires quick answers with a competitive environment. They are not ones to sit down with information and take it all in, they need the reader’s digest version of everything so that they can bounce around and move onto the next idea. 

Highly structured environments are hard for them with their perceiving type. They want the room to move and create at their own free will, not under the direction of a teacher. When given the right materials and space, ESTPs can blow everyone out of the water with what they can come up with. 

The sensing type in them thrives on manipulatives in the classroom. They want hands-on experience in everything, allowing them to take in and internalize a concept by doing, not seeing. If they are having a hard time grasping a concept, put it into action for them or let them put it into action themselves, that’s how they want to learn. 

Do you have an ESTP student in your class? How do you see their spicy, driven personality enhance the culture of your classroom? 

Teaching To The Dedicated, Procedure Following Kids

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

ISTJ students are often described as logical, practical, and structured. Do you have one of these students in your classroom? Possibly one that thrives on consistency and struggles when rules and procedures are not followed. 

Introverted 

Sensing 

Thinking 

Judging 

These introverted students are capable of working in smaller groups, but large groups can stress them out, especially when making comments or asking questions. It’s rare to find these students speaking up or asking things in classroom discussions. In an interview I conducted with ISTJ personality types, one student expressed how she wished there could be an anonymous way to ask the teacher something without speaking up in a group to avoid shame and embarrassment. Another shared, “I’m learning even if I’m not raising my hand and sharing my answers out loud.”

They are sensing students, meaning conceptual learning can be difficult for them. They need their senses engaged to understand concepts. They do not want lists of procedures to accomplish long division, sensing types need number cubes and drawn out examples to understand what exactly division is, then they can understand everything fully. 

Interest in a topic is vital for these students and if they love what they are learning they will put in their full effort. ISTJs often do well in a university school setting because the topics and classes are chosen based on what they want, giving them a deeper interest in their studies, pushing them to work harder and do better. 

Clear objectives and expectations are big for this personality type. If you ever feel like you’re writing your objectives on the board just because you were told to by an administrator or learning coach, know that your effort is not wasted with an ISTJ student in your classroom. They often need to look at what is expected and strive to follow this, because their core values are to reach expectations, and it hurts them when they don’t or can’t accomplish this. 

Do you have any ISTJ students in your classroom? What ways do you use their interests to drive their learning? 


Teaching The Leaders: ESTJ In The Classroom

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here.

Dedicated, organized, direct, responsible, leaders. ESTJs typically fit these characteristics. If you were to get any student excited about organizing and carrying out a project, it would be them. 

Extroverted
Sensing 
Thinking 
Judging 

They are extroverted, meaning they receive their energy by talking, moving, and collaborating with peers. It’s not uncommon to find these students constantly talking with others to figure out concepts or finding the next study group to attend simply for the fact that they don’t like to study alone. Allowing them to move, explore, and discuss is important for them. 

Being a sensing type, using manipulatives is such a big deal for them. Having the opportunity to hold and see the concept helps them use their sensing type to put together information.  Using abstract, theoretical ideas for teaching is a fast way to lead ESTJs to confusion. 

They thrive in an organized environment. They need to see the natural succession of information, bouncing around in the subject can cause confusion. Facts resonate well with them, they are great notetakers because writing down the facts and processes can be incredibly helpful to them in knowing and taking in information. 

It’s no lie that ESTJs are among the most successful academically. They are not only the highest type to graduate with an undergraduate degree, but also have the highest grades as well. Like I stated above, these students are the ones to not only carry out a project but to also draw up the idea, bring it to life, and see it carried through. Nothing brings them more joy than a well-organized plan with very well-intended ideas. 

Pictured are a few common careers of ESTJ students. You’re teaching future managers, engineers, and supervisors. 

Photo from MBTIonline.com

What are the ways you help your ESTJ students learn? How do they improve your classroom culture? 

Introverted, Perceptive Students And How To Teach Them

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

Introverted 
Sensing 
Feeling 
Perceiving 

ISFP students are reserved and dedicated students. Their introverted personalities have a hard time working with others in big groups or spending too much time being social with friends. Their time alone is precious, but also never wasted. When given the opportunity of alone time, they are working on creating and building. 

These students are feelers, making them very sensitive to everyone’s emotions. They want everything to always be harmonious and struggle in classrooms full of contention or hard feelings towards each other. Their learning can be incredibly hindered by the emotional state of the room. 

Learning in a linear, organized way is not necessarily important to them. ISFPs can take in information sporadically and piece together what they are given, as long as it is given at a moderate pace. They also need space to be creative and use hands-on material. This is how they work best, by holding and utilizing the material presented. Math manipulatives are a powerful resource for ISFP students. 

When an ISFP student struggles with the information given to them, perhaps one of the most effective resources for them is alone time. This gives them the needed alone time to work through the material at their pace and how they process it best. 

ISFP students will end up in careers that are creative and don’t place them in a box. Experimenting is their passion, so scientific jobs are where they tend to lead, however, long-term goals may be hard for them. Making it through multiple degrees in college or certifications can be hard because they want to feel in the moment and go with what their gut is telling them right then. Freelance work is excellent for this personality type because of this. 

What are some ways you help your ISFP students in your classroom? How do ISFP students enrich your classroom environment?