This post is part of a series of posts on teaching to different personality types as found in the True Colors Personality Test. To see more, head here.
There has never been a better use for the term “solid gold” as there is for describing the gold personality types in your classroom. They are the dependable, responsible, and organized kids in your classroom. They flourish under the structure of the classroom and they like to plan for every detail of the day, month, and even the school year. These are the students that can easily become stressed by a disruption to their routine or when there is too much going on at once.
Much like the ENTJs and the INTJs of the Myers Briggs Personality Test, these students need clear objectives. Providing them with a visual goal and a written schedule can provide them a sense of stability and allow them to put their head down and dive into their work.
Gold students are typically on top of assignments and can often handle more work when needed. Consider assigning them “executive” tasks: passing out/collecting assignments, having them help with rearranging/reorganizing the classroom, even having them assist you in retrieving supplies from other teachers. These are the kids who get a thrill going into the teacher’s lounge because it shows them that the teachers trust them.
In order to help gold students feel valued, it’s crucial to be sincere and specific in your praise. They want to know their thoroughness, skills, and responsibility are recognized and appreciated. Make sure to remind them that their contributions are important to others and that they are an integral part of their class.
The best way to push your gold students is to challenge them to think about how their decisions affect others. Pair them with those who think in more abstract ways (think the blues and greens) to introduce them to new ideas and ways of seeing things. Give them support while showing them that the world won’t end if they don’t have a plan and caution them against passing judgment. Remind them to take breaks throughout the day as they have a tendency to put work before play, even if it means working overtime.
Other people might see their gold classmates as bossy, controlling, and judgmental so make sure to help the other students focus on gold’s dependability and their willingness to help solve problems. Encourage the other students to express their appreciation for the ways a gold contributes to the classroom. Help guide your students to rephrase the challenges that can come from working with a gold personality into positive opportunities for growth. Remind them that everyone has something unique and valuable to offer.
Someone with a gold personality might complain of psychosomatic symptoms when they are stressed; keep an eye out for the students who constantly complain of stomach aches or ask to call their parents to come pick them up. They are most likely feeling overwhelmed, so check in on them and see if you can help lighten their load.
Your gold students are most likely going to be a healthy mix of introverts and extroverts. The extroverted gold is probably the first student to raise their hand when the class is asked a question (a Hermione Granger, if you will), while the introverts are content to tune out others and get to work. Group projects can be challenging for gold personalities because they can feel held back by their peers and they don’t have space to think for themselves. However, because golds want to share their knowledge and absorb as much information as they can, keeping them in pairs or small groups works best. They can be stubborn at times and butt heads with other gold or orange personalities, but simplifying their differences down to colors can help them better understand each other and use those differences to their advantage.
For those teaching middle and high school students, encourage your gold students to sign up for honors classes. Discuss with them the idea of joining the debate team or applying for student leadership positions. They are probably already looking into extracurricular activities but some might not know where to start or which to choose so it’s important to provide them with the right resources.
Do you have any stories from teaching gold personality types? What have you done to help them be more flexible?