Is Your Student The Advocate Type? Here Are Tips On Teaching 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. 

A student walks through the halls at school, smiling and waving quietly to each of their friends. Deep down, she looks at all of them in the eye and wonders to herself how she can help them more, how she can change their lives for the better. In her speaking, it’s all personal, sensitive words, because logic and reason are far from her mind. When others do not recognize the difference she has made in others’ lives, in the school, or in her community, it deeply hurts to not have those congratulations.  

Do any of these describe a student of yours? There is a possibility he or she may be an INFJ personality type. 

Introverted
I(N)tuition 
Feeling 
Judging 

With a friendly personality and ability to work so well with others, these students can often be mistaken for extroverts. However, at the end of the day, they need time to themselves to recharge and be alone. Once you have identified these students in your classroom, it’s crucial to look out for this. They can easily feel overwhelmed by spending too much time working with groups or also feel stressed by projects that aren’t accomplishing their goals. 

INFJs strive to make a difference, especially in individuals. When this is not a possibility, whether that be from lack of time, indecisiveness in others, or a disrupted routine, it can be very hard for them. They are the students who love to be peer helpers and watch their friends understand and better themselves in their work. 

These students also are not the type to understand something after hearing it only once. If they are having a hard time remembering facts about the Revolutionary War, they most likely need to hear it again. And again. And again. Repetition is a powerful tool for these students, especially when presented in different ways each time. 

INFJs have a hard time learning when they cannot see the importance of learning and how it connects to bettering one another. This is why INFJs often find careers in teaching, nursing, psychology, and counseling. They are often the students asking, “When will I need this later in life?” and are dissatisfied unless your answer unless it includes ways they can utilize the material to accomplish helping others. 

INFJ students work very similarly in school to ENFP students and can relate to them using flashcards for repetition and how material sticks best when they see it as a benefit to others. 

Do you teach any INFJ students? What tips do you have to teach them? Have you found knowing your students MBTI is beneficial to you? 

Do You Wonder How to Teach Those Bubbly, Curious, Social Students?

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 student that is lively, incredibly perceptive, and curious? Do they also struggle with multiple details and things that are too planned out? You may be teaching an ENFP. 

Extroverted
I(n)tuition 
Feelings 
Perceiving 

ENFPs are your students who can get by with little to no planning. In fact, the idea of a schedule or a detailed plan causes them stress, because of their perceiving nature. They are also the social, bubbly, energetic students. Does this sound familiar to you for any of the kids in your classroom?

An ENFP student is usually eager to learn and eager to help others. This can have so much advantage in the classroom because they can be used as a resource to help other students both academically and socially. 

Schools and classrooms are based on policies and procedures, which are two big stressors for ENFPs. They work better in an open, free environment that is theirs to explore. So how you do find this balance with them? First, remember to be patient with them. 

Our schools and careers run on schedules and while this is hard for an ENFP, it’s important for them to learn how to handle. Remember when they start showing signs of stress or having a hard time learning, it may be best to let them have free time to learn and explore how they want. That could be as simple as recess time, or as complicated as a setup station with the means to be as creative as they can. 

Since ENFPs fall into the feelers category, feelings are a big part of their learning style. The more they see the benefit of learning a topic to the improvement of themselves or others, the more likely they are to find excitement on the subject. This is why they end up in professions such as doctors, counselors, or teachers. 

Is your ENFP student struggling to understand a concept? 

Try explaining it two or three different ways to them. They have a better time grasping ideas when they have multiple ways to understand it. 

Are they having a hard time knowing how to regroup when subtracting two-digit numbers? They are active, hands-on learners. Try setting up the math problem using break-apart base ten blocks for them to hold, create, and solve the problem on their own. 

More often than not, concepts are taught to students in the order the process normally functions. Again, looking at subtracting two-digit numbers using regrouping. How many teachers out there have said this rhyme with their students at least 50 times a day? I know I have. In different voices and silly hand and body movements to make it just a little more… fun?

More on the top? 
No need to stop! 
More on the floor? 
Go next door and get ten more! 

This can work so well for so many students, however, if an ENFP student is not understanding it, try jumping around to different parts of the subtraction process and explaining it. This may not make sense to you, but to them, it can make a big difference. 

“ENFPs can also easily grasp a significant amount of information lacking strong conceptual connections. Whether or not material is presented in a systematic and logical way is not of great importance to them.” 

Humanmetrics.com

ENFP students have great strengths and weaknesses. I know that if you take the time to find the ENFP students in your classroom and spend a little more time fostering their specific needs, it can make the biggest difference in your classroom and in their lives. That’s the power of teaching to the student, not to the test. 

Cover Photo: https://www.mbtionline.com/

A Guide To MBTI: How To Use It As An Educator

I wrote a post about using Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in the classroom with your students and how it can benefit them and you in learning and teaching. This can be a useful tool in really understanding each child on a personal level, why they act and react the way they do, and teaching to their needs. 

Before I break down how to teach individual types, you first need the tools in how to analyze your kiddos and find out what their MBTI is. The quickest, the surest way to accomplish this is to give them this test and have them share their results with you. This can also be a great conversation starter with them about the personality test, what it means, and how they can use it as a tool to work more efficiently with peers and teachers. 

An important note, however, is that the previous test is ideal for people ages 12 and older. It is believed that kids under the age of 12 have not completely developed the Thinking/Feeling aspect yet, and it is best to omit this. If that is the case, use this test instead, which is more specified for young kids. 

It indicates that this latter test is best filled out by the child and adult together, but in my experience, it is also efficient to only have one person fill it out if needed. If you feel you know the child well enough to fill it out for them, that can be a possibility. If you have the means for each child to fill it out themselves, based on ability level, it is also a viable option. 

Let’s say administering the test is not a feasible option for you. Another way to figure out personality types in your students is to analyze them yourself, but to do this, you must have a decent understanding of each category and how to organize the data you find. Let’s break it down. 


 Extroversion vs. Introversion- How you receive your energy. Introversion is commonly confused with being shy, but this is incorrect. Think of it this way, if you spent your night at a networking event, then proceeded to have dinner with friends, would you then feel the need to go home to be away from others and recharge? Or does it seem appealing to find a party down the block afterward? Introversion is not being shy around others, it’s needing to recharge by themselves because it’s energy-sucking in large crowds. Extroverts are fed energy-wise by crowds. 

Sensing vs. I(n)tuition- How someone takes in information. In a social setting, this may be one of the more difficult ones to identify, however, in a school setting it may be one of the easier.  Those who prefer sensing are very “in the now” type of people. They are very attentive to detail, use their five senses, and very practical in their work. Intuitive people are more about the big picture. They have a hard time solving small details without seeing more of the story. They are forward thinkers, always looking toward the future, and asking “why”. 

Thinking vs. Feeling- How you make decisions. This one is fairly self-explanatory. Thinkers are logical and use facts to make decisions. Feelers use their emotions as their drive, often considering other’s feelings when making decisions as well. This is not yet developed in kids until about age 12, and should not be considered until this age. 

Judging vs. Perceiving- How you structure your life. To make it simple, judgers need lists, organization, and clear expectations/ schedules. Perceivers work better in a looser environment with open-ended possibilities and last-minute decisions.

Once you have decided what category they fall into for the four different types, you then have their MBTI. For example, mine is ENFJ. I am extroverted, use intuition, make decisions based on feelings, and fall into the judging side. Once you determine your students’ MBTI, a great resource to read more about each type in vivid detail is best on this website, it will tell you strengths and weaknesses, as well as give insight into their friendships and relationships. 

Some other tips I find useful: 

  1. Research it beyond just this article. 16 Personalities website has great resources, as well as The Myers & Briggs Foundation. You can also find countless other articles and videos on understanding MBTI with a simple google search.
  2. Take the test yourself, and read all of the information on your MBTI. 
  3. Have others you are especially close to take the test, find out their personality type, then use their information to analyze why they received that specific type. I believe that seeing these traits first hand in your close relationships will help you come to a deeper understanding of how to find it in others.
  4. Once you’ve come to a decent understanding of the types, start trying to figure out people’s types before they tell them to you and see how accurate you can be in analyzing them.   
  5. Understand that each letter is a spectrum, meaning everyone freely moves along the spectrum, sometimes leaning more towards one side, then going toward the middle at some point in their lives too. On the 16 Personalities website, you have the ability to create a profile where it will show you what percentage you scored for each category. 
  6. Remember this quote in all your research “If you were to clasp your hands together with fingers intertwined, you will find that you will naturally place the thumb of one hand over the other – that is your preference.  If you were to clasp your hands with the opposite thumb on top, you would find the sensation a little odd but you would still be able to do it. That’s exactly what happens when we choose to do things that differ from our preferred behaviour.” -Shen-Li Lee 

I am very interested to see how well this works for you in your classrooms. Did this information help you understand some students on a more personal level? Did analyzing your students or having them take the test surprise you what their results were? 

Cover Photo Credit: Found on https://aneclecticmuse.blogspot.com/2015/05/mbti-understanding-our-actions.html