Teaching Perceivers: Using MBTI In The Classroom

This post is part of a series of posts on teaching to different personality type indicators as found in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. To see more, head here.

In the Myers-Briggs world, Judging vs Perceiving is how we interact with the outside world. Between the two, we will use both of them, but our natural instincts are to move toward one versus the other. This post is focusing on the Perceiving types in the classroom. 

Traits that can define a Perceiver: 

Flexible and spontaneous. 

Ready to adapt to whatever the world brings. 

Can seem messy, unorganized, or sporadic. 

They wait until the last minute to do their school work. Nearing deadlines are the best motivation for them! 

Perceiving types do not like to organize the world, they want the world to organize them. They are going to be your students with messy desks, typically turning in their assignments late, and paying little attention to the clock. They like to feel the room, watch their surroundings, and make decisions as they go, instead of lining it all out ahead of time. 

Ways to support a Perceiving type in the classroom- First and foremost, respect them! Perceiving types can get a bad rap because they do not follow social norms. However, this is their preferred way to interact with the world and will thrive if allowed to be themselves. Try to give them gentle reminders about deadlines, important dates, and events, if possible. 

Ways you can help a Perceiving type grow in the classroom- Give them hard, fast deadlines and hold them to it! Line out the daily schedule and be consistent with it so they can stay on track, but be respectful of their need to adapt to changing situations. 

A common misconception is that Perceiving types are not organized or do not have a plan. To Judging types, this seems sensible! However, they do have an organization system and they do have a plan, it only looks different from what you are expecting it to be. 

In my personal opinion, the Judging/Perceiving types are two opposite types that I believe can be the hardest types to understand each other when we are the opposite types. I am very much a Judging type, but I have many close friends and family that are Perceiving types. It’s frustrating for me that they will not create a plan and stick with it in our day to day interactions. While on the other hand, they become frustrated with me because I am constantly pushing them to make a plan, but they function with a go-with-the-flow attitude. 

That’s why I believe understanding these types in the classroom is essential for success! It can be helpful as a teacher to understand the opposite types so that when you inevitably end up with kids in your classroom that do not interact with the world the way you do, you can understand why and appreciate them for what they do. 

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