For your job as a teacher to go as smoothly as possible; and to set up an environment where you and your students are at ease, it is quite helpful to learn about the personality types. Personality profiling has been in existence for a long time. Understanding personalities not only helps you know yourself better; but a grasp of the types of personalities also helps you to better relate to people you come across in your work and personal life.
When it comes to personalities for this article, we are going to cover the personalities you may encounter in the classroom. Kids come in all shapes and sizes and it’s sure you have been host to at least one of these personality types. In fact, many teachers will read these descriptions and nod in agreement that they have indeed seen these kids – often more than one at a time – come through their classroom. In learning how to focus each personality and redirect their behaviors, you can gain more control over your classroom and feel good about how you have done it.
You probably know the talker easier than any other personality type. This is the student who turns to their neighbor the moment your back is turned to write something on the board. It is as if there is no filter between their mind and their mouth. While this personality can be bubbly and loving, the incessant talking during class can be extremely frustrating for both the teacher and students.
Tips for the Talker:
- Maintain a cool while using a calm and even tone of voice while reminding the student of desired behavior. Do not become angry, irritated or sarcastic and watch your body language; remaining calm.
- Expect compliance. Instead of asking a student to “please” stop their talking, remind them of your classroom rule with a statement such as “One at a time, thank you.” Using “thank you” instead of “please” sends the message that you expect they will comply.
- If you have a particular student that suffers from a runaway mouth, it is best to seat them up front where they are physically closer to you. Seating them away from the rest of the class completely only calls attention to their poor habits. Keeping the student close to you makes them feel better about themselves and allows you to quickly redirect behavior if it becomes necessary.
Another personality you see often in an elementary classroom is that of the student who is demanding of the teacher’s time and attentions. This student is also known as the Clinger. They are characterized by their need for “extra help” once you have given an assignments and made the directions quite clear. This personality is tricky because you never want to leave a student stranded. If they really need your help, you want to give it. However, consistently attending to this student every time they demand extra help will only solidify their behavior and teach them that it is acceptable; which it isn’t.
Tips for the Demander:
- Ignore unwanted behavior in favor of positive behaviors. For instance, if you want your students to raise their hands for questions; then ignore the student who yells out in class and call on someone who has their hand raised. There is usually no need to make any further statement about the negative behavior. This will only embarrass the student who needs to change their behavior. Students learn quickly what their teacher responds to.
- If ignoring doesn’t work as quickly as you would like, then you can redirect in much the same way you redirect the talker; by stating the desired behavior with a “Thank You”. For instance, if the demander is asking for help again, you can state “You must try one on your own first, thank you.”
- When allowed, you can encourage students to ask one another for help or to look in their book for examples before asking you.