The Student Council class I’ve been helping with was recently required to take the Myers Brigg personality test. I joined in the fun and found that I continue to flip flop in which category I fall in to. Interesting.

More interesting is to consider how these personality types radically impact our teaching.

My most recent score was INTJ (Introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging) which one site refers to as the “mastermind“. By this account, I value pragmatism, efficiency, and thrive on complex problem solving. This could not be more accurate (while these are things I value highly, I’m not saying I always follow through!). ;P

It also indicates that this type has a strong skepticism. I also find this to be accurate for me, as I distrust new ideas even if they are based in research because I am wary of the way educational research is performed and reported.

One of the problems INTJs sometimes face is a struggle with interpersonal and moral issues. They are generally involved in science fields. This makes me appear to be an anomaly – I went to a liberal arts college and studied English literature. But here’s the thing. The “T” for thinking is weak and flip flops to the “F” sometimes when I take this test (was required to take it in a psych class and later in ed psych all during undergrad, I know it may seem weird that I’ve taken it on multiple occasions!)

This personality type is referred to as the “counselor” which is actually a career path I considered very seriously. (I believe the INTJ side feared I would grow weary of the less serious concerns and be too frank with patients. Shocking, I know.)

I think it’s interesting how accurate these tests seem to be in some ways because I do feel like my strengths include writing (well, maybe not blogging) and being aware of other’s feelings.

So what does it have to do with teaching?

I feel like as I was reading the descriptions, I kept thinking, “well of course that’s how it is – that’s what I try to show my students”. For better or worse, it’s hard not to try to show students how to see the world as I do because it’s all that I know.

I want them to see why problem solving is important (and exciting) and how we need to be skeptical of information, regardless of source. I want them to work on seeing other people’s points of view and feelings both by working cooperatively and by reading and discussing about characters. I want them to value reading writing as efficient modes of communication so they can express themselves and share with the world to evoke change.

But what I’m unsure of is what these strong personality traits cause me to ignore or neglect.  I’m hoping to spend some time reflecting on that this weekend…

Please feel free to share your personality type or to help me find my own weaknesses in this!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by mike on November 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Follis…. hope this finds you well.

    Just floating around this a.m. and found your blog. Enjoying your writing and thinking.

    Wondering…. as you reflect on you…. do you get a sense of more “T” or more “F” ?

    This is the only letter that breaks down around gender….most males are “T” most females are “F”.

    Wondering your view…. me INFP

    be well..mike


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