The Teacher Personality

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From what I have observed as a teacher and as a pedagogical leader, perhaps the fundamental questions teachers need to ask themselves are “do you know your personality, do you know how your personality affects the way you teach and do you know if your personality is willing to be malleable?”

To experiment with the pedagogical approaches that are shared on this blog, I have found that the following personality traits would be a good start:

– a curious person
– knowledgeable about all of the weird and wonderful things people do in their lives
– willing to learn from any experience, including those created by kids
– willing to know your curriculum and treat it as a friend
– willing to allow uncertainty into your teaching domain
– willing to allow things to become messy
– willing to resist peer pressure to conform in order to do things that feel right for your students
– willing to reeducate parents so that they too may see learning differently
– willing to make things happen rather than dictate what happens
– willing to set aside your agenda in order to watch, listen to, notice and begin to understand your students

Many of us are this way already. But, others may become more like this…

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2 comments

  1. Liz

    I used to worry a lot about having a “teacher persona” in front of my students. I would see teachers who once in front of their students, became a different person from the one I had just eaten lunch with in the staff room. I was worried that if I let my (admittedly, large & loud) personality come out, I wasn’t being professional and my students weren’t really getting a “teacher.” After a few years (and a larger age separation between my students and me), I am able to see that my own personality is a key factor in my success as a teacher. Being myself and sharing who I am with students has allowed us to connect as humans- not just as teachers and students. This relationship piece is huge and since I stopped stressing about a “teacher persona” and just acted like myself, I find my classroom to be a happier, healthier place for all of us. I have learned to take my natural personality traits and bend them to fit the classroom. I wish more teachers could see that they can indeed be “people” in front of their kids because ultimately, that will create the kinds of classroom environments where real learning can take place.

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