A typical classroom will include students who follow instructions well, others who are good problem solvers, some who seem more interested in social interaction than learning, and those who have trouble sitting still in their chairs. Each of these students has their own needs, values, perspectives, motivations, and ways of operating. Some students will clearly display a significant number of traits from their dominant personality style while others may still be trying on different traits as a natural part of childhood development.

Classroom Observations and Personality Insights

Let’s make some observations of student behavior. What questions does a student ask? What behaviors do they display? What types of books do they like to read? Then, let’s consider what insights these observations can tell us about a student’s perspectives, values, motivations, needs, and ways of operating.

Classroom Observations for the Planner Personality Style

  • Asks, “When is it due?”
  • Reads about historical figures or events
  • Wants to know how things should be
  • Waits patiently for their turn
  • Will push in chairs and straighten up
  • Likes to follow and enforce rules
  • Naturally follows routines
  • Likes to finish a task before moving on
  • Resistant to unexpected changes
  • Keeps personal space organized

Personality Insight: Recognition for each of the styles

Let your students know that you truly honor them as individuals by understanding what qualities they prefer to be recognized for.

  • Movers want to be recognized for cleverness and adaptability
  • Connectors want to be recognized and appreciated for being considerate
  • Thinkers want to be recognized for keen observations and innovative ideas
  • Planners want to be recognized for achievements and contributions