I've taken at least a dozen different Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality tests over the years. I know that as an INTJ (sometimes ENTJ depending on the test) I am perfectly suited to Remus Lupin (duh), I most likely will not seek the advice of a psychic, and I will probably always hold myself to impossibly high standards while being a bit of an intellectual magpie. (I just keep going back to school.) I've just made my son complete his first, and now I wonder, what kind of student will my kid be based on their Myers-Briggs Personality Type?
The test scores you and places you in one of 16 personality types, according to The Myers & Briggs Foundation (TMBF) website. The first letter corresponds to your level of introversion or extraversion. I'm an ambivert, so that's why my tests tend to skew both ways, according to Forbes. The next letter corresponds to how you process information. Do you prefer to get a sense of something, or use your intuition? The next letter is emotional response to input — do you think more or feel more? It's the sense of how you approach a situation, with logic and reason or intuition and emotion. The final letter has to do with how you live your life. Do you tend to be more structured or more malleable? Educators sometimes use MBTI profiles to determine how best to teach our children, so can we also use the same profiles to understand how best our children learn, and what kind of a student they'll be?
ISTJ — The Focused Friend
ISTJ sweat the small stuff, noted TMBF. They make a plan and execute it. These students might miss the big picture, like final high school transcripts and permanent records, but their steady duty towards smaller goals will keep them all well in hand. You might need to encourage the ISTJ to think outside the box a bit more than other MBTI types, but they'll be fiercely loyal friends to their classmates and a good role model for younger siblings.
ISFJ — Quietly Organized
You know that one friend you had who had all their folders and notebooks color coordinated, yet never put up folders around their work to prevent others from looking on during a test? That's an ISFJ, for you. They're meticulous and very organized, but friendly to a fault, noted TMBF. While these personalities might sometimes be bowled over by their more assertive classroom pals, you can rest assured that all of their work is complete and accurate.
INFJ — The Inquisitive Feeler
The INFJ will question everything because they need to know how it relates to the big picture, and what deeper meaning the lesson holds. These are the quiet student activists who start online petitions for the janitor to get a raise. The INFJ student is very firm in their values and beliefs and might balk at a system that they perceive go against that set of values, noted TMBF. They thrive in classrooms where the students are encouraged to be curious and discuss how something might relate to their life.
INTJ — The Goal-Oriented High Achiever
INTJ students are very goal oriented and hold themselves to sometimes impossibly high standards. These are the 6-year-olds who declare they're going to Wellesley as soon as they graduate, and figure out just how to make that happen. These students need a mediating force for them, otherwise, they'll most assuredly run themselves ragged in the doing of it. They're quick thinkers who often think in the abstract to develop a plan or system designed around a problem. They do best in high-achieving environments with plenty of time for independent study. These students also need a control — exercise, art, music, or plain old downtime to decompress their brains a little.
ISTP — The Flexible Thinker
If there was ever a student who could think through a problem in a way that no one else has thought of previously, it's an ISTP. They're willing to do things no one else will in order to learn something new or complete a task. Astronauts Sally Ride and Chuck Yeager were both purported to be ISTP personalities, suggested TMBF. They thrive on efficiency and are great at finding a way to learn something or do something with as little waste as possible. A common personality type of physicists, these students are best in a challenging situation where they can really use their creative mind to its full potential.
ISFP — The Meek Introvert
ISFP are quiet and sweet types who like to do things on their own time and in their own way. They'll be hard-pressed to meet deadlines, but will squeak it in because they dislike conflict. They're great at living in the present, and therefore great friends to someone like an INTJ, who need that balance. They're likely to over-worry about other's opinions of them, so they do best in an environment where the words are soft and kind. ISFP will thrive in a Montessori school where they can truly experience each new learning moment as it comes.
INFP — Leading From Behind
These students are great cheerleaders for causes they champion. They are the future campaign managers, journalists, and scientific researchers of the world. In school, they're the students encouraging others while still setting and achieving their own goals. INFP students are driven by their own innate value systems and rarely deviate from their chosen course unless their values evolve to the point where their trajectory is forced to shift, noted TMBF. These students will do well in most schools and classrooms, but will thrive in problem solving areas like student government and extracurricular activities like 4H and Girl Scouts.
INTP — The Hawking
These students are extremely analytical. They prefer to work alone, although they don't completely eschew social interaction. They are meticulous and are able to think in both a logical and abstract manner when trying to solve a problem. These students have great focus, and are great at just powering through regardless of distractions. They are the kids who somehow manage to study for a science test while everyone else is playing tag at recess. INTP students will be best served by being in an environment that is challenging in an area they're interested in — think math olympics or set design. They are the brains behind an operation, and you might never know it unless you need something explained to you, in which case they'll speak up for sure.
ESTP — The Hands On Learner
This is the project manager who listens to the ideas of everyone and cuts through the bull crap to get stuff done. Energetic and tolerant of outside opinions, they're ready to take on leadership roles that require an enthusiastic presence to maintain focus and achieve their goals. They learn best by jumping in head first, and they like their creature comforts. They can adapt to almost any situation and love the challenge of a spontaneous problem. These students will thrive most places, but look for exciting extracurricular activities for them to test their boundaries.
ESFP — The Party Planner
These students are super spontaneous, joyful, and love the good things in life. In school, they tend to be the outgoing friend everyone wants by their side. They do best when learning in group situations, where more than one idea is put forth from which to learn. They are friendly and want everyone to be as happy as they are. Very extroverted, these students will thrive in a large school environment with plenty of opportunities to make friends and be the star of their own show.
ENFP — The Mediator
These kids are quick thinkers who can work through problems quickly, and with a great deal of empathy. They sometimes require a bit more positive feedback than others, but that's just because they're often so busy sorting out the issues of those around, they feel neglected, wrote TMBF. They are smooth talkers and they rely on their quick wit to get through problems. These students will do well in schools with a lot of flexibility and which offer a steady, predictable rewards system. If Book It! still existed, this kid would have all the pizza, and make sure their friends did as well.
ENTP — The Outspoken Inventor
These kids are the movers and the shakers. They're the ones who have three lemonade stands in two different locations by the time they're 7 years old. Creative thinkers and planners who can shift strategies on a dime, these kids are excellent in subjects like science and common core style math where multiple approaches to learning are encouraged. These kids may have a hard time sticking to a routine, but they'll get to where they're going even if they've never been that direction before. They'll do best in non-traditional environments where their unique abilities are allowed to shine.
ESTJ — The Decision Maker
These are the ones who make the decisions. They might seem overly-practical for a little kid, but they move through their day with an eye toward routine and implementation of that routine for the betterment of themselves and those whom they value. These are the kids who will one day just walk up to you and say "I know the truth about Santa, and I'm really disappointed you led me on that way." They do best in environments with strict routine where they don't feel the need to reinforce exterior measures to complete the tasks they feel need done.
ESFJ — The Future Kindergarten Teacher
These kids see things through to the end while maintaining friendly relationships with others around them. They tend to be calm and meticulous, but work with warmth and compassion. They'll likely be drawn to groups like the Girl Scouts where they can help plan tasks and devise new strategies to make friends and help others do the same. These kids are the ones that others tend to satellite themselves around because of their stabilizing and calm influence, not to mention their reliably friendly disposition.
ENFJ — The Idealist
Tiny body, huge heart. The ENFJ child is empathic, attuned to the needs and emotions of friends, and cares deeply about others. They're likely made easily upset by the news or by injustice of any sort. These kids are the ones organizing the clothing drives after a hurricane and who lovingly suggest buying toys for the Toys for Tots box at their school. They're also leaders, willingly sticking their neck out for others if it means that we live in a more just and prudent world. These kids will do best if encouraged to speak their mind and supported in their efforts.
ENTJ — Student Class President
Assertive, independent thinkers who might be accused of being a "know it all," when in reality, they just tend to read a lot. Sometimes forceful in expressing their opinions and beliefs, these students require a fine hand at teaching because they'll quickly turn the class around to their viewpoint. They loathe inefficiency and love schedules and organization. Rarely do ENTJs back down from a problem or confrontation. They do best in schools where open thought is encouraged, but backed up with discipline and study.
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