Teachers (Part 3): Personalities-We All Got One!
Article ID: 2885
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,371
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Posted: July 16th. 2000
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Many people are investigating the religions of Witchcraft, Wicca and other Neo-Pagan Paths today. There are many books and reference materials available, yet after some self study, there are some folks who would like to meet and perhaps work with a physical teacher. This can be a rewarding learning experience - or it could turn out to be your worst nightmare...
So you have made the decision to begin teaching. My, aren't YOU the brave one! Whether it is just one or two students that you will be mentoring or a group session/workshop that you have scheduled, you will probably want to know a little about personalities and group dynamics. If you don't think that you need to be aware of such things, you certainly will wish that you HAD researched this area somewhere down the line. It happens to everyone. Why wait until a problem develops? A few hours now may save you a lot of sleepless nights later on.
Personalities: "You say Ath-a-may and I say a-THAM-may!"
People see, think and feel things differently. This makes life quite exciting! (Don't roll your eyes at me just yet!) To look at things from another person's perspective broadens your own point of view. It also can be very exasperating when you are trying to get a point across and some folks just don't ever seem to "get it". You can eat up a lot of class time trying to explain a point over and over again. Knowing a little about the other different personality types may help. Knowing your OWN is essential...
According the Keirsey evaluation method, there are four basic types of personalities: The Rational, The Artisan, The Idealist and The Guardian. "Teachers" fall into The Idealist category in this model, however a teacher may come from any of the groups.
Excerpted from The Pygmalion Project: The Idealist, by Dr. Stephen Montgomery:
"Teachers are natural facilitators in all their relationships, encouraging those around them, urging their personal growth, and taking charge of others (particularly of groups) with an extraordinary enthusiasm and confidence. Indeed, Teachers are so expressive and charismatic in their leadership-in a word, so inspiring-that they seem in some ways less coercive than the other Idealists. Keirsey says that, though Teachers are both expressive and role-directive, they manage to "command without seeming to do so,"not by means of explicit orders, nor through saintly patience, romantic longing, or mute withdrawal, but by kindling in their students and colleagues their own passion for self-exploration and development. Teachers are masters of the art of positive expectation (or "front-loading"), and they communicate their belief in the evolution of the "self" with such a glow of promise that quite often, as Keirsey tells us, their optimism "induces action" in others, and the "desire to live up to [their] expectations."
-Copyright © 1989 Stephen Montgomery.
Even if you do not actually find that you fall into this personality group (I don't!), I think that this is still a most wonderful description of what a teacher should strive to be, don't you?
Curious about which type YOU are? Take the Keirsey Personality Test at: http://keirsey.com/. You may also want to get the books listed on the site (available through Amazon.com), so that your students can take the test, too! ( For the interested, I am an "Inventor" from the Rational group. This makes both those "touchy-feely" types and the "But, I want THE answer!" folks real challenges for me in a teaching situation. But at least now I know WHY...)
In a nutshell:
Communication across the groups can be quite the challenge in a teacher/student scenario. Well, guess what? There's a test for that too...surf on over to : http://queendom.com/communic.html and see if what you are saying is what your students are hearing.
- The Rationals say, "Knowledge is power" (Francis Bacon.) They like to plan, organize and change things. They give you the outline of the course. They can't understand when you aren't as excited about it as they are. And Rationals REALLY don't know why you are not prepared to actually DO the magickal work! (Don't get me started...)
- The Guardians say, "It's not what you are but what you don't become that hurts."(-Oscar Levant). Guardians like to supervise and protect. They also value responsibility and security. Showing up late for class will drive them MENTAL! But since they are also spontaneous, if you say that you just HAD to stop and look at the sunset...
- The Artisans say, "Forgotten is forgiven." (F. Scott Fitzgerald). As the quote demonstrates, Artisans live in the here and now. They can demonstrate magickal techniques like no one else. They are "hands-on" folk...wanna see that "circle cast" again?...so they won't understand your hesitancy to get in there and become involved in the ritual.
- The Idealist says, "Character is much easier kept than recovered." (Thomas Paine). Guess which teachers are the sticklers for ethical behavior? While they are compassionate (Healers are found in this group.), do NOT try to pull anything over on them. They will tell you off in the most mystical of terms!
And if you are an Inventor type like myself, there is a whole page with links to tests from self-esteem to your jealousy quotient. It's called coincidentally enough; "Tests, Tests, Tests!"
So, Teachers of the Craft, take some time to really think about how different personality types may be a factor in how you approach your workshop or teaching plan. I hope this information will be of some help to you and now you'll have to excuse me...I have a few little tests to prepare for my students.
Location: Tampa, Florida
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