Teacher Motivation Explained Part 2

20 May 2011


In the previous post,  we looked at one aspect of our personality that affects our motivation as a teacher.  Today I want to look at the second aspect of our personality that affects our motivation as well as the motivation of our students.  The purpose of this post is not to give you a tool to change your teaching style to accommodate your students but rather change your teaching style to reflect your personality.  Sometimes as teachers we run the risk of becoming so accommodating of the students needs that our needs aren’t met resulting in a loss of motivation and enthusiasm in the classroom.

Different personalities are motivated differently.  There are predominately 5 personality types…as we go through these you will invariably be thinking of someone…

1.  The result-orientated person works against the clock and is often competitive.  He/she won’t hesitate to make reassessments or find new ways when the old ones are not making progress or are doing so too slowly.  The most important thing for them is achieving an adequate result.  The lowest acceptable level is good enough.

2.  The rule-guided person is motivated when everything follows the established rules.  They want things to happen according to the agreed method and find all sudden changes disturbing.

3.  The improving-structuring person would prefer to have no deadline at all.  They love to go in depth with everything.  It is the process that is important, whether they are refining the details or widening the associations.

4.  The team-oriented person is motivated by making others get along, and is often the cement that binds the group together.  Setting goals is not important, nor is reaching deadlines.

5.  The chaos-oriented person is someone who thrives when nothing works and everyone is unhappy.   I often joke that the chaos orientated teachers are always found in the kindergarten classes because they thrive on the chaos associated with students just starting out at school.

Here is how this works in the classroom:

If you are a rule guided person yet your classes are challenging and your students push the boundaries you will become unmotivated to attend this class.  A chaos orientated person on the other hand would thrive in this environment and quickly become bored in a class that lacked spontaneity.

The same principle also applies to your students.  If you are a chaos orientated teacher who has a student who is rule guided, you will find that that student will not like to attend your class.  Now at the end of the day you can’t change your personality for your students; but it is worth being aware of.

It is also helpful to understand that your personality changes depending on the environment that you are in.  In the classroom you might be chaos orientated but on the sporting field you are more result orientated.

So what is your predominate personality type? Let me know in the comment section below

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