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  1. #41
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    I taught at the college level for five years and have been teaching English and German at the high school level for thirty two. I was fortunate to have had two ENFJ parents, my father, a secondary ed professor, and my mother, an elementary school teacher in the inner-city. My grandfather was an elementary school principal in Newark at the turn of the century. Although I am deeply introverted, my parents were charming and charismatic ENFJs who helped me develop my Fe. I can't imagine doing anything else. We are always "teaching", aren't we?
    I'm teaching right now. Pushy ego! INFJs make excellent teachers. Yes, we must spend long hours working in our auxiliary Fe, but there is also ample opportunity to use Ni (making lesson plans, grading essays, counseling, tutoring, etc.). I do gravitate to more advanced subjects:
    I teach Advanced Placement Language and Composition, Introduction to College Writing, Verbal SAT Prep, and American Lit. What makes teaching much easier is using the MBTI. I know my students' types from the get-go, so I know how to individualize instruction when necessary.
    I know how to tailor after-school help according to type. I know how to form cooperative learning groups acc. to type: hetereogeneously, to be sure. Imagine putting all the ESTPs into one group. They'd have a heck of a good time ,riddling each other and laughing, but whether anything would be accomplished is debatable. When I have classroom discipline problems, it's usually related to type. ESTPs and ENTPs are my biggest discipline challenges, but we can usually sort it out, and they'll come back a year or two later as my biggest fans. We INFJ teachers really have a lot to offer them, as they do to us. I even write my college letters of recommendation according to type. The kids love it. I am a very well-loved and highly respected English teacher, who as Keirsey says, is "an inspiration to others". My supervisor and English colleagues treat me with very high regard as one of the "sages" of the department. I absolutely love teaching. However, there are some challenges in being an INFJ teacher. My biggest is this. Having to be on stage for five classes a day means that I need quiet time during my free periods to recharge.
    I avoid noisy faculty rooms and try to find a quiet place in the library. This can be very confusing to colleagues (especially the extraverts) who want to engage with me. Over the years they have come to respect my need for privacy. It has worked out splendidly for me. Oh, by the way,
    although I have a very high income, I never went into this for the money. How INFJish!

  2. #42
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    maybe more sx/sp, but i have trouble kind of widening my perspective of the room to be panoramic enough to take in more information and monitor where more of the students are at in a given moment.

    probably also an e5 thing, but i also have a tendency to respond to my own thoughts rather than strategically building common ground with the students. i'm still trying to figure out how to deal with the N/S divide, because my mind is truly organized in a way that is unfathomably weird to the vast majority of my students, and it can become very difficult to actualize the tangible concrete assumed to be known examples that relate to their worldviews and the necessary steps to help direct them from where they're at, as a group with immense differentiation and thinking styles, to a common goal (that is at the same time open-ended enough to be useful to all). i overcomplicate it!

    conferences are great, tho, and i wish i could find some way to just be more of a guide and less of a director/authoritative figure/referee.

    i'm also trying to improve my system for course-planning and class preparation. so far i've learned a few things that just don't work. but the process of learning from such an awful beginning stage can at times be excruciating.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    I was a teacher before I had children of my own. I think it's great, because you do most of your social interaction as part of a "role." As an INFJ, I have always found social comfort in roles. The most difficult part for me was dealing with the parents. The kids were fine, but the parents were sometimes exhausting.

  4. #44
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    i always used to have a hard time getting along with INFJ teachers

    we always... misunderstood one another...

    pretty sure they thought i was too forward with my questions and not smart enough for their lessons... and i always thought they tended to be poorly logically organized and doted on their favorites...

    BUT thanks to the MBTI i have a framework for understanding this problem. the really interesting thing is that i recognized that there was a "type" of teacher i was having this trouble with - it'd always be similar problems, and the teachers would always share similar aspects in terms of the way they taught... which is fascinating to now realize they were probably all INFJs and that's why we had trouble.

    now i can see that my questions were Ne deviation from their Ni points... that they wanted me to piece things together in a Ni way like they do... that their "poor" logical organization is (or isn't, lol) tert Ti... that they probably did dote on those who made class go more "smoothly", using Fe to usher the lessons in the directions they wanted them to go...

    last semester i had a prof i suspect was INFJ and we got along quite well actually a little awkward... but i made an A in any case!

  5. #45
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    i always used to have a hard time getting along with INFJ teachers

    we always... misunderstood one another...

    pretty sure they thought i was too forward with my questions and not smart enough for their lessons... and i always thought they tended to be poorly logically organized and doted on their favorites...

    BUT thanks to the MBTI i have a framework for understanding this problem. the really interesting thing is that i recognized that there was a "type" of teacher i was having this trouble with - it'd always be similar problems, and the teachers would always share similar aspects in terms of the way they taught... which is fascinating to now realize they were probably all INFJs and that's why we had trouble.

    now i can see that my questions were Ne deviation from their Ni points... that they wanted me to piece things together in a Ni way like they do... that their "poor" logical organization is (or isn't, lol) tert Ti... that they probably did dote on those who made class go more "smoothly", using Fe to usher the lessons in the directions they wanted them to go...

    last semester i had a prof i suspect was INFJ and we got along quite well actually a little awkward... but i made an A in any case!
    would you have the same problems with an isfj instructor? is it better or worse than infjs? do you do significantly better with tjs including estjs? (they certainly have more clearly laid out, explicit goals with explicit criteria for reaching those goals, even if those goals aren't necessarily fair or open to change). what about istps (who demand concrete tangible evidence and definitional precision)?

    i've personally clashed with isfjs and istps. strangely enough, between the two, i related to their personal weaknesses as instructors so much (the kind of responsive and less clear, specifically directive aux Fe of isfjs, having to respond to something after the fact rather than being able to figure out where it needs to go before anything happens, and the lost in one's own thoughts/model etc of e5 istps and sometimes losing sight of the social context and the common ground necessary to communicate private, personally experienced models that have been made and may not have anything accessible or immediately experientially relevant for others in a particular moment).

    i definitely relate to your criticisms, but i'm not sure how to improve these things. i'm also a bit surprised you had so much trouble because i recognize intuitive students very quickly and tend to align to some degree because i place such significant value in curiosity. with that said, one of my infp students who i should have been able to do much better with had trouble in my course, so perhaps i am making way more mistakes with nfps than i realize.

    also, what tangible improvements would you recommend for infj teachers based on your experiences and your perspective in those classes?

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