There is plenty of research about personality types which is getting noticed by mainstream science. Personality tests are starting to actually change the way some HR teams and companies hire. What kind of person are you and will you be good for the team, will you fit in, and are you a leader? Personality tests like Myers-Briggs and the Big 5 are informative and useful.
I’m not going to do a Myers-Briggs or Big 5 analysis. I’m going to present to you an informal analysis of types of teachers that can strain your patience and will to learn; present their pros and cons and how you can benefit from each type if you remember the quick tips that I’ve listed below.
The Storyteller- The storyteller is the English trainer who has a thousand stories, they are a wealth of experience. They have been to Tibet, backpacking in Spain, and met Chancellor Angela Merkle the day they visited the Reichstag. They are absolutely fascinating.
Pros- They are able to maintain your attention. They are giving you a window to their world. You can’t imagine one person has such a wealth of experience.
Cons- The English lesson becomes a *monologue.
Tip- *Existentially they offer, life lessons. If you listen to them, just like you would listen to an audio book your English will improve simply by *osmosis.
The Chatterbox- The chatterbox, unlike the storyteller is not telling stories. S/he is simply rambling on and on about whatever pops into their head while you’re in the lesson. Every answer they give turns into a 5-minute talk about some aspect of there life, dating habits, colonoscopy or whatever random topic they think of. They are the trainers that will even trap you in the bathroom and talk until it’s time to go back into the class (In English, of course!).
Pros- You hear a lot of English. You can pick up idioms as well as ideas for small talk.
Cons- You move at a snail’s pace through the material you need to learn and feel you are falling behind. This can be falling behind your personal goals, or actual goals set by a course or training.
Tip- You have to learn to rein this trainer in. S/he is galloping full speed ahead and you just have to say, “Whoa, slow down.” You need to bring them back to the theme and the present. This trainer is not opposed to being reined in. So, use your power to get you through the material you need to get through in a timely manner.
The Smelly Trainer- This trainer always smells like he’s had something exotic for lunch or s/he is walking around with cheese in their shoes. When s/he stands over you explaining some language point, all you can do is smell their lunch, their cigarettes/pipe, and/or their cologne. They seem not to have a sense of smell or any sensitivity to smells.
Pros- You can learn about what they do, what they’ve eaten, how many cigarettes they smoke throughout the day. As part of some kind of psychology study in English.
Cons- It can shut you down and stop you from learning because your *sense receptors are overwhelmed.
Tips- Beg for a window to be opened to let in some fresh air. Carry mints and kindly, offer them one. Even ask, “Have you just come from the gym?” They may offer, “Why do I smell?” Then simply say, “A little.” They have to deal with the impact of their odours on the environment. These days it is more acceptable to want to have a space which is odour free.
The Tester- The tester knows about every English qualification test that is out there. S/he has worked through them and has a thorough knowledge of every English grammar rule known to (wo)man. Perfection seems to be his/her aim for you. They correct every a/an slip that you make. Do you need this level of perfection? Is it hampering your fluency and ability to speak freely?
Pros- Your English will improve if you listen to their pronunciation and digest their grammar rules. They are a living rule book, and you can improve if you follow them as best as you can. You may not reach the moon, but you are bound to get that next level if you stick with them.
Cons- It makes the language less enjoyable when it is broken down into grammar *porridge and served cold.
Tip- Get the language and grammar put into perspective, ask them as often as you need to, “Will I need this?” “Will I not be understood if I say…?” and simply tell them, I don’t need to be perfect, I need to be able to communicate my point. There is a difference and perhaps this is a discussion you need to have with your trainer to make sure you’re both on the same page.
We are all personalities; however strong personalities (be they trainers or classmates) can tip the balance in the classroom from a learning environment to one that is less *conducive to learning. You have a right to tip the balance in your favour in your learning environment.
Monologue - a long, … speech by one person during a conversation. Dictionary.com
Existentially-philosophy pertaining to what exists, and is thus known by experience rather than reason…” The Free Dictionary
Osmosis- A gradual, often unconscious process of assimilation or absorption. The Free Dictionary
Sense receptors – an organ having nerve endings, (… the nose) that respond to stimulation. Vocabulary.com
Porridge- oatmeal …or cereal boiled in water or milk. The Free Dictionary
Conducive-making a certain situation or outcome likely or possible. The Free Dictionary