What does ‘Type B’ mean?
Personalities can be generally categorised into Type A and Type B. Type A people are organised, conscientious, and competitive. Type B personalities are creative and laid back. Of course, life is not that black and white, and many people fall somewhere in between the two.
Me, I’m Type B. No question. What does that mean as a teacher? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does it affect my ability to carry out the job well?
I am disorganised but creative. I am eccentric but easy-going. I am messy but I’m kind.* I am passionate about teaching and I absolutely love my job.
Let’s take a closer look…
Paperwork is not my friend. From planning to corrections to end of year reports, you can be sure I’m behind on it. And even when my plans are complete on paper, I’m probably not going to follow them anyway. Which brings me to a positive factor of being a Type B teacher. I am quite capable and perfectly happy to ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ in the classroom. I can ad-lib and improvise a lesson as needed. Teaching is a performance, after all.
I am a hoarder. My classroom is filled to the brim with ‘stuff’ - stuff that may or may not come in useful. If you need a screwdriver, a purple sharpie, a picturebook about bullying, or a chocolate hit, I’m your woman. I know where it all is, although it may take me a few minutes to get to the back of my storeroom to retrieve it. I also have enough materials for Art lessons for the next 10 years or so. Every egg carton or ribbon from a fancy box of chocolates has been saved for this purpose. And yes, I’ll share them with you!
I procrastinate. A lot. Why do it today when it can be put off until tomorrow, or next week? If you fancy a chat after school, you’ll find me in the staffroom. (I’ll bring the chocolate.) My classroom displays are rarely up to date. I now avoid seasonal displays because I know they won’t get changed on time. Nobody wants to be looking at a wall of pumpkins in January.
I am shockingly disorganised. And forgetful. But what I lack in organisational skills, I make up for with enthusiasm. I am the teacher who will join in with GoNoodle, and sing along in assembly with gusto. I won’t miss a staff night out. I bring cake to the staffroom on a very sporadic basis.
My time-keeping leaves a lot to be required. There’s no positive to this. My apologies.
I’m not afraid to be creative, and that is something that I try to impart on all the children that come through the doors of my classroom. If you’re looking for paper plate crafts, you have come to the wrong place. In my classroom, we embrace the process, whether that is in painting, STEM challenges or singing. Things can get messy. And noisy.
Before I even qualified, I knew that I would never be the type of teacher who taught by the book. I could never be constrained by following a textbook sequentially. Heck, I can’t even follow a recipe without adding my own spin to it. It’s all too restrictive! Thankfully, teaching is a job that allows you to be creative every single day. I think on the spot. I improvise. I perform.
Being a Type B teacher has its advantages and its challenges. I love that I have autonomy over my daily schedule and that I can bring my personality into my classroom without hesitation. But there are times when I find myself drowning in paperwork to catch up on, or surrounded by cardboard boxes that I can’t bring myself to throw out because they ‘might come in handy’. But I am who I am and after teaching for 16 years, I can stand over what I am doing in the confidence that the children in my class are safe, happy, and learning.
My advice to you, whether you are Type A, Type B, or a mix of both, is to be yourself. Acknowledge your strengths and embrace your weaknesses. Don’t let anyone ever dull your sparkle. And never grow up.
*If you get that reference, I’ll buy you a pint!
Dee O'Toole is a Primary School Teacher in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath. Dee has keen interest in early years education and is extremely passionate about play! Teaching since 2005, Dee has taught most class levels and is currently teaching Junior Infants. A big believer in the creation of a fun learning environment for all, Dee encourages the use of picturebooks aplenty and playful learning galore.
Visit Dee's fantastic website www.playfulclassroom.ie where she shares blog posts and updates on her latest resources.
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