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Any INFP teachers here? I'm considering going into teaching (I enjoy helping people understand things, seeing them achieve makes me feel like I've achieved plus education kind of shapes the rest of our lives ) but I'm undecided between teaching primary school or secondary school (I don't know what that equates to in america but that's up to age 11 in primary, secondary is 11-16). Anyone here a teacher who could shed some light on what you do/don't enjoy about teaching? Or anyone with any ideas on what the INFP skill set would be better suited to?
 

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This autumn will be my second year of teaching. I got my masters in 2016. I teach elementary-aged students: 6th graders (who are usually in middle school) are ages 11-12. I had a similar motivation to you for getting into it; plus I worked as an assistant when I had no other job opportunities in a small town and really liked it. My wife has been teaching for 7 years now and got me into it. As a kid I was always curious about teaching.

What I like about teaching. Getting those 'a-ha' moments out of kids, the theraputic extroverted time (even if it exhausts me). The Ne-puzzle of relating subjects to kids of different academic backgrounds. Getting kids to enjoy academics. It's a Ne-heavy job, which I appreciate.

What I don't like. The BS surrounding teaching. Defiant kids. I can manage a classroom well enough, but ODD kids can be very annoying if they want to be. Organization.

I had a bad experience with my first classroom job; and have a much better time being a substitute. I'll try not to cynically steer you away from classroom jobs, but I will explain what happened. From July-August 2016 I was desperate to take any classroom job, at that point thinking I would hate subbing. So I took the worst job available. Urban school (which isn't necessarily a bad thing, you just have usual issues associated with that setting*), a school on an improvement plan (that means the principal just got fired. Most kids couldn't read at an acceptable level, but the upside is that you get plenty of coaches). Had a kid who's purpose was to get kicked out of class as soon as possible every day, mostly by shouting and not following directions. His dad left him, and subsequently hated all males. I started bawling as soon as the first day ended.

Taught that class for a couple weeks, then got moved to a different school because of population issues. The school was down 40 kids from last year (probably because they were bad enough to get on an improvement plan; so any parents with the option would move their kids out of there). I was teaching 19 kids in a state notorious for large class sizes. Moved to a completely different situation: rural, rich families (so plenty of volunteering but high expectations). A micromanaging principal who wouldn't let me learn as I went. He would observe my class for hours at a time, type up everything I said and read it back to me. Oh, and he thought introversion was a weakness. Fuck that guy. During this period I had my first panic attack; fortunately before school. I was working 65 hour weeks to try and be prepared. I lasted until the end of October and resigned.

TL:DR, don't take any job that will hire you.

Subbing was completely different. You set your own expectations, teaching has no pressure. You get to teach your way: doesn't matter if you don't follow pre-packaged programs to a T (another strike for micromanaging bosses). If you teach a class full of annoying kids, you can refuse to take jobs from that teacher for the year. Same with schools. You leave your stress at the school at the end of the day (most of the time). It's also a way to preview schools; you get to know the staff and they get to know you. You can find out if you'd actually want to teach there. The downside: classroom management is key, because some kids don't respect subs. Just remind them you write notes to the teacher after work :). You can get away with writing copious referrals (as a classroom teacher, you'd be asked questions about that). Also downside: less pay and no benefits. It worked for me in part because my wife has a classroom job and insurance. Oh, and sometimes the classroom teacher doesn't set you up for success. I've had the teacher not tell me about autistic kids; only give me worksheets to give them, stuff like that.

For me, I like teaching younger kids. Grades 1-4 is my sweet zone. Grade 5+; puberty can be a bitch.

I think teaching is a great profession, you just need to enter the right situations to make the best out of it. Time flies; 8 hours go by very quickly as a teacher. If you can afford to sub; do that until you find a great situation, and the principal likes your work. Classroom management can be difficult for people; as can organization. It just depends on you. Like any job, it helps to observe/preview what the job is really like. I was privileged to be an assistant for a few years to get experience, and find out if I really wanted to do this before I started college for it.

*Urban east Portland Oregon: kids live where criminals go when they get out of prison. Usually one-parent households that don't have time to care about education. Very far behind in terms of academics. Kids raised by computer screens. I feel for them, and teachers are very important in those kids' lives, but it can be really difficult. My wife got burnt out by her school; and we're moving to a small rural area because she got a job in her wheelhouse.
 

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If you have a problem following rules you know/believe are bad for people, you won't like teaching in public school. My wife has taught (public high school) for the last 15 years. She loves the teaching, but hates the public education system. If you can separate the two, go for it. If that systemic dysfunction gets to you, be forewarned.
 

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Anyone here a teacher who could shed some light on what you do/don't enjoy about teaching? Or anyone with any ideas on what the INFP skill set would be better suited to?
Hi KillinIt!
I've been a primary school teacher for the last 15 years and it's great! I've been teaching kindergarten, grade 2, grade 3 and grade 4. Kids 4yo to 10yo.
What I enjoy:
- working with kids, they are happy, funny individuals. They smile a lot, are eager to learn, fun to be around.
- flexibility. You can choose to do your grammar lesson first thing in the morning or a bit later if you feel the class is too tired or not receptive. You are the boss in your classroom!
- never boring. Every day is different. It's not easy so I don't get bored. New challenges every year.
- paper thingnies. I love stickers, pens, sticky notes, etc. I get to use a lot!
- purpose. I get a great sense of contribution to society and I know I make a difference in my student's life.
- summers off. The best when you have kids. You don't need to send them to camps all summer. You get to stay with them and it's priceless.
- having colleagues but not having to work directly with them.
- doing fun activities at school like hide'n seek with the whole school, pyjama days, sports team day, etc.
- students are very sweet and they give me drawings with I love you written on it or Thank you. I get a lot of great feedback from them. You'll never have a boss tell you on a daily basis they appreciate you. Kids do it all the time. You get hugs, cards, crafts, etc.
- it's a great satisfaction when I get to help a struggling student.

Things I don't like:
- giving tests
- grading
- report cards
- when the principal won't help with kids who need help. For ex, if a student needs a computer to write and I get the «We have no money for that» answer. It can get very frustrating.
- after school staff meetings
- not a lot of alone time.

I think being an INFP is awesome because (for me) I'm very flexible and don't mind last minute plan changes. Also, I'm very sensitive and I care for my students. They appreciate that and are a lot easier to manage when they feel you genuinely care for them. Parents also appreciate a sensitive teacher who cares about their kids. I don't get into arguments or fights with coworkers and bosses. A school is a small community and it's great to be part of it.

I highly recommend teaching! Never regretted my choice of career.
 

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What @chad86tsi stated is very true, I am a literature & language teacher and I do believe that we INFP are not suitable for teaching under any systems or organizations. For me they just goes against what teaching really is, either they do that for money or they just follow the guidelines. The true part of teaching that I love is to be able to connect and help a person grow, both in knowledge and as a human. I hate it when they teach for the money or just the pure 'deliver the knowledge' way, there must be feelings involve in it towards your students, that is what I believe. So you should really consider that part, working under such systems will drain you to the point that you will hate teaching. Besides, rules and regulations are scary haha.

About INFP skill, I do believe that we can help/affect/influence... a person in any intangible ways, for me, I also very interested in becoming a counselor. Helping others in tangible ways drains me way too fast to be enjoyable (all of those details, practical skills, common senses), but may be that just me. These are all I can think of now, hope it helps!
 

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Actually, the pros are more than the cons. Sometimes it feels like I'm at work and I feel at home. It's really good for the students to come to me and me to them. I'm used to listening to people's opinions and correcting my mistakes.
 

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My vehicle is INFP, 9w8. Vroom vroom!!
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I like being a band/music teacher. I think teaching the arts can be a great career for an INFP. I don't get pressured by my admin for higher test scores, which is nice. I am in a rural school with poor discipline and bad characters running around the halls, but I find purpose here because the current admin is trying to make the culture better. I feel like I'm making a difference, which is what I need to feel in my job.

My teaching advice is that you need to find a school that is a good fit for you. You may think you hate teaching or that you suck at it—but it also might be a horrible administration with a broken system. Find a different job and relocate. No job is perfect, but there is a job out there that won't cause your self image to disintegrate.
 

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I have never been a proper teacher, but jumped in when the real teachers were ill etc. I liked the actual teaching, telling and explaining, trying to figure out how they might understand things etc. It was small kids, and they know so very little, it is quite rewarding to in so little time help a person go from someone who didn't know anything about how to tell the time to being able to tell what hour it was, or from not knowing how things grow to know about flowers and seeds, or from not knowing about nutrients to being able to name the most important ones and where to find them, so on and so forth. I didn't like policing so that they didn't run in the corridors, didn't beat each other, throw rocks at each other, as well as stupid rule-upkeeps such as that they should wear lots of outdoors clothes even when the sun was shining and they were warm, just because that was the rule.
I wasn't great at the social aspects of the work, perhaps it had to do with not being very used to children and that it could be learnt... but I think part of it is just being more reserved kind of person, and so not as approachable as is optimal.

edit: part of the policing aspect was probably worse when not being the teacher that is there for a long time and is part of making up the rules and who can work longterm with behaviour and know each child and who to reach them. As someone who just came and worked one day hear and two there, the children are more or less strangers and it is difficult to know how to make them listen, and you have to try to adapt to the rules they are used to, even if not liking them.
 

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I'd love to be a teacher but I absolutely suck at maths. I don't even know all of the times tables. (Because I never got all of them taught to me at school. And I cbf learning them now.) Like I can count money and read the time and calculate my wage earnings... But don't ask me about anything else...
High school teaching would be cool. I understand the pain kids go through, and kids have every right to live a good life I wish I could help them, especially the teenagers. Because I'm not patient enough to deal with smaller children.

And my teenage years were miserable. No other teen should have to feel that way. :sad: (And younger kids too.)

Sorry I know I'm not a teacher and didn't really offer anything to your thread.... but yeah.

Maybe I should be a school psychologist. xD
 

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INxP 4w5 teacher here. Most of the time I type as INFP. My subjects are English and Physical Geography but I've been in a position where I've been able to teach a wide range of subjects, which suits me fine. I'm a jack of all trades. I'm a science geek and amateur astronomer who loves history and English literature.

What I like most about teaching is explaining things that are important to me and I feel is important to people growing up. When I lecture about things I try to find the core of the thing. What is it that makes what I'm talking about meaningful for my students. I've been told by former students that I was known for always talking about deep things. I try not to shy away from what things mean... for the planet, for society and for the the student. There's always a message embedded in the lesson and I try to make that message crystal clear. I really feel as though I'm a preacher of knowledge and I want them to feel as passionate about these things as I do.

I think teachers teach in a way they themselves would want to be taught, which sometimes makes me think my approach is a bad one. There are so many sensors out there who don't care for the big picture and just want to be taught facts or skills as efficiently as possible in order to pass the test. I think my knowledge of people's individual differences has made me a better teacher, though. I can somewhat shift style and focus depending on who I'm talking to.

My favorite thing ever, though, is being in a creative flow state. Just working a problem or doing something creative. Losing track of time and space. And SOMETIMES, this can happen with a whole class. This is the best thing ever. Where you feel like you're in this flow state together with your class. Where everyone is hanging on your every word or you're working together towards something great. It doesn't happen as often as I'd like but when it does it really makes my day.
 
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