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All types are needed in boarding

I was asked today at lunch, “What type of students do you attract?” I answered, “no one particular type”. The person asking wasn’t asking about personality type but it got me thinking again…

I have been a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) practitioner since 1993 and love that it can be applied to almost every interaction I have with people. Some of the most interesting have been observing my colleagues speak about students I know or have interviewed myself. The interaction almost always goes better when the interviewer and student share similar ‘type’ and have had an easy time establishing rapport. So much so, that I was inspired to offer an MBTI session at the SSATB Annual Meeting a couple of years ago to help admission professionals explore their own type to ensure that there wasn’t any personality type bias in their interviewing and admission processes overall.

The danger simply is that an extraverted or introverted interviewer may get along better with a like-typed student. More often I have heard extraverted colleagues speak about how difficult it was to get a student ‘animated’ in the interview or an intuitive type (future creative) trying to get a more sensing student (grounded in the present) speak about their future. Independent schools need all types just like in society.

Depending on their culture, schools can miss out on the quiet deep thinkers in favour of the more vocal spontaneous types or vice versa.

For prospective students, expect that the person interviewing you may not be just like you. Therefore a little advance preparation can’t hurt, think about things that typically may not be ‘you’ on a day to day basis:

  • a subject you can speak about with animation
  • something you care deeply about
  • How you ‘feel’ about certain events, what you ‘think’ about different subjects
  • how you have handled challenges in the past
  • how/where you see yourself in the future
  • how do you respond to structure, what do you do when there is no structure?
  • what is your ideal environment for getting down to school work?

Having answers will help. What energizes you – action, people, ideas, rest; how do you take in information – through your five senses or from seeing patterns and possibilities; how do you make decisions – through logic or their impact on people; and what type of lifestyle do you prefer – structured or more go with the flow? Stephen Covey echoes the sentiment in his, “first seek to understand, then be understood”.

Just as in hiring an employee, MBTI should never be used for candidate selection purposes. If interviewers understand their own preferences, they will ensure that they are getting the best out of their candidates and all ‘types’ at their school.

For more information on MBTI and MBTI and learning.

Choosing Your Classes

This is a blog that prospective boarders might like to follow. It is written by three students from Thacher in California and chronicles their lives in boarding from a teenage boarding perspective.
This post about making course selections is particularly interesting as it deals with the question of choice and making decisions. Obviously there is some guidance provided by faculty advisors to ensure that students are keeping university options open, but when it comes to choosing optional courses, Morgana is correct in her advice to follow your heart, be aware of overextending yourself (boarding school helps you realize you have to make choices in life), choose elective courses based on your interests and blaze your own trail through a school.

the boarders blog

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Choosing classes can be difficult, and can often be the fuel to our constant stress eating. What classes should I take? Which ones are my friends choosing? What if it’s to hard? Who’s the teacher? Would this make my schedule to hectic?

Whether your in your freshmen year or even junior, planning out your elective classes is never a bad idea. From personal experience, there have been times when I’ve looked at my class selections for the next four years and have just been overwhelmed with the amount of options! There are so many classes I want to take and I always find myself hoping that I’ll have time for them or that they will fit into my already hectic schedule. I myself have just started the process of planning out my elective classes, so I decided it would be an interesting topic to write about. Basically…

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Sunshine State of Mind

I travel for real a great deal for work purposes therefore I am rarely at liberty to sightsee. It is moments like these imagined ones that have kept me on the road for sixteen years. Those brief moments when you can catch your breath and soak in the culture, architecture and for me, the people of a town square, courtyard or café. Many of the opportunities have come thanks to agents, alumni or current parents who have taken me off the beaten path. To them I am most grateful.
I am looking forward to this young writer’s novel being published.