Personality in the Classroom

Motivating and inspiring every teacher and student

By: David Hodgson


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 297mm x 210mm
Pages : 392
ISBN : 9781845907419
Format: Paperback
Published: February 2012

The best teachers really understand themselves and their students. By uncovering personality strengths teachers can transform learning in their classroom. Armed with this practical book teachers can:

  • Help every student make progress by truly personalising learning
  • Improve behaviour, motivation and confidence
  • Balance the right levels of energy, creativity, resilience and control in each lesson
  • Reduce stress and boredom by stretching all students
  • Develop their leadership skills.

David has introduced this model to hundreds of schools (primary and secondary) and colleges both across the UK and abroad to inspire students, classroom teachers and leadership teams for over twenty years. Packed with examples of good practice, strategies and engaging activities this book helps teachers and students understand and adapt their natural strengths and styles for success across the curriculum. The book is based on the widely respected personality type model popularised by Myers-Briggs and others but rarely applied in education. As one teacher says, ‘If we all knew this stuff we could change the world.’

Picture for author David Hodgson

David Hodgson

David Hodgson is a training consultant and author who works with teachers and students across the UK and abroad. He has written a number of books to help teachers and students thrive in the classroom and beyond.

Bel Mooney recommends The Buzz in the Daily Mail.

Click here to listen to David on the TES podcast, speaking about how schools and colleges can provide high-quality careers advice.


  1. It is interesting how a book has finally spelt out the impact that a teacher has on a classroom in terms of their personality and it's useful for understanding yourself better, and seeing how your personality impacts on learners. There is an amazing amount of information on classroom application / teaching but as with previous books that offer techniques it comes down to the same issue that all teachers have - time. It is however an eye opener to me, and has made me more aware of the characteristics of some students.

  2. This is another very good book by David Hodgson, on promoting more effective motivation, confidence, personal skills and aspirations of students. It is essential reading for teachers, tutors, mentors, youth workers in schools and colleges who are keen to gain greater insight into factors impacting upon engagement, behaviour, resilience etc. The sections on personality types, leadership styles and skills to promote more effective rapport and overcome personality clashes and difficulties are excellent. With the increased emphasis on promoting teaching skills to engage and challenge students to raise performance levels, this book is an excellent resource for all schools and colleges.
  3. Personality in the Classroom is another inspirational text from David Hodgson. As a Higher Education and Careers Adviser involved in providing individual guidance, I found Chapter 6 on one-to-one relationships particularly interesting and relevant to my own work with students in a sixth form college.

    In this book Hodgson extends the work he started in his first book The Buzz, which I use on a daily basis when helping students to choose degree courses and careers. As a Clownfish preference I shall use David's tips when dealing with students of other preferences (we administer the questionnaire with the majority of our students). Knowing their own personality preference is often the first step in helping them make sense of their future path and motivating them towards their goals. 

    This book encourages teachers to consider their own personality preference in order to understand their pupils. It is a -˜must read' for teachers of every age range and I feel that the subtitle describes it in a nutshell: -˜Motivating and inspiring every teacher and student'.
  4. Personality in the Classroom is a great text for both new and experienced teachers alike. What I found particularly refreshing was the entertaining and often humorous style in which the author's messages are conveyed. Emphasis is placed on the -˜how' rather than the -˜what' in teaching, which is so important when dealing with today's teenagers if effective teaching is to be achieved. 

    Hodgson's book encourages both personal and professional development and improvement in a clear and structured way. It positively enforces personal focus and reflection, honing one's awareness of others and the significance of being open-minded and receptive in the classroom. 

    There is a wealth of fun and interesting activities to utilise in the classroom which will assist teachers in achieving their aims and objectives by using personality types to enhance their teaching outcomes and achieve best practice.
  5. Attending David Hodgson's -˜Buzz' training was one of the most eye-opening development experiences I've ever had -” not just for me, but for the young people I work with who have benefitted from the training indirectly. I regularly refer to The Little Book of Inspirational Teaching Activities and The Buzz Book on a regular basis, and I intend to make good use of Personality in the Classroom to become a more effective educator.
  6. David Hodgson's Personality in the Classroom has helped me to appraise my own learning preferences. As a direct result I have modified my teaching style to forge stronger relationships with my students. His work has helped explain why some students embrace independent learning tasks whilst others need more support and encouragement to undertake them. Also, why some students crave an opportunity to discuss the topic they are working on whilst others literally groan at the prospect. 

    I have since modified the teaching activities I use to introduce more role play and I've used a mock trial to add variation and fun. The students were very positive about this. In some instances I have used differentiated learning tasks but with the same core content. Introducing choice can increase cooperation and can have a positive effect on behaviour management, if this is an issue. I have also modified the assessment feedback I give to personalise it as much as possible and to tailor targets to fit the individual. Some students have remarked that they have found this particularly useful. 

    Finally, I have set up a mentoring group to encourage peer group learning. David comments on how effective peer group learning can be in improving a learner's motivation and achievement. Setting up this group has improved my relationship with the learners. We meet at lunchtimes and the students have a chance to discuss topics more informally and learn from other students nearer their own age.
  7. David Hodgson's book has helped me understand my own personality type as well as the different personality types of my students and how they interact in the classroom. He explains, with plenty of practical ideas to incorporate in my daily practice, how I can use this understanding to improve my teaching and be able to better respond to all students' needs. He also suggests how one can use the personality type approach to better lead colleagues, whether as a middle leader or head teacher.
  8. I have found reading this book enjoyable and surprisingly quick and easy to relate to. Don't we all love to find out more about ourselves! This is what the first part of the book is about. We then move on to the question of the perfect teacher and then to everyone else. We realise that finding out about ourselves is also about finding out about others. 

    The best features of this book are the wonderful metaphors and comparisons which make every personality type accessible to the other. We can all relate to someone as an animal -” from celebrities to cartoon characters. We can all see, understand and feel where the other is coming from through these comparisons. 

    This book is not a one-hit wonder; it is a reference book that I will use at all stages of my career. It will be beneficial for NQTs and more experienced classroom teachers as well as senior management teams. I see this book as a quick answer to some complex questions: How do I deal with a student or colleague with a personality type different to mine? How do I teach a group in such as way as to reach successfully as many students as possible? This book provides an almost never-ending wealth of resources and ideas to use in order to become not only the best teacher but also the best human being I can be. It is all too easy to give in to personal learning preferences; it takes more effort to actually understand how others learn and cater for each and every one of them. This book has taught me it is possible.

    The most interesting aspect for me is the chapter on playfulness. As adults, play is often considered as childish; however it forms an important part of teaching and learning. The fun activities outlined in Chapter 3 can be used in any subject classroom, but the techniques suggested for developing creative thinking fitted perfectly with teaching students to talk about the world around them in a foreign language. Many of the activities create the perfect learning environment effortlessly and students learn without even noticing they are learning. I have transferred the same techniques used in the classroom into my departmental meetings, and the same thing happened. Instead of being viewed as long and boring they became more fun and everyone gets a chance to shine, whatever their personality type. 

    In the MFL classroom the Snowman activity was a hit! Not only did students get to write a creative essay as per syllabus but they also found out about themselves and each other. The Story by Numbers activity worked in a similar way. I also found the teacher-”student personality type comparison in Chapter 6 extremely helpful. As a quick reference guide on a daily basis or giving feedback to a certain personality type student I found it easy to use and effective. 

    This book has been an invaluable resource to developing a more personal type of teaching by tailoring my teaching and management style to each and everyone's needs. As a Black Bear myself, prone to offending people around me and also to intolerance (having high standards and expecting everyone else to work to the same standards!) I have learnt to soften some of the harshest features about myself, thus making the most of my relationships.

    David simply is a facilitator. He opens our eyes about personality types -” making the -˜other' less scary and more accessible. We learn about ourselves and each other in an effortless way, thus making us more tolerant of other people and getting the best out of all our relationships. This book does not stop in the classroom. It helps us become tolerant human beings as well. I cannot wait to share it with my students, colleagues, friends and family.

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