The Good, The Bad, and the Enneagram: The Archetypes of Teachers through the eyes of the Enneagram
As someone who has been studying the Enneagram for years, I’ve come to appreciate the many ways in which it can be used to improve our lives. One of the most interesting applications of the Enneagram is in the realm of teaching. By understanding our Enneagram type, we can become more effective instructors, better able to connect with our students and help them learn.
Of course, like any system, there are both good and bad ways to approach the Enneagram in teaching. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the archetypical Enneagram teachers out there, and explore what makes the best Enneagram type teachers so effective.
Introduction to the Enneagram and its use in teaching
The Enneagram is a system of personality typing that helps us understand the underlying motivations and fears that drive our behavior. Each of the nine Enneagram types has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses, and by understanding these traits, we can better understand ourselves and others. When it comes to teaching, the Enneagram can be a powerful tool for helping students learn and grow. By understanding our own Enneagram type, we can become more aware of our strengths and weaknesses as teachers, and better able to connect with our students.
The Good: Characteristics of the Best Enneagram Teachers
For the sake of brevity, we're going to call Teachers we have identified as their Enneagram type and who hopefully also are aware of the Enneagram and using it to help understand their students. - we're calling them "Enneagram Teachers." Not to be confused with a person who teaches about the Enneagram - we are just talking about a Teacher who knows about and is as seen through the lens of the Enneagram.
The best Enneagram teacher types share a number of key characteristics that set them apart from the rest. For starters, they are deeply knowledgeable about the Enneagram system and how it can be applied in different contexts. They are passionate about teaching and helping others, and they are able to connect with their students on a deep and meaningful level. They are patient, empathetic, and able to work with students who may have different learning styles or needs.
Another key characteristic of the best Enneagram teachers is that they are able to create a safe and supportive learning environment for their students. They understand that learning can be challenging and that students may need extra support and encouragement along the way. They are skilled at providing constructive feedback and helping their students identify areas for improvement. Ultimately, the best Enneagram teachers are those who are able to inspire their students to learn and grow, both inside and outside of the classroom.
The Bad: Common Mistakes Made by Enneagram Teachers
Of course, not all teachers are created equal. There are plenty of common mistakes that different Enneagram teacher types can make that can undermine their effectiveness and leave students feeling frustrated and disengaged. For example, some Enneagram teachers may rely too heavily on theory and fail to provide practical applications for their students. Others may be overly critical or dismissive of their students’ ideas, which can lead to a lack of trust and openness in the classroom.
Another common mistake made by teachers with Enneagram knowledge is to become too focused on their own Enneagram type, and fail to recognize the diversity of their students’ needs and perspectives. This can lead to a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching that doesn’t take into account the unique strengths and challenges of different students. Ultimately, the key to being a successful Enneagram teacher is to remain open-minded, flexible, and willing to adapt to the needs of your students.
The Enneagram Teacher Type Breakdown
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the archetypical Enneagram teacher types out there, and explore what makes them tick.
Type 1: The Perfectionist Teacher
The Perfectionist teacher is highly organized, detail-oriented, and always striving for excellence. They have high standards for themselves and their students, and can be very demanding in the classroom. They are often very knowledgeable about the Enneagram system and may be more focused on theory than practical applications. While they can be very effective teachers, they may need to work on being more flexible and open to new approaches.
Type 2: The Helper Teacher
The Helper teacher is warm, nurturing, and deeply committed to the well-being of their students. They are often very empathetic and intuitive, and may have a strong desire to help their students grow and develop. They can be very effective at creating a supportive learning environment, but may need to work on setting boundaries and not becoming too emotionally involved in their students’ lives.
Type 3: The Achiever Teacher
The Achiever teacher is ambitious, driven, and always looking for ways to succeed. They are often very goal-oriented and may be more focused on achieving outcomes than on the process of learning itself. While they can be very effective at motivating their students to succeed, they may need to work on being more patient and empathetic with students who may not share their same level of ambition.
Type 4: The Individualist Teacher
The Individualist teacher is creative, imaginative, and deeply attuned to their own emotions and feelings. They may have a unique teaching style that is unconventional or outside the norm. While they can be very inspiring and engaging, they may need to work on being more structured and organized in their approach to teaching.
Type 5: The Investigator Teacher
The Investigator teacher is analytical, logical, and deeply curious about the world around them. They may be more focused on theory than practical applications, and may have a strong desire to understand the Enneagram system at a deep level. While they can be very effective at conveying complex information, they may need to work on being more empathetic and connected to their students’ needs and perspectives.
Type 6: The Loyalist Teacher
The Loyalist teacher is loyal, dependable, and deeply committed to their students. They may be more focused on providing support and guidance than on conveying information or ideas. While they can be very effective at creating a safe and supportive learning environment, they may need to work on being more assertive and confident in their approach to teaching.
Type 7: The Enthusiast Teacher
The Enthusiast teacher is energetic, enthusiastic, and always looking for new and exciting ways to engage their students. They may be more focused on fun and entertainment than on serious learning. While they can be very effective at creating a dynamic and engaging learning environment, they may need to work on being more focused and disciplined in their approach to teaching.
Type 8: The Challenger Teacher
The Challenger teacher is strong-willed, assertive, and not afraid to challenge their students. They may be more focused on pushing their students to their limits than on providing support or encouragement. While they can be very effective at motivating their students to succeed, they may need to work on being more sensitive to their students’ needs and perspectives.
Type 9: The Peacemaker Teacher
The Peacemaker teacher is calm, patient, and deeply committed to creating a harmonious learning environment. They may be more focused on avoiding conflict than on challenging their students. While they can be very effective at creating a safe and supportive learning environment, they may need to work on being more assertive and willing to push their students to grow and develop.
Conclusion: Finding the Right Enneagram Teacher for You
As you can see, there are many different teacher types out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the key to having the right teacher - or what your Enneagram says about your style as a teacher - for you is to look for the positive traits. If you find, or are, someone who is knowledgeable, passionate, supportive, and flexible that's what really matters. Also, by understanding your own Enneagram type, you can better identify the types of teachers who are most likely to resonate with your needs and learning style. Whether you’re a Perfectionist, a Helper, an Achiever, or something else entirely, there is an Enneagram teacher out there who can help you achieve your goals and reach your full potential.
If you're interested in learning more about the Enneagram and how it can be used to improve your teaching or your life in general, I highly recommend checking out some of the many resources available online. There are countless blogs, books, and courses out there that can help you deepen your understanding of the Enneagram and become a more effective and impactful teacher. A few good sites are below. Happy Teaching and Learning!