Learning Temperament: What to Do When Your Student Needs More Space


When we assess a student’s Learning Temperament, we can gather lots of information that helps us engage that student in the process of learning. Learning Temperament goes way beyond the standard learning styles we’ve heard about. Through Learning Temperament assessment, we can see how a student’s focus is impacted by room temperature, what he had for breakfast, and the amount of space or attention he needs to get the job done and to keep inappropriate behaviors in check.

So let’s assume that you have assessed the student’s Learning Temperament and discover that he needs a lot of space during his classroom and/or study time. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s really not. We have documented significant, dare I say, miraculous results when we apply this information in support of a student.

For example, one student in particular was hesitant to express her need for space. She wasn’t even sure what she needed exactly. All she knew was that she could not bear her experience in the classroom, one class in particular, where the teacher hovered most days in an effort to help her. It was a classroom that was a high school auditorium set-up, designed for up to 60 students in the room. The student’s solution to her dismay was to stop coming to school most days.

Once the teacher discovered this aspect of her student’s Learning Temperament, she realized that her own good intentions of giving more concentrated attention to her student was not what the student needed. So she backed off the attention and offered seating assignment changes, many days allowing the student to work alone in the hallway. Once this teacher saw immediate positive results with these changes, she was able to share the Learning Temperament information she had gathered on this student with her other teachers. Truancy declined and the student moved on to academic success and graduation. This case study sounds nearly unbelievable. But that’s how Learning Temperament assessment works. Results provide a list of opportunities for us as educators to support a student in ways we are unlikely to determine by simple day-to-day observation.

What can we do, then, to provide a student his much needed space in the typical classroom setting, be it early childhood, high school or in between. Solutions in the middle school and high school setting are pretty simple as described above. But what about pre-k and young elementary age students. This is a question we get all the time. It takes some creativity but it can and must be done, especially since acting out on the unmet need for space can be extreme in this age group.

One of the best ways to provide this intervention with the younger age group is to set up 2 or 3 comfy spaces in the classroom that are fully monitored and help the student know when he or she needs to take time in this space. This provides a helpful support rather than the student being isolated by his teacher, which can feel punitive.

One point to remember is this: no matter what we discover about a student’s Learning Temperament, when we make an effort to nurture and accommodate even one aspect of that temperament, a student feels like we get him. And more than any other aspect of teaching, when a student feels understood and sees that we are even making some effort to understand, wonderful things happen. Connection. Engagement. Cooperation.

You can download the Learning Temperament Test NOW along with a video instructional as your guide. This is just one teacher support that can help you have A Better Day every day!








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