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Here's How to Reach Me

Here's How to Reach Me

Matching Instruction to Personality Types in Your Classroom
Authors: Judith A. Pauley Ph.D., Dianne F. Bradley Ph.D., Joseph F. Pauley

ISBN: 978-1-55766-566-9
Pages: 240
Copyright: 2002
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Teachers in today's diverse schools need a new kind of guidebook for classroom management — one that teaches them how to understand each of their students' personalities. In this book, they'll find what thousands of teachers nationwide have already learned from the authors' seminars on process communication: that once teachers identify a student's primary personality type (reactor, workaholic, persister, dreamer, rebel, or promoter), they'll know the secret to instructing and interacting with that student. In-service and preservice educators will be engaged by

  • narratives that illuminate each personality type

  • real-life examples of positive interactions between teachers and students with different personality types

  • ideas for blending process communication with existing approaches in all types of classrooms

  • forms that help pinpoint a student's personality structure, motivational needs, and strengths and challenges

  • logs to track the success of intervention strategies

With this easy-to-use guidebook, adapted from the concepts in Dr. Taibi Kahler's best-selling The Mastery of Management, educators will build better relationships with all students and keep the classroom focus where it belongs — on learning.

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Review by: Rachel Janney
"Conveys a positive, energetic attitude about the possibility of motivating and teaching challenging students."
Review: Dramascope, the newsletter of the NADT
"While the book is written primarily for teachers and administrators, the information is easily adaptable to any situation because the reinforcing communication methods remain the same whether you are dealing with a student, client, co-worker, or spouse."
About the Authors
Taibi Kahler, Ph.D.
Jacqueline S. Thousand, Ph.D.
  1. What Is Process Communication?

  2. Rosie Reactor (The Feeler)

  3. Will Workaholic (The Thinker)

  4. Paul Persister (The Believer)

  5. Doris Dreamer (The Imaginer)

  6. Rita Rebel (The Funster)

  7. Peter Promoter (The Doer)

  8. An Ounce of Prevention: How Process Communication Integrates with Other Learning Theories

  9. Keeping Students Out of Distress

  10. A Pound of Cure: Engaging All Students in the Learning Process

  11. Keeping Teachers Out of Distress

Excerpted from chapter 1 of Here's How to Reach Me: Matching Instruction to Personality Types in Your Classroom, by Judith Pauley, Ph.D., Dianne Bradley, Ph.D., & Joseph Pauley.

Copyright © 2002 by Paul H Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

What is Process Communication?

Welcome to your classroom. You are the ringmaster for 30 diverse learners. How are you going to teach in order to reach them all? What are you going to do to maintain their interest and enthusiasm to learn? Many teachers have found the concepts of the Process Communication Model (PCM) very useful in reaching every student and in keeping them motivated. Others have never heard of PCM. This book is for all of you.

What is PCM, and how can it help teachers reach out to students who have different needs and personality types? PCM is a powerful communication tool developed by Dr. Taibi Kahler, a clinical psychologist in Little Rock, Arkansas. Briefly stated, PCM provides a way for teachers and others to communicate with and motivate people by shifting to their preferred frame of reference. To categorize these frames of reference, Dr. Kahler (1982) identified six different personality types based on individuals' perceptions of the world (i.e., how they take in and process information). He found that each person prefers to communicate in different ways depending on his or her personality type (Kahler, 2000). In order to communicate effectively, then, Kahler suggests that people learn to speak the "languages" that other people prefer. His research shows that doing so will significantly increase the likelihood that the content of their message is "heard" and acted on. Dr. Kahler compares this to a person traveling to a foreign country. If residents of the foreign country do not speak the language of the traveler, then the traveler must speak their language if he or she wants to be understood. Dr. Kahler has identified six different "languages" people speak and six different ways people are motivated based on their personality type. In addition, he found that individuals of each personality type have predictable patterns of distress when their needs are not met positively.

According to the PCM research, everyone is one of these six personality types (Kahler, 1974). None of these types is any better or worse than any other, and each type has its strengths and weaknesses. Frequently, these weaknesses are seen when people become distressed because they have not gotten their motivational needs met positively. When people are in distress, they are not capable of thinking clearly; they will mask their true feelings and will display predictable negative behaviors. Usually, this results in miscommunication. This book focuses on how teachers can make positive interventions or even prevent these behaviors from occurring.


Dr. Kahler (1974) has identified these six personality types:

  • Reactors

  • Workaholics

  • Persisters

  • Dreamers

  • Rebels

  • Promoters

The characteristics and perceptions of each of the six types are shown in Table 1.1 (Kahler 1982, 1996). The percentage of each type represented in the North American population is shown in Figure 1.1 (Kahler, 1982, 1996).

Reactors are people of great compassion, sensitivity, and warmth. They perceive the world through their emotions. They feel first — about people, places and things — and want others to share their feelings. They have great interpersonal skills and care about others. They like people and want to be liked in return. In fact, they need to hear that people like them not for anything they have done but for who they are. They are very good at nurturing others. Compassion is their currency. As a result, many Reactors become elementary school teachers or special education teachers.

Workaholics are people who are responsible, logical, and organized. They perceive the world through their thoughts. They value facts and view the world by identifying and categorizing people and things. They want people to think with them. Because they are information oriented, they believe the problems of the world can be solved if they just get enough information. Workaholics like to discuss options and to hear that people appreciate their ability to think clearly, come up with good ideas, and do a good job. Logic is their currency. Many middle school and high school teachers are Workaholics.

Persisters are conscientious, dedicated, and observant. They perceive the world through their opinions; they take in information and very quickly form opinions about everyone and everything. Once they have formed an opinion, it is difficult to get them to change their beliefs. They are committed to loyalty, quality, values, standards, and their mission of helping others succeed. They may not care if anyone likes them as long as their dedication and commitment are respected and appreciated. They want everyone to achieve to his or her full potential, and, as a result, many Persisters become teachers. Values are their currency. Many middle school and high school teachers are Persisters.

Dreamers are reflective, imaginative, and calm. They conceptualize things in ways that are different from how people of other types conceptualize things. They want to be told what is expected of them and then prefer to be left alone to carry out instructions. They take in information by reflection. This means that although they probably understand the information presented, they will reflect on it and not act on it unless given specific, concise instructions. They value direction. If they are engaged in something, they tend to continue to do it until told to do something else. Imagination is their currency. A few Dreamers become teachers, but not very many.

Rebels are spontaneous, creative, playful, and fun. They like to have a good time. They perceive the world through reactions — that is, their likes and dislikes. They are energetic and may be artistic or musical. In fact, music, art, physical education, computer classes, and extracurricular activities help Rebels get through the school day. They prize spontaneity and creativity. Humor is their currency. Some Rebels become teachers, but not very many.

Promoters are resourceful, charming, and adaptable. They perceive the world by experiencing situations and by making things happen. They prize adaptability and self-sufficiency and like a lot of excitement in their lives. Charm is their currency, and they thrive on quick rewards. They are very direct and are action oriented. They want to do things now and get right to the bottom line — no working 30 years for a gold watch for them! (In the classroom, Promoters would not want to wait even a grading period for a grade or a week for a sticker or free time). They want their reward today, this week, or this month. As a result, almost none of them become teachers.

Excerpted from chapter 1 of Here's How to Reach Me: Matching Instruction to Personality Types in Your Classroom, by Judith Pauley, Ph.D., Dianne Bradley, Ph.D., & Joseph Pauley.

Copyright © 2002 by Paul H Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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