As teachers, being able to build a relationship with each child in the classroom so as to be able to motivate them to learn requires great skill. I believe that the teacher’s knowledge of age-appropriate content is only half the battle. The other half is being able to read the child’s present mental status and communicate the information in exciting and age-appropriate language.

Using Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory, The teacher needs to have dominant interpersonal and communication intelligences. Those are what they need each and every day.

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences are:

  • People Smart (interpersonal intelligence)
  • Word Smart (linguistic intelligence)
  • Math Smart (numerical/reasoning/logic intelligence)
  • Physically Smart (kinesthetic intelligence)
  • Music Smart (musical intelligence)
  • Self Smart (intrapersonal intelligence)

Over the years, I toyed with the idea of giving teaching candidates the Myers–Briggs Personality Test. There is a short version online. You may disagree, but I always thought my teachers should be E, N, F, J!

Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I),

Sensing (S) or Intuition (N),

Thinking (T) or Feeling (F),

and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

There is a new paper out titled Understanding Body Language by Edward C. Blanchard ( and it occurred to me that teachers sure could use more assistance understanding their students. It states,

“There are many forms of communication and sometimes a person’s body
language can actually indicate more things than the spoken word.
Learning to understand body language can be very beneficial both in
the work environment as well as on a more personal front.”

Teaching is emotional, teaching is relationship building, maybe this can help us better understand our students.

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