Before we begin to look at the four basic temperaments individually, it’s important to note that temperament is not exactly the same thing as personality. It might be helpful to think of temperament as the root motivations and social preferences from which our unique personalities grow. It’s also important to consider that temperament affects both the teacher and the student, the parent and the child. Teachers may find it easier to work with students who think and learn in the same ways they do. (It’s always easier to communicate when we’re not trying to translate at the same time.) We may consider some traits admirable and others undesirable, but it’s important to remember that temperament is a neutral characteristic–neither good nor bad. The personality that grows from temperament, affected by nature and nurture, and the choices each of us make are more likely to be result in actual good or bad consequences. This will become clearer as we go along.
That said, let’s take a closer look at the fiery “choleric” temperament.
People with this temperament are goal-oriented extroverts:
- Energized and inspired in a stimulating, active, social environment
- Strong leaders
- Need to know what the goal is and who’s in charge
- Crave structure
- Love a challenge
- Efficient, process people
- Strong finishers
On the downside, they may become easily bored if they sense no clear purpose or frustrated if progress bogs down. Since they are strong leaders, they may come off as “bossy” or “rebellious”, but actually they don’t always feel the need to lead AS LONG AS someone they respect is in charge. Like good soldiers, these students actually follow directions faithfully once you’ve won their respect. If they’re part of a team effort, they’ll be the ones working hardest, leading by example, and shouting encouragements. Properly challenged, you can usually count on them to initiate with enthusiasm and drive toward their goals in an efficient manner (sometimes being a bit of a “bulldozer” perhaps). They don’t understand the concept of quitting.
To teach them effectively, you must:
- Win their respect
- Present a clearly defined purpose with checkpoints and deadlines, if possible, so they’ll know what’s expected
- Give them responsibility/put them in charge of something
- “Stretch” and inspire them
- Allow opportunities to compete with others or with their own past performance
- Praise their accomplishments
Nurtured in a godly environment, this personality type usually develops into a leader or guardian. Most people can easily see boys of this temperament becoming military officers or CEOs, but a godly woman with strong leadership qualities can become an awesome model of strength and beauty, as well.
(A tip of the birthday party hat to my dear husband, a godly leader and inspiration.)