From the very beginning, when I started my own 4 education projects we allotted time every couple of weeks to “Self Reflection.” This meant that even students as young as 5 were encouraged to think about how far they had come. Very simple questions like, “what can you do now that you couldn’t before? What is easier? What is still difficult?”
If you don’t check in with yourself you don’t know what you have achieved. Never mind comprehend what is left to do. A sense of achievement is vital. Otherwise, why do we do all this work? What is the point of learning if you don’t see who you are?
Also, this gave my teachers an opportunity to offer feedback on what was happening. Though, to be honest, feedback is something that is integrated into every task and exercise due to the comments we ask children, parents and teachers for. It’s second nature to mentor by encouragement and leave people with a very clear idea of where they stand at all times.
Feedback is vital in education because anyone with a sensing personality needs the reassurance that they are doing it right. Kinesthetic people look for feedback all day long all around them - even in their physical worlds - never mind emotionally. Anyone with a high feeling element to their personality takes criticism very badly and rarely finds it constructive.
There are a variety of personalities that thrive on praise - they stop functioning and lose all motivation when it is lacking.
In 1925 Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock showed in a study that students who were praised and encouraged got vastly different results from those who were not or were criticized.
By the end of the 5th day the results showed:
Those given praise – 71% improvement
Those criticized – 19% improvement
Those ignored – 5% improvement
This is huge and has been known since 1925. So, why are we still giving students such a hard time at such critical stages in the exam process? What I have to explain to parents on repeat loop at this time of year is that your daughter or son is not the same person they were in February of this year as they will be in June - 4 months is a lifetime in the development of a person between the ages of 15 and 18. So much will have happened. They will have changed their appearance, their friends, their music tastes and so on. They have been learning so much information and working so hard to understand how to study, how to answer questions and most of all they have learned from their mistakes in The Mocks! So, why would you think they were the person they were 4 months ago and would they get the same result now?
I have written about The Mocks before, the top tips for why we do them and how we get through. But this year I'd like to write about something slightly different. The "Chicken-Liken-syndrome" where students seem to genuinely feel like the sky is falling in on top of them! The mocks are a test run - you are meant to make mistakes. That is the whole point of doing them!
For some of The Students at The Homework Club®, Confidence Club®, The Purple Learning Project® and Homeschooling® this happens in a more spectacular fashion. I myself did very badly in my Mocks as do many students with learning
Some students haven't gotten to grasp the whole course in one "bulk" form - they are struggling to put all the sections together and maybe they haven't covered their best section yet! No one tells you how to sit an exam and for some students who really do need to do a visual map of the answer and the question, this is highly discouraged and implied to be a waste of time when it's not as all. It's a vital way of thinking for them. If you are going to use a laptop, perhaps you didn't get to do this in The Mocks? There are so many factors as to why students find exams difficult.
I call this time of the year "crushing season" because I watch the students who we have built up since September lose complete confidence in their abilities. We have to build them up again from the floor. I really question at this stage if The Mocks are a good exercise at all? Surely there must be a better way to have a test run?
The sky really isn't falling in and there’s loads of time left to fix the mistakes - but it is very hard to show people your mistakes when you are made to feel so bad for making them. We do The Mocks as a test run to get feedback, encouragement and hopefully some praise for what we are doing well. To learn from our mistakes.
Many people reading this might find all of these reasons lacking in the current system. They may find that it is an ultimatum to drop down in a subject. Even if it is worth whatever risk going for the higher level and getting more points - valuable points you need. Doing a subject and passing it is of no benefit if you don’t have the level you require for a course or the points at the end of the day. After all, these are the only reasons we sit exams in the first place - to get the qualifications we need!
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,
I have invested the past 6 years researching ADD / ADHD in my custom built multi-Award winning facilities with families from all around the world. I have some very strong views on medicating ADHD children and always aim to reduce medication levels.
Are Children Being Over Medicated for ADD / ADHD?
Yes. But the real challenges do not show up until children go through the transition from childhood to teenager. It is easy to medicate children. Some parents even tell me they are making their chid safer. The schools like quieter more containable children. But they are not looking at the real reasons for ADHD behavior. The big problem with medicating ADHD people is that they do not build proper emotional benchmarks and strategies. They very often end up feeling very unfulfilled in life as adults because they do not get into the habit of having lots of activities and interests to absorb their natural excess energy.
Extract of my work/words from ADHD book:
“The classic ADHD student exhibits extreme multiplicity. This means they have the potential to take in all information around them in four ways simultaneously. Through visuals, auditory behavior, kinesthetic behavior and practical thinking. This makes them highly sensitive in any ‘average’ environment. They are aware of exactly what’s happening outside the school window, of the lighting in the classroom, everything being said in the entire class by the teachers and other students, all other visual stimulation and the atmosphere and emotions in the room which they suck up like a sponge.”
A Blog I wrote this month revealing publicly for the first time my findings re: ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome diagnoses:
INFJ’s feel very misunderstood growing up. In fact, it is as if you don’t grow out of that teenage phase. The language patterns of INFJ children tend to stand out from the crowd. They talk about goals. They use phrases such as legacy and infinity. It’s a little like listening to a buzz light year.
They are often mistrusted by their peers due to their vast insights and how much they can see is going on with the people around them. They can be seen to be too serious, intense and wishing to get to close to people. Others around them lack the adult maturity to want to know people as deeply. Often the actions of INFJ people are misinterpreted as more than friendship.
INFJ’s want to do more in the world. They find it very hard to pick a job. They just know they want to make changes wherever they go. I’m reminded of the career advice in Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. Hermione can’t find a “job” she wants amongst all the leaflets. She wants to do more such as taking her elf welfare rights further.
All this not fitting in leaves INFJ’s open to being bullied, not only by their peers, but by those adults that should be helping them to develop. To be bullied is a common theme amongst INFJ’s.
I think many find solace in some books. I found this hard personally because I didn’t read at an early age and couldn’t read books to match my age.
Many INFJ’s have been leant a book by someone and that turns out to be a profound turning point or they finally meet someone else such as themselves. It’s like a massive eureka moment.
It’s always been a big question as to why those who should be helping us to grow end up thwarting us instead. I thought first of all that this was just my misfortune as a result of my dyslexia. It was often felt that I was trying to do more and go beyond where I should be. For example, my memory of my first day of secondary school was a public row in front of my whole English class with the remedial teacher as I refused to leave honours English for “veggie” English class. But by then I had decided I was going to university and honours English was a requirement.Personally, the two things I always gravitate back to are Fannie Flagg books and Harry Potter. Harry Potter is one of the few fictional stories that contains INFJ characters.
I guess it is odd for a 12-year-old to know what they want to do and to stand up for it? Or to know what the university requirements were, especially since I would be the first in my family to continue in education. Or maybe to feel that even though I had not read a book yet by myself that I didn’t feel that still nothing was beyond me?
I guess INFJ’s suffer from the idea that the pupil has grown bigger than the teacher. Hence, it is very important to me that you can never grow to “big” or too successful in all the people that we mentor.
Jealousy seems to be a feature that is directed towards INFJ people. This is very hard to comprehend as it is not an element that we ever posses ourselves. But all of the INFJ people that I know suffer from large quantities of jealousy and bullying from other people, especially earlier in life before they learn to pick their friends more carefully. We tend to be so accommodating to other people and have the ability to step into their shoes and show such empathy that we can be left feeling when we are younger that we are at fault. We learn to be more self-preserving as we grow older. It’s like we learn that we can’t fix or save everyone.
We have boundless energy which can either set people off seeming too intense and hyper. Where many others will walk across the room to find out what it is that is drawing them to you. Many of our clients talk about our energy. When other INFJ people find each other it tends to be a little like a honing beacon. We also seem to posses piercing eyes. Often blue in colour.
22 seems to be a very pivotal age for us. I’ve come to imagine it as not a butterfly but a rather energetic creature emerges in full to take on the world and make our unique impact.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,
Myers-Briggs to Fit Our Expectations & Needs – Not Just Understanding Who You Are But What You Need to Succeed
The founder of personality understanding was Carl Jung who first wrote about his findings in 1921. However, his work had one serious limitation. As he was a trained psychologist he mainly had access to people that were perceived to have serious psychosis problems. His work was based on finding a new balance for these people rather than a balance for the everyday person who doesn’t find their way to a psychotherapist.
Isabel Myers took up the challenge in 1942 to help “ordinary, healthy, normal people understand that it is alright to be unique individuals.” She could see the implications in everyday life, careers and relationships with those around you. Her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, wrote in 1980 - “I hope parents, teachers, students, counsellors, clinicians, clergy - and all others who are concerned with the realization of human potential - may find a rationale for many of the personality differences they encounter in their work or must deal with in their private lives.”
Nowadays, the test is used by a vast array of big corporations to fit you into a box and try to predict how well you will do a particular job. This was not the purpose of the empowerment and awareness test. It was not to determine your path in life or what box you go into. In the same way Alfred Binet created the I.Q. Test to help see how to better accommodate students - not to determine their capabilities for life.
We have gone beyond the simple factors that people have obsessed over who you should be but rather than the factors that help people to be the most balanced form of themselves. Which, ironically, is what Jung was striving for when he first worked with his patients in the 1920‘s. This balanced form of yourself allows you to be successful at everything in record breaking times.
We firstly started off applying our new methods to students with learning difficulties - why are no two dyslexic children able to get the same results? Why does one find the whole school experience so difficult and not the other? Why are so many people of a particular personality type diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome? Why do some people with written expression issues bully others? Why do some students need all the steps explained while others find their own ways?
We now have a more extensive profiling method, Purple Profiling, that takes more factors into account including the ways in which we process information. Another area that Katherine Briggs was keen for people to have an understanding and realization of. We understand the developmental time scale and how generational factors affect long term patterns. We have ended up with a system that is like psychoanalysis and counselling on speed. The results are not only rapid, but more importantly, sustainable. They have been described as ‘flicking a switch.’ We are not changing people. I don’t need anyone to be less dyslexic or more sociable for success.
The methods have now been applied to all areas of life, business and sports as well as education. Across a span of ages, backgrounds, sports and industry sectors.
It has been so important to continue to build on the foundations of this work, especially as we have been continually written off by people in life. My own psychologist report at 16 told me that “it was beyond my status to go to college” because of my severe dyslexia. Interestingly, all of the people who have seriously added to this method, and not in a way to just be used by corporations to fit people into boxes, have themselves all been INFJ. The rarest MBTI personality type. It is as if in being so different from others that they have strove to add to the understanding of that difference in the world around them.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,
February 3rd 2015.
The quickest way to injure Professional Sports Stars and see them mounting up red and yellow cards from Referees is to “Motivate” them.
This is why We would never “Motivate” top Athletes in a millions years. Instead, We “Optimize” them for success - safely.
Traditional motivational techniques in High Level Sports are compatible to letting go of an energetic spring! It is totally uncontrolled, undirected and unsustainable - leading to totally random results.
You would be hyping up already volatile personality types with the consequences of them either injuring themselves or getting into big trouble with the rules - very quickly.
“Motivating” and “Optimizing” Teams and Individuals is not one and the same. To see the Methods We developed to work with some of the World’s Leading household name Sports Stars see: http://www.theforevermethod.com/methods
Marie O’Riordan & Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,
Elite Mentors/Psychological Profilers to Olympians/Paralympians/Special Olympians/multiple World Championships Golds Winners/European Champions/Grand Prix Winner/Barclays Premier League Football Clubs, Major League Soccer M.L.S. Club, Sky Bet Football League Championship Club etc. V.I.P. for the World's Biggest Sporting Events including the London 2012 Olympic Games & Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.