Monday, July 11, 2011

The Left Brain Teacher and The Right Brain Student


Welcome to this week’s series:
Hey, Ma, She Just Doesn’t Like Me; Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Your Child Just Isn’t Keeping Up.
Traditionally, our educational system has been for the left brain, by the left brain, and of the left bran; and as you might expect, this can pose a challenge for the right brain student.

As I said in last Thursday's blog post, this week's series is not an indictment of teachers—far from it. For as we say in our Emergenetics workshop, "It is not personal, it is personality." But I do want to keep this real. There are problems that some students face in the classroom, and it is not always about reading, writing, and arithmetic.

When discussing Emergenetics, I like to use the phrase, "typically but not always" because when referring to personality differences there are exceptions to the rule.

We do live in a left brain world. Therefore, it is highly likely that this upcoming school year, your child will have at least one teacher, if not more, who has a preference for left brain thinking.

What can you expect from your child's left brain teacher? For starters, your child's teacher will exude the following characteristics: she will be symmetrical in her thinking, rational, verbal, logical, analytical and will probably like math.

If your child has a preference for right brain thinking, here is what you can expect from him this upcoming school year: he will be asymmetrical in his thinking, simultaneous comprehension, intuitive, emotional, holistic, nonverbal, visual, and spatial.

*Note: the previous two paragraphs were taken from Dr. Geil Browning’s book, Emergenetics: Tap into the New Science of Success.

As you can see, the two sides of the brain are different. Therefore, it is possible for your right brain child to annoy his left brain teacher and vice versa. For instance, a part of the teacher’s preference for left brain thinking is that he or she is analytical. On the other hand, your right brain child has a preference for social thinking. The left brain teacher does not have a strength in social thinking. It does not mean she can't be social. It is just not a strength of hers. Therefore, a child with a preference for social thinking, particularly if he is Expressive, may tend to talk a lot and out loud in the classroom causing the teacher to become annoyed. Your right brain child also may not be enamored with the structure demanded in the classroom by his left brain teacher. All of this can cause conflict between the two personalities.

Finally, the two different sides of the brain make up the whole brain. This can be a wonderful thing, particularly if the teacher, who is the adult, is highly self-aware. I say this because most people, and it doesn't matter the organizational dynamic whether it is in the classroom or in your department, think that everyone is supposed to think like me. And if you don't think like me something is obviously wrong with you.

Join me tomorrow as I discuss, The Concrete Student and the Abstract Teacher.

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