Class Clowns Take Note: How Classroom Personality Affects Learning

Every student treats the classroom a bit differently. Some are more likely to put their feet up on the seat in front of them; some are more likely be sitting on the edge of theirs, waiting anxiously for the professor’s next point.

In all fairness though, students take on qualities of every personality at one time or another during their school careers. And that’s not really the big news here. What is important about classroom personalities is knowing how they can affect your learning: where certain traits are beneficial, and where some may be holding you back.

Take a look at these common classroom personality traits, and the role they play in learning to see where you fall on the spectrum.

The executive

The executive learner takes risks, takes the lead on group projects, and doesn’t take many breaks. And if this personality type has ever been you, you also know that it takes more than enough stress. To avoid unnecessary stress, executives should avoid over-setting personal goals, and overworking themselves to reach them. Also, executive learners should be wary of micromanaging peers during group work and rather focus on the best way his or her part can be done.

The relaxed

If you found yourself relating to the aforementioned “feet up on the seat” student, you probably have some relaxed student qualities. The relaxed enjoys a slower pace, and is likely to take things a bit less seriously than the executive (read: more likely to let a homework assignment or two slide). However the relaxed are very good at keeping a good outlook on school: remembering why they’re really there, and enjoying the experience of learning new things. If this is ever you, work at finding a balance between laying back and getting things done. Plan studying around the rest of your interests and relate what you’re learning to real life.

The thinker

Thinkers are students who spend every moment of class, and many outside of class, doing just that. They are highly analytical, plan a lot, and ultimately seek security and stability in their education. Unlike the executive though, thinkers internalize much of their leadership and should thus be more wary of micromanaging them self. Heavy thinkers should compartmentalize what they learn but also take a step back every now and then to keep a good perspective. Participate in class discussions, help peers with difficult lessons, and write your thoughts down – if you find yourself being the thinker, doing these things will help you get even more out of school.

The sociable

The sociable doesn’t mind a little attention. He or she may be cracking jokes from time to time, or meeting new people in class as much as they are taking notes. But where the sociable may be lacking in focus, he or she makes up for in asking plenty of questions, seeking help when needed, and being ready to help others. Things the sociable should be cautious of, though, include letting personal opinions enter the classroom, distracting others, and losing focus by looking forward to the bell or weekend too much.

Keep in mind that personality is a spectrum. While it is easy to label different personalities in the classroom, the best approach to take is to be flexible and try and find the balance between traits that fits you best. This way, you’ll get the most out of school and won’t need to label yourself anything other than student.

What other classroom personalities are out there? Let us know on twitter at @ACISpecBenefits or find us on facebook, Google+Pinterest, or YouTube. Also feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits at (800) 932-0034, or email


About ACI Specialty Benefits

ACI Specialty Benefits ranks in the nation’s Top-Ten providers of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), corporate wellness programs, student assistance, corporate concierge, and work/life services to corporations worldwide. ACI partners with clients to Perk Up employee engagement and performance with benefit programs that improve morale, productivity and the bottom-line. With a 95% customer retention rate and over 7 million lives covered. ACI remains a privately-owned specialty benefits corporation, headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit or call 800.932.0034.
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