Personality Test
George Washington - Guardian Supervisor (ESTJ) Mother Teresa - Guardian Protector (ISFJ) Albert Einstein - Rational Architect (INTP) Margaret Thatcher - Rational Fieldmarshal (ENTJ) Mikhail Gorbachev - Idealist Teacher (ENFJ) Eleanor Roosevelt - Idealist Counselor (INFJ) Elvis Presley - Artisan Performer (ESFP) Jacqueline Onasis - Artisan Composer (ISFP) Dolley Madison - Guardian Provider (ESFJ) Queen Victoria - Guardian Inspector (ISTJ) Walt Disney - Rational Inventor (ENTP) Dwight David Eisenhower - Rational Mastermind (INTJ) Thomas Paine - Idealist Champion (ENFP) Princess Diana - Idealist Healer (INFP) Charles Lindberg - Artisan Crafter (ISTP) George S. Patton - Artisan Promoter (ESTP)
Making the Grade With Your Professors
Part 3: Idealist Profs
By The College Advisor

Do you have an Idealist Professor you can't quite get a handle on? Here are key elements for understanding Idealist professors.

Idealist (NF) professors:

  • Pay attention to each student's individuality and are fascinated by human relationships
  • May be open to alternative assignments
  • May praise students too easily and are more likely to deal with emotions and values rather than systems and facts
  • Love metaphors and reading between the lines.

Idealists will have the least problem understanding an Idealist professor. They respond well to the global language and metaphors. They also appreciate the possibility of alternative assignments and demonstrating their unique qualities.

Guardian students may have more difficulty interpreting the Idealist professor's assignments. Guardians prefer clear guidelines and concrete examples. They are often uncomfortable with "What if..." assignments and can view future-thinking as pure "pie-in-the-sky." Supervisors and Inspectors focus best with proven facts and may see this type of professor as "flaky." Kari, a Guardian Inspector ISTJ, thought she would find her psychology class interesting, but her professor annoyed her since he rambled and made her feel like a child with his constant praise. He made a lot of predictions about how people would react. She was amazed to see how often he was right and started analyzing how he knew.

Artisans will love the possibility of alternative assignments, but may try to push the Idealist professor too far since they may see the flexibility as a weakness. The Performer and Composer are likely to understand the Idealist professor better than the Promoter or the Crafter. Rudy's advisor was very understanding when he explained he didn't finish a particular paper because his uncle had died and he had to go home for the funeral. As time went on, he kept playing on his professor's sympathies and then was surprised when he was told that two of his late papers were revised to an "F". When he spoke to her, she said she had made it clear that late papers were not accepted except for real emergencies. She had learned that while the first emergency was real, the others were manufactured. She said she did not like being tricked.

Rational students like to define their own assignments and enjoy thinking about the future, but too much attention to human relationships and emotions may make them ill at ease. If the Idealist professor does not demonstrate expertise in the subject matter, Rational students will consider the class not worth their time. Hugo's history professor taught in circles. He'd make the same points over and over. Hugo couldn't figure out if there was any order to the lectures, so he decided to impose his own. He created an outline based on dates and places. As the professor talked, he put the information into the appropriate places on his chart. He left room at the bottom to write the themes the prof stated.

All types are apt to enjoy the enthusiasm that is common in an Idealist professor's classroom. Many will benefit from the personalized attention that the Idealist professor prefers to give.

Idealist professors dislike students who make no effort to grow and learn. Remember, they do have power over the grades they give you. Be sure to pay attention to their suggestions about your personal growth. They'll pay attention to see if you took their advice.


Temperament and School

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Changing Majors
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Your Intelligence Strengths
Helicopter Parents
Failing Classes
Perfection Trap
Is Grad School For You?
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Non-technical Degree?
College Not Working For You?
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