The Enneagram Types As Students In The Classroom! (1/3)

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The Enneagram Types As Students In The Classroom! (1/3)

A brand new year is upon us, which also means a brand new school year has begun!

Last year, we conducted our very first Educators’ Enneagram Level 1 Course and it was inspirational to see how our educators are focused on ways to better cater to their students, even when they are attending a self-development course.

So in that spirit, this new series aims to see how each Enneagram Types’ blindspots may present themselves in the classroom and how educators can help motivate them in a way that speaks to their core Type.

This week, we will focus on the Assertive Types — Types 3, 7 and 8.

Class is in session, let’s get to it!

Type 3 students

These students are fiercely competitive and once they have locked on to the goal of being the best achiever in the class, they will go do whatever it takes to achieve it.

However, because of their single-minded drive to achieve that goal, Type 3 students would not take failure very well. Their competitive nature and ‘do all to achieve at any cost’ mentality may also cost them their friends in the process. How then can we help these students see that not everything is a competition and that failures are a part of life?

Here are some ways:

  • Putting them in a position to help others such as class treasurer or class monitor. This will help them see that working together with others can also help them achieve what they want without having the need to trample on others to do so;
  • Celebrating their successes by giving them praise and recognition. They would appreciate this gesture and by celebrating their successes, it also helps them to slow down and bask in their achievements, instead of just charging ahead to the next achievement in their list.

Type 7 students

These students are the ones that are so full of energy that they cannot keep still. They usually disrupt the flow of the lesson by cracking a joke at the most inconvenient time or perpetually asking to go to the toilet (even when they just came back a mere two minutes ago).

The mundane school routine drains these students and if the end objective is too far away for them to see, they will switch off and not listen at all.

Here are some ways we can help them:

  • Creating one or two lessons that involve some tactile and kinaesthetic activities. Instead of doing a revision using a worksheet, why not create a Kahoot revision session? You will be surprised to see how much these students actually know when you do things in a more experiential manner;
  • Creating a safe learning space where they can make mistakes without being judged for it. As these students are so hooked on experiencing life, they need to be able to convince themselves that ‘this is not the way to do things’ by allowing them to experience failure and that’s when they will do it the way it was meant to the first time round;
  • Giving them small rewards in between class tasks. These students hate routines but if that one ‘huge’ class routine is broken down into smaller tasks, and by giving them small rewards in between, they will be better able to regulate themselves and achieve what the lesson needs them to achieve.

Type 8 students

These are the students that teachers usually term as the ‘Indian chiefs’ of the class. You don’t know why but they seem to be able to control how the class behaves effortlessly. They can also be loud and abrasive when you try to take that control away from them.

Here are some ways to help them:

  • Giving them a perceived sense of control. This essentially gives them the illusion that they have the control, but it is really you who pulls the strings. For example, if one of them tells you that you are a lousy teacher, calmly and firmly say, “Let me give you two choices. One, you can take over my class and teach the rest of the lesson or two, sit down and allow me to continue on.” Then slowly watch the student back down and settle into their seat.
  • Give them a leadership role. This will naturally tap into their natural talent to lead and if you want to stretch them a bit, ask them to mentor the weaker students in their group which will further develop their willingness to go beyond themselves to help the classmates around them;

We hope that these tips will help educators motivate these three Types of students in a way that would validate them. Every student has their own strengths and weaknesses and if you are able to effectively mold them in the classrooms you teach, then you can be sure they will grow up to be more balanced and productive people in the future.


As the adage goes, learning is a lifelong process! So why not take that leap and learn more about how the Enneagram Framework can work in your life? If you are still looking for courses to use your SkillsFuture credits on, then look no further. Contact us today!

Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong
Cindy Leong is a sought after bilingual (English and Mandarin) Enneagram Personality Coach and Corporate Trainer in Asia, who can help you make sense of your professional and personal relationships. She is a member of International Coach Federation (ICF) and Singapore Psychological Society (SPS). Besides a Bachelor Degree in Psychology (majoring in Communications), she also has a Diploma in Business and has done in-depth research and studies in the areas of Organisational Behaviour and Gender Communications, both in Singapore and Taiwan. Through her expertise in corporate executive coaching, personal development, and relationship coaching, she has helped many professionals in their walk through challenging times, particularly in the areas of identity searching, relationship building and career breakthrough. Aside from being a published author of 2 books, she has also been invited by several radio stations and magazines as an expert guest speaker to provide insights into Enneagram, workplace conflicts and relationships.
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