Saturday, April 10, 2004

Big 5

A few weeks ago, every teacher in my school had to undergo this personality test thing. It's called the Big 5 Psychometric Profile. It tests Openess, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Negative emotionality. The debrief for it was while I was away, and today, being my first day back at work, I saw my results.

It cracked me up!

Here it is in a nut shell. I'm moderate on Openess, Medium on conscientiousness showing that I'm a balanced person, high on extraversion, low on agreeableness and high on negative emotionality! So, I'm a down to earth person who is able to balance work and play well, enjoying the company of others and apparently overbearing, pretty much a reactive challenger that is rude, hostile, self-centred, easily discouraged, prone to depression and conflict.

Some of it was spot on, like me being discouraged quite easily and worrying excessively. But somethings were way off. Me? More likely to get into conflicts than most??? Hello??? I was the one who refused to bit when that she-troll kept flaming my blog. And sufficiently reactive and interested enough to do well in customer service???? What? Me? Right... I ran, the minute Threez mentioned NuSkin to me!

And oh! Me.. the extravert, the centre of the party whose sociable personality is hazard prone and something of a threat in an environment where safety is a priority. Uh huh. I'm about to jump out of a plane without having tested the chute on my back.

What a load of crock!

I'm very amused though, especially because of the many years of psychology that I've done, that have basically told me that the flaws behind these tests are that when the person using it knows why the questions are angled the way they are, they become invalid. They are also subjective because they depend very much on the mood of the person that day. If you're feeling particularly antagonistic that day, your results will tend to reflect that since you're more likely to respond more aggressively to the questions that test negative emotionality.

So yeah! I'm eagerly waiting for Dan to come back. T has already seen it and has cackled quite a bit. It's quite interesting having him in the office because some hungry for scandal people are beginning to keep their ears peeled on the conversations we've been having. I'm tempted to give them something to talk about though.

Dan's back and is mocking my results. He says he doesn't need no personality test to tell him that he's married to someone neurotic. Neurotic's good. Keeps them on their feet.


Now that I've been gone for two weeks and have only returned today, I've come to realise school never changes. Absolutely nothing. The students, if anything, are slightly more annoying- although I must admit, some of it must be stressed induced by the fact that tomorrow, the O level results come out. The teachers, well, they're still stressed and caught up in their little worlds, bitching and blowing out of proportion things that don't usually matter a great deal to ordinary people outside the confines of what we call school. I think teachers live in microcosms where even though everything is scaled down, we see it as a real thing.

I suspect that's why alot of people eventually leave teaching. We realise that our worlds become too insular and that we do a whole ton of rinse and repeat. Kids come and kids go and ten years down the road, we're still where we are whilst the kids we taught are the owners of some chain of restaurants and driving cars that we can only yearn for. No doubt, there is a sense of pride that we helped get them there. But what about for the us? You don't grow very much, all that crap about going on course to enrich oneself, well, it's crap. I think those old teachers that stayed in the service, I guess they never saw it the way we see it now. Perhaps, there was less ambitiousness then. And the ones that felt restless but could not leave and could not exactly figure out what was bothering them just became grumpy, school marms that the kids loved to hate. I think my generation of teachers are just more articulate in expressing and acting on our disilluionment and cynicism. And I think we dare to dream further than the conventional stable rice bowl nonsense. So there.

Having said all that, I haven't felt the full force of it since I haven't been teaching long enough. But I can see where all this will head. As it is, I get the occasional bout of restlessness and depression because I'm not doing what I was meant to do and what I'm doing now feels meaningless and the students won't give two hoots years from now about what a topic sentence actually is. I can't do things that I don't care about and are meaningless to me. So far, teaching still holds some sort of challenge because I have yet to complete one complete tour. But I know once I start repeating myself, the restlessness and the craving for me interesting avenues will cause me to resent what I'm doing.

So that's why it's also quite strange that my personality test I'm only modestly ambitious and likely to be comfortable with routine. I have the attention span of a gnat. Now, if the personality test had that as a descriptor, I could so totally buy into it.

Telling me that I'm comfortable with repetitive type work involving attention to detail is so far past the line, you can't even see the line anymore. Might as well be Chandler

Chandler: Eight and a half hours of aptitude tests, intelligence tests, personality tests... and what do I learn? (he taps the results and reads them) "You are ideally suited for a career in data processing for a large multinational corporation."

26 Feb 2004

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:43

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