6 Teacher Personality Traits That Make Classroom Management More Difficult

If you’re struggling with classroom management and wondering why, one of the first areas to examine is the personality you bring with you to the classroom.

Many teachers become different people the minute their students walk through the door. Sometimes this is a good thing—if being around students makes you brighten like a Broadway singer or become as preternaturally calm as a mountain lake.

But for the vast number of teachers, the presence of a large and active group of students can, at least to some degree, bring about personality traits that are detrimental to classroom management success.

The good news is that with a simple two-minute routine you can condition yourself to eliminate those traits that work against you, and replace them with those that work in your favor.

The following six teacher personality traits make classroom management more difficult. You’ll do well to leave them outside your classroom door.

1. Impatience

Impatient teachers talk fast, move fast, and tend to either look the other way in the face of misbehavior, or react emotionally to it. They rush through lessons, gloss over instructions, and out of necessity have lower expectations for students. This produces a restless, excitable classroom that is primed to cause trouble.

2. Quick To Anger

A single flash of anger can undo weeks of rapport building with your students. When you yell, scold, use sarcasm, or otherwise lose your cool, you distance yourself from your students and undermine their trust and respect of you. You become less approachable, less likeable, and less influential—all critical keys to creating a well-behaved classroom.

3. Pessimism

Teachers who are pessimistic in nature are unable to create the well-behaved classroom they desire. Negative thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about students—particularly difficult students—are impossible to hide. They reveal themselves through your words, body language, and tone of voice and make building relationships with them an impossibility.

4. Irritability

Irritability (grouchiness, moodiness) communicates to students that they can’t trust you or depend on you. It creates resentment, confusion, and instability. It also causes you to be inconsistent—both with your classroom management plan and in your interactions with students—leading to more frequent and more severe misbehavior.

5. Overly Sensitive

Teachers with thin skin—those who take misbehavior personally—inevitably, and often subconsciously, seek revenge against their students. They can’t help themselves. Out of their resentment and spite they make the kind of classroom management mistakes like yelling, scolding, and holding grudges that result in a spiraling of student behavior.

6. Easily Frustrated

Frequent sighs, rolling eyes, red-faced lectures. Outward signs of frustration can cause enveloping, knife-cutting tension in your classroom. When you allow students to get under your skin, it not only makes your classroom unnerving and unpleasant, but it causes students to challenge your authority and test you whenever they get the chance.

A Simple Two-Minute Routine

The way you present yourself to your students has a monumental effect on classroom management—more so than most teachers realize. If you’re at all susceptible to one or more of the personality traits above, then you’ll be a more effective teacher if you get a handle on them.

The simplest way is to spend a couple of minutes before your students arrive each day with your eyes closed, visualizing your best self calmly and confidently managing your classroom.

Picture yourself responding to misbehavior with poise. Watch as you joyfully present your lessons to a responsive class. See yourself building rapport, loving your job, and following your classroom management plan to the letter.

Because when you choose to see only the best in yourself and in your students…

That’s exactly what you’ll get.

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom management articles like this one in your email box every week.

, ,

20 Responses to 6 Teacher Personality Traits That Make Classroom Management More Difficult

  1. Jesús Hernández July 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Dear Michael Linsin:

    My name is Jesus Hernandez. I translated your post into Spanish and I’ve posted it on my blog (http://creaconlaura.blogspot.com/2011/07/6-rasgos-de-la-personalidad-del-maestro.html), respecting your authorship and link to your blog. I tried to respect the text literally. If you’re not okay with it, please contact me to delete it.

    Thank you for your attention. I send a cordial greeting.

    -Jesus Hernandez

    • Michael Linsin July 2, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

      No problem Jesus!


  2. foroogh February 5, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Hi I am a teacher from IRAN I took your notes for a presentation in my university I wanted let you and say your information was so useful for me thanks and good luck

    • Michael Linsin February 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      You’re welcome, Foroogh! Thanks for letting me know.:)


  3. suba April 2, 2013 at 4:44 am #

    Hi, I’m doing my master dissertation. My title is “Personality and disciplines style of teachers”. Your notes are very beneficial for me. But I couldnt find earlier researches on this title. I would be grateful if u could send me some guidelines and materials for my literature reveiw. Tq

    • Michael Linsin April 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      Hi Suba,

      All articles are based solely on my experiences in the classroom.


  4. Debb Epperson May 4, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Michael, I began substituting in middle and high schools and then started my Masters degree in Teaching and Learning. I thought that many of the students were so bad that after about 3 years, I decided that I did not want to be a teacher anymore. I was about 2/3rd done with my degree and did not want to ever enter another classroom. So, I changed my degree to Master’s in Ed. just to finish what I had started. One week from now I graduate, I wish I had seen this article a couple of years ago, my life would have been very different. However, all is not wasted. I work in the military wounded warrior barracks and manage a staff of several junior enlisted sailors. I think these self-management tips will greatly help me in my day with them, after all they are not that much different emotionally than the students in the classrooms. I am like almost all of the things you mention: impatient, quick to anger, irritable, and not too optimistic for more than one day at a time, because I am easily frustrated. It is my plan to to use your management steps every day when I go to work before everyone else gets there. I think it will make a great difference in the effectiveness of my management style. I will let you know. Thank you. Debb

    • Michael Linsin May 4, 2013 at 11:45 am #

      Awesome! Good for you, Debb! Keep me posted.


  5. Debb Epperson May 4, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Also, I am going to add your management tips to the Classroom Management paper that I am writing right now. Is this information in your book? Unless I find out before the end of the day, I will just cite your article and mention that you have authored the book DREAM CLASS. Thank you.

    • Michael Linsin May 4, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      Hi Debb,

      Just like you said is perfect. No problem.


  6. Asmaa April 26, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    suba I am also looking for research papers that tackles this issue and I could not find anything. could you help me!! thank you very much!

  7. allen vidas a. rosima May 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Sir Lin good morning, i am looking for an article that speaks about the relationship of personality towards classroom management. can you suggest any personality tools that will measure my teachers classroom management. Does really personality affects the classroom management of the teachers? This will be my topic for the upcoming INSET on May 28, 2014. I wanted to convince my teachers that indeed personality affects as such. But i am very worried about the materials i am going to use for my discussion. By the way i am a public elementary school in the Philippines. PLease Help because i found your article very relevant and i want to learn more. More power….Thanks a lot!!!

  8. nesma addi February 9, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    Thank you for the advice you give as future teachers.they are really very helpful.i wish that you will give us next time an article about the key differences between the teacher’s roles and personalities inside the classroom. Wishing you all the best with your students:-)

  9. arrey taobt no December 3, 2015 at 6:51 am #


    GOOD AFTERNOON Sir,my research topic is “the effect of teacher”s personality on students academic performance”. i took as variables dressing code, code of conduct,and articulation. please examine my variables and advise if not correct. thanks

  10. Chuks Nwa Mary July 18, 2016 at 12:09 am #

    Thanks Sir for the source of information about teacher’s personalities you have for project writers like me and others high institution students in whole world . Remain blessed and more grease to your elbow. kudos!!!!!!!!

    • Michael Linsin July 18, 2016 at 7:29 am #

      It’s my pleasure, Chuks Nwa Mary. Thank you!


  11. Reshma Lama September 30, 2016 at 3:49 am #

    Sir..I have just passed my teachers eligibility test for govt primary school and now I have to appear for personality test. So kindly suggest me some questions usually asked during the time of test..waiting for your early reply

  12. rehmat October 11, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    sir, i am doing my master dissertation. my research is about ”the effect of teacher personality on second language learning” I could not find any authentic material I would be very thankful to you if guide me