Two Types of Kids

  1. Detail oriented and structured. Linear, sequential, step by step, left brained, focused, organized, good listeners, strong students, on top of things, responsible, concrete, practical, regulated, likes rules, facts, safe, on time, follows directions, knows the right answer, good with systems, uses planners, puts things back, good with folders and binders, turns in homework, studies.
  2. Not good with details. Global, big picture, holistic thinkers. Right brained, random, distracted, disorganized, abstract, creative, daydreamy, emotional, intuitive, sensitive, artistic, questions rules, struggles with structure, not good with deadlines, vivid imagination, visual, risk takers, good with figurative language and metaphor, free, idea people, forgets homework, colors outside the lines, can’t fit inside the box.

Of course these are generalizations exemplifying the extremes. Of course there is a lot of grey area and overlapping. Of course we all use both sides of our brains.

There are kids on both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between. Neither is better or worse, just different.

But there is immense value in understanding that the vast majority of struggling students fit into category 2, and that there is a legitimate difference in how these students think, precess and learn. The strengths, talents and gifts of these students often go unnoticed and neglected, their strengths are difficult to “grade”. And it’s unfortunate because they are often deeply misunderstood, shamed and judged as lazy or uncaring. Sadly, our educational system is geared towards left brained learners, who tend to be perceived as “successful” while right brained learners can often appear “unsuccessful”.

We need to take tremendous care in how we work with all learners so they can all shine bright. The time is now.

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