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June 1, 2019

Forever Jung: 12 Teacher Archetypes

Given the erratic nature of teaching, teachers often must step outside of their personal comfort zones. There’s no paint-by-numbers situation when it comes to teaching, which means teachers need to take on many personality types.

Still, most educators do have a dominant type of personality. There are many ways to break personas into types, as well as many factors to consider when looking at personality. Here, we’ll look at Jung’s 12 archetypes.

Who Was Carl Jung?

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychologist and founder of analytical psychology. He studied the psyche and is best known for his work creating personality archetypes, as well as helping pioneer research into the conscious and subconscious areas of our mind.

Jung distinguished areas of our mind that make up our personality, which include:

  • Persona: the image we present to the world
  • Shadow: our hidden anxieties and repressed thoughts

Jung also looked at the relationship between our personal unconscious, made up of our personal memories, and our collective unconscious, the set of memories and ideas that is shared by humanity. Both influence our personality and the archetype we identify with closest.

Out of his research, Jung developed 12 personality archetypes. The personality types denote behavior patterns and represent cultural symbols that are part of our collective unconscious.

The 12 Archetypes and Teaching

Here’s a look at how the 12 archetypes Jung developed coincide with teaching. Which one are you?

The Ruler

The ruler can bring order to any situation, from a classroom to a teacher meeting. Rulers are stable and can be counted upon to always try to do their best, making them fantastic teammates and teachers. They also expect the best from those around them, which can be great for students of the ruler since their teacher will have high expectations.

The Artist

The artist desires freedom and originality. The artist as a teacher will transform lessons into creative experiences for students. Known for cleverness and independence, the artist makes an inspiring educator who always brings imagination into the classroom and the community.

The Sage

A free-thinking type like the artist, sages focus on intellect and knowledge. Their goal is to understand the world around them, which makes them an empathetic and exciting teacher for students. They’re also great to have on your team because of their fantastic logic and analytical skills.

The Innocent

Always optimistic and in search of happiness, the innocent is a ray of sunshine in any school. This archetype finds the good in everything and everyone. Innocents work hard to be there for others and create a sense of belonging, making them a loving educator who makes everyone feel welcomed.

The Explorer

Could there be a more exciting trait in a teacher than a sense of adventure? The explorer loves to discover new places and new things. It’s likely that the explorer as an educator will encourage their students and their fellow teachers to seek new and exciting ways to learn.

The Rebel

On the surface, a rebel might seem like they love to provoke and cause drama. In reality, they just love independent thinking. What a great trait to teach their students and model for their fellow teachers! The rebel isn’t easily influenced and likely respects those who think for themselves, as well.

The Hero

The hero cares deeply about power and honor. You’ll find that teachers who fall within this archetype have an incredible vitality that will help their team fight for what they believe in. The hero will teach students to never give up and model an ambition that’s admirable.

The Wizard

Wizards like to create change and renew things for themselves and others, an admirable personality type for a teacher. They want to constantly grow and transform, which makes them uniquely suited to lead students through their growth, as well.

The Jester

As the name suggests, the jester loves to laugh. They inspire their peers and students to not take themselves too seriously and enjoy life. Excellent at breaking down other’s walls, they make fantastic teachers.

The Orphan

The orphan is a complicated type and can be hard to work with because of a tendency to play the victim. They have open wounds and are easily disappointed by others. On the positive side, their feelings could make them more empathetic to students who feel the same way.

The Lover

The lover is filled with sensitivity, and students will feel genuinely cared for with the lover as their teacher. They value beauty, so lovers will likely know how to create a comfortable and inviting classroom. They’ll also support fellow teachers because they are great at adoration.

The Caregiver

The caregiver makes an excellent teacher. They feel emotions deeply and offer parental-like protection to those around them. They wish to keep everyone in their vicinity free from harm. Students will likely feel safe and cared for with the caregiver as an educator, and fellow teachers will also come to the caregiver to feel nurtured.


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