Nine Types of Learners: The Helper

Welcome to our series on the nine different types of learners that lies at the heart of Story-Based Learning. Every student is different and needs tailored conditions if they are to learn and grow to their full potential. Over the course of nine weeks we are highlighting a different type of student in order to help parents understand how to encourage learning at home.  

Meet Hillary and Horatio. Big hearts, warm smiles, open arms. They are cheerful and empathetic, charming and connected. They thrive in relationships by anticipating the needs of those around them and meeting those needs. These students are incredibly adaptable and always seem to be giving. 

Learning Style

While the impartation of information is important, Hillary and Horatio need something more. They learn through people – with a real need for connection, empathetic role models, community and shared experience.

For them, learning is emotional. They receive all cues through the finely tuned system that they have honed to understand and respond to those around them. 

Environment

Hillary and Horatio thrive in group work where they can be sympathetic to the needs of those around them and work together as a team. They need positivity and appreciation for their efforts. 

These students achieve by learning to produce what a teacher or parent wants, using their superpower of reading people. Being nurtured is a key part of their development as they are highly sensitive to criticism and terrified of rejection. 

Tips

If you have a Hillary or Horatio in your life, you can help them in the following ways:

  1. Encourage them to be authentic. These students are so good at reading people that at times they can feel like they need to become different versions of themselves according to what is needed. 
  2. Help them to make time for themselves. Taking care of others is good, but it is important for them to slow down, play and spend time alone so that they can understand what they want as well.
  3. Expect big emotions. When unexpressed needs go unmet for a length of time there can be a response of hysteria. Help them learn to articulate what they need so that you can respond to that. 
  4. Make time for relationship. Connection is so important for these students but they need to have safe spaces where they can rest in the knowledge that they are loved not for what they do, but who they are.
  5. Appreciate the little things. Notice the thoughtful and kind gestures that are just a part of their everyday approach to life. 

The Helper brings with them extraordinary gifts through their strengths of empathy, love, appreciation, kindness, communication and social intelligence. When we honour the gifts that our children bring to the world, we learn to see them as God sees them – worthy of infinite love and acceptance. 

This category of learner has been based upon Type 2 of the Enneagram (or ‘The Helper’). If you wish to delve more deeply into the psychology of the Enneagram, follow the links above. 

As the journey of self discovery is one best enjoyed by each individual, we suggest that you use this as an internal guide for yourself, rather than telling your children which type you think they might be. We do understand that each person is utterly unique and there will be variations within each type, but we have found this typology the most helpful for getting a basic understanding of human behaviour and motivation.


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