Angela Person

Success In School

Self-Aware Student

Introduction 00

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This report is designed to help Angela be more successful at school.  The report sections cover different aspects of being successful at school and should help Angela understand the opportunities and threats that affect her success.


Quick Instructions for Angela

1) Read the report

You are reading to review it for challenges you are facing

2) Write down three important insights

Pick three things from the report that match aspects of what’s happening for you at school right now. These could be things that are important to you because they are causing you stress. They could be areas where you would really like to improve. Or they might be strengths that you have identified. What’s key is that they are things that they seem particularly meaningful and useful to you.

3) Write out a plan for what you can do based on your insights

Determine what actions you can take over the next month to make use of what you’ve learned about yourself. How can you manage your time and energy? What environments could make school work easier? What actions can you take to reduce your stress? How might you develop your strengths?  Who can you talk to?  Who can help you stay on track? 

Student Insights 01

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Key insight for students at school

As a student ...

  • I like an environment that is full of energy and enthusiasm.
  • I thrive when different options to learn are available, projects are creative, inspiring and fun and where my natural curiosity is respected.
  • I want to be free to make mistakes and learn from them.
  • It helps if I'm reminded about the deadlines.

PLEASE NOTE!!! - The learning environment described suggests the optimal situation. It does not mean that Angela cannot learn in anything other than this environment. It describes the circumstances in which Angela will be most energized, motivated and supported to learn.

We can all learn in many different ways, sometimes we learn more when we are challenged by a different style of learning. However, if our preferred style is unavailable most of the time our learning will be limited.

Enthusiastic As A Student:

  • Quick to answer questions
  • Needs to talk to confirm what is learned
  • Frustrated with too much quiet time
  • Likes working in groups
  • Talks to understand

Imaginative As A Student:

  • Wants freedom to explore what inspires them
  • Enjoys creative projects
  • Would rather imagine than observe
  • Likes to know the big picture first
  • Wants originality of work to be valued

Warm As A Student:

  • Needs a supportive environment to learn
  • Enjoys co-operating
  • Likes to study topics that relate to people
  • Wants to be praise frequently
  • Likes to have a good relationship with the teacher

Spontaneous As A Student:

  • Like teachers who are spontaneous
  • Energy arrives just in time to hand work in
  • Likes distractions from the routine
  • Likes to work on lots of projects at once
  • Does best work when under pressure of a deadline
Student Insights Authors
Original work by: Sue Blair © Step Research Corporation

School Challenges and Tips 02

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School Challenges and Tips

This section describes your preferred learning environment. With this information to hand, you can understand why certain learning settings probably suit you very well and why others may not. This information may be useful when you can explain your needs better in order to build a healthier learning space for you, or to understand why you may be less motivated in certain situations. These tips are designed to help you manage your natural learning needs.

People do not learn or take in information all in the same way. Often we assume that the method we use for taking in information and controlling our memory, or our ability to concentrate, is identical to everyone else’s. We study with friends, family members or fellow classmates, however our preferred method of taking in information is often vastly different than that of our study partners or family members. Our strengths we have developed are an amazing combination of our environment, our temperament, our nutrition and the gifts we were given at birth. Becoming aware of both our gifts and our challenges gives us the ability to create a roadmap for learning customized to our individual needs.

In Class

  • Angela brings a contagious energy.
  • A natural enthusiasm means she likes to be allowed to follow frequent bursts of inspiration.
  • Angela may re-design instructions to suit her personal quest.
  • Highly attuned to the needs of others she enjoys supporting those who need help.
  • Working on multiple projects is ideal and suits her 'into everything' approach to life.

Independent Study

  • This is not preferred except when motivated by a special person or deeply held interest.
  • A work space which limits environmental distractions is ideal but may be resisted.
  • It is very important to take frequent breaks from study to reward herself for her diligence and alleviate the boredom.

Angela's Learning Needs

Enthusiastic Student Learning Needs:

  • A lively learning environment
  • Rapid response to questions
  • Opportunities to engage with others
  • A fast pace with active involvement
  • Appreciation for natural enthusiasm and energy

Imaginative Student Learning Needs:

  • Start with the big picture and follow with specifics
  • To be valued for thinking outside the box
  • Have the freedom to explore ideas independently
  • Be accepted for unconventional ideas and practices
  • Opportunities to innovate

Warm Student Learning Needs:

  • Positive learning situations where they are valued
  • Connection to human issues whenever possible
  • To belong to a learning group that feels inclusive
  • A calm, supportive and collaborative environment
  • Opportunities to share personal thoughts

Spontaneous Student Learning Needs:

  • Choice
  • Most comfortable with an open, casual atmosphere
  • Encouragement to explore areas of personal interest
  • An environment where risk taking is respected
  • Opportunities to learn through play and novelty

Angela's Learning Tips

Enthusiastic Student Learning Tips:

  • Write notes when listening in order to focus
  • Take study breaks connecting with people
  • Review work to find errors caused by speed
  • Talk to someone to form ideas
  • Doodle, chart, sing, rap or move to aid learning

Imaginative Student Learning Tips:

  • Follow your hunches and inspirations, they are a gift
  • It's OK to go off track but keep the task in mind
  • Highlight the facts, they may be important
  • Combine pictures and words when note taking
  • Realise that some great ideas may not be practical

Warm Student Learning Tips:

  • Realise that most learning situations are not perfect
  • Find a support person you know and trust
  • Don't say "yes" to everything, pleasing can be tiring
  • Care for others but look after your personal needs too
  • Have the courage to ask for help even if it feels like an inconvenience

Spontaneous Student Learning Tips:

  • Enjoy having an inquiring mind
  • Block off time before a deadline and keep it clear
  • Manage expectations on time when working in groups
  • It's OK to go off task but know when to get back on
  • Use natural bursts of mental or physical energy to study and then take a break
School Challenges and Tips Authors
Original work by: Sue Blair Mary Anne Sutherland © Step Research Corporation

School Subjects 03

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How different school subjects are affected

Everyone has subjects that they feel more at home with and this section helps you understand why this might be.

We all react very differently to formal education, to studying and to instructional methods. Understanding our personal preferences not only helps predict ways of keeping the communication process open, it also allows us to anticipate, and then arrange more effective learning situations for ourselves. Even the most successful learners may be unaware of how our learning may be closely tied to our own personal preferences. Being literate does not automatically guarantee that we have the strategies to tackle the different types of reading required in each subject. For example, reading a textbook for a science class is different from reading a mathematics problem, a novel for an English class, or charts and graphs in history. We often are naturally drawn to one type of reading more than the others, however, knowing how you prefer to approach a subject helps you master your natural tendencies as well as techniques that do not come naturally to you.

Literacy for Angela

  • Angela likely possesses a love of language and is likely drawn to poetry and imagery.
  • Reading stimulates her active imagination.
  • She has a sensitivity to nuance and can read depth and meaning into text.
  • Both writing and speech is expressive and free-flowing.
  • She tends to enjoy inspirational stories with a human element.

Numeracy for Angela

  • Angela may achieve well, however, she tends not to be drawn to the subject due to the non-personal nature of numbers.
  • Focusing on details can be problematic.
  • She can understand the theory, may leap to the correct answer, but may have difficulty explaining how it was reached.

Science for Angela

  • Angela can become fascinated with science when it is used to serve the needs of others or solve a global issue.
  • A love of integrating ideas and exploration ideally suits research in many scientific domains.

Physicality for Angela

  • Exercise can steady an active mind.
  • A busy inner world of ideas means that physical needs and surroundings may be ignored or unnoticed.
  • An awareness of this may be slow to develop.
  • Once available, and if interested, it is possible to excel in any active pursuit.
  • Being over enthusiastic Angela may extend herself too far and become exhausted.
School Subjects Authors
Original work by: Sue Blair Mary Anne Sutherland © Step Research Corporation

School Cautions 04

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School cautions

This section represents parts of this student’s personality that, if not managed, may cause problems with the flow of education, interfering with either their learning or disrupting a class. This information can assist all involved with the responsibility of this student’s education to acknowledge them as a unique learner, who craves an environment specific to their learning needs and gifts, in order to feel comfortable learning and reach their full potential.

Part of our human condition is that we have strengths in some areas and challenges in others. Knowing this about yourself can help you to become comfortable with yourself as a student, avoid potential downfalls and prepare for compulsory work that may not suit your strengths or preferences. Becoming an active participant in your own education will help you to retain, discover or rediscover your confidence, dignity and passion as a student.


  • Angela may find it difficult to be still or quiet.
  • She is sensitive to the anxiety of others which could affect her performance.
  • Boundless energy may be exhausting for others and cause irritation.
  • Projects which are considered too routine are often postponed.
  • An obliviousness to time may cause missed deadlines.
  • The work Angela produces can be so much less than what she has imagined which might lead to disappointment.
  • She may not let the facts ruin a perfectly good story.

Enthusiastic Student Cautions:

  • Coping with distractions
  • Learning to think before speaking
  • Listening long enough to get all the information
  • Interrupting others as questions 'bubble-up'
  • Managing a strong desire to move

Imaginative Student Cautions:

  • Being on task when inspirations are more compelling
  • Having the patience to follow a course sequentially
  • The practicalities of life and learning
  • Misinterpretations due to jumping to conclusions
  • Harnessing bursts of creative

Warm Student Cautions:

  • Resilience if the teacher is emotionally distant
  • Trying not to take offense when work is criticised
  • Controlling emotions when a value is crossed
  • Working for an unpleasant or unapproachable teacher
  • Putting things in perspective when a personal relationship affects the learning situation

Spontaneous Student Cautions:

  • Being realistic about which deadlines can be extended
  • Resisting internal or external distractions when bored
  • Accurately assessing how long a task will take
  • Having patience with the needs of others to conform
  • Knowing when to stop gathering information and turn creativity to productivity
School Cautions Authors
Original work by: Sue Blair Mary Anne Sutherland © Step Research Corporation

Staying Engaged at School 05

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Becoming more self-aware can help students stay more engaged at school.

Learning Environment

Angela’s personal style means that she will tend to:
  • Gravitate toward faculty members and fellow students based on their values.
  • Want her work to be evaluated both in terms of individual circumstances and objective standards.
  • Perform better in courses with a strong connection to the needs of people.
  • Structure her response to another person’s ideas around finding points of agreement with that person’s position.

Growth Opportunities to Help Angela Shine

To expand her perspective and work more effectively with others, it can help Angela if she:
  • Stops to consider the logical consequences and fairness of an idea when deciding what’s best.
  • Tries questioning the facts and rationale associated with an approach to round out her understanding of what is right.
  • Stretches her natural style to include components that are not as practiced to increase her ability to help others and make her better able to appreciate the variety of helping styles used by others.

Applying Engagement Styles to Help Angela Get Unstuck

Your dominant engagement style describes how you prefer to interact and engage with others, especially when working on a group project. Knowing your engagement style can be helpful in identifying what roles you prefer to play when interacting with your fellow students and how you can make your best contributions. Each engagement style has specific gifts that can help make group projects more successful. When an engagement style is overused, however, this can threaten a project's success.

Angela's Engagement Style:

Dynamically Explore
Advantages at School

Energetic discovery
Building enthusiasm

Dynamically Explore
Pitfalls at School

Unnecessary changes
Not completing

Activity to improve Angela’s school work

Angela risks failing to complete what she started and can get stuck in changing things for the excitement of doing something new and different. This can threaten her success in school.

Activity to improve Angela’s school work

  1. From the list below choose a strategy based on effective use of the other three Engagements Styles.
  2. Think about how this strategy could help you move past considering options for how to do your work and instead help you to complete work you started.
  3. Craft a couple of sentences where you detail what you might do differently and make a list of the potential advantages of varying your approach.
  • Organize & DirectFocusing on the new opportunities that will be available after I finish what I am working on now
  • Refine for PerfectionTweaking what has worked for me in the past
  • Carefully UnderstandMaking a plan for completing my work with a set start- and endpoint
Staying Engaged at School Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Making the Most of Study Time 06

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Quick tips and advice for studying more effectively

Making the Most of Study Time: Time and Energy Overview

Students can get stressed out over how to manage their study time. While time management approaches do help some students, it can help to suggest that Angela pay attention to managing her energy levels as well. To get into this mindset Angela should try to:
  • Understand her personal time clock and attempt to study when she is most alert and creative.
  • Learn about her stress triggers and explore different activities to see which help to reduce stress.
  • Honor her physical needs while studying by moving, stretching, eating, sleeping, and taking breaks when needed.

Making the Most of Study Time: Maintaining Energy

To remain energized when studying, as an ongoing practice Angela should:
  • Make an extra effort to find group settings.
  • Discuss her ideas with others, often talking it through will help her to understand the material.
  • Take “action breaks” to move around and recharge especially when she can’t be part of a study group.

Making the Most of Study Time: Improving Understanding

To increase her understanding when studying, Angela should:
  • Ask herself what are the interesting themes related to the material, and when stuck, circle back to those patterns to re-focus her efforts.
  • Look for or ask for theories to explain why this material is important in order to help her to better understand it.
  • Draw on her imagination to explore if and how what is being taught corresponds with future trends.
Making the Most of Study Time Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Specific Learning Situations 07

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Specific learning situations and misinterpretations

This section shows this student’s personality characteristics in relation to learning issues and other educational situations. The first part outlines where aspects of their personality may be misunderstood as a hindrance to learning or misinterpreted as a learning issue,and why. The second part assists those with diagnosed learning issues to see how specific personality differences can help or hinder learning.

Individual learning issues are significant enough on their own but when combined with other exceptional needs or risk factors, they may overwhelm the learner. A student’s natural personality characteristics might mirror a learning challenge causing misunderstanding or an incorrect diagnosis. The at risk or diagnosed learning concern often compounds the natural style of the learner. Often individuals juggle their learning, memory or processing concerns while their natural preferences can sometimes mask, exacerbate or even assist in overcoming a complex learning situation.

Possible Misinterpretations for Angela

  • The following traits may lead to a misdiagnosis of ADD/ADHD: a natural exuberance, an active imagination, an inability to be still for long, high distractibility, a driving need to follow the next inspiration, an exhausting amount of energy.
  • Holding so much in her mind Angela may forget details. This may not be a memory problem but an overload of the system.
  • If excessive, an abundance of energy can be seen as out of control. This is just the way Angela learns and experiences life.
  • When Angela breaks the rules it may well mean she hasn't noticed them. It is usually not deliberate. A few key rules is ideal.
  • She may display a changeable nature. This can be seen as confused or unpredictable. In reality it shows a need to relate.

Personality and Diagnosed Learning Issues

  • A natural optimism is a huge asset. If there is vigilant support Angela may well show resilience to overcome any issues.
  • A desire to please teachers and parents is motivating and will assist achievement.
  • A sensitivity to the anxiety of others means Angela quickly picks up on signs of stress and disappointment. This can be problematic.
  • Being quickly bored with repetition means that other ways must be found to consolidate learning.
  • Missing the details can become a major learning block.
  • High energy is helpful but it can also be exhausting. It needs to be harnessed to become productive.
  • Because Angela's mind naturally diverts and diverges it affects her ability to learn basic skills. This intensifies issues relating to dyslexia, processing disorders or ADD/ADHD.
Specific Learning Situations Authors
Original work by: Sue Blair Mary Anne Sutherland © Step Research Corporation