Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Some may perceive you like one or the other. However, in my opinion, there’s an extrovert and an introvert in all of us.
It is what we do with these aspects of ourselves in different contexts that will help us in situations that need us to adapt.
Similarly, for children, some pupils are extroverts that naturally contribute in class and voice their opinions and appear confident and self-assured. As teachers though, we still need to look and observe more closely as sometimes being an extrovert can mask a whole host of issues.
Introverted pupils can also be a challenge in class. In the Oxford Dictionary, an introvert is described as a “shy and reticent person”. What we need to know as teachers are that just because they have “quieter qualities” within their personality trait, they are not less able. It takes skilful teaching and learning and “getting to know the child, carefully, over time” that will help them make progress.
Here are 12 ways to encourage introverts in your class!
1. Get to know the child
Observe them keenly and look at how they behave and interact with their peers. Build up a picture from others such as teaching assistants, midday supervisors, parents and carers and former teachers. It will inform you on ways to move forward with the child.
2. Observe body language
Although some may seem shy and hesitant, body language and facial expressions still give us huge clues on what people think and their likes and dislikes.
3. Give them “Voice Time” and don’t interrupt them
Give pupils advance warning of what you want them to do and inform them of any change so that they have time to reflect. Be patient but persist in getting a contribution, so they also have the chance to share their ideas and opinions. Avoid interrupting then as that can disrupt their thought trains.
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