The introvert in the classroom

Here is our recommended Blog of the Week…

Reflecting English


“If you’re a teacher, enjoy your gregarious and participatory students. But don’t forget to cultivate the shy, the gentle, the autonomous, the ones with single-minded enthusiasms for chemistry sets or parrot taxonomy or nineteenth century art. They are the artists, engineers, or thinkers of tomorrow.”

Susan Cain, Quiet

I thought I would start this piece by revealing a little bit of myself…

• I prefer not to be in large groups of people.
• I struggle with small-talk but love discussing serious matters in depth.
• I would usually prefer to read a book than go to a party.
• I enjoy spending time on my own daydreaming and thinking.
• I prefer to work alone rather than collaboratively.
• I like to arrange to do as little as possible during the holidays.
• I am uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings even though I love travel and new experiences.
• I…

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3 responses to “The introvert in the classroom

  1. I agree a key point is for the teacher to allow time for all the students to think before demanding a response. We can time it, have some kind of game, distraction or time-filler, even simple counting 10 or 20 – but the bit of thinking time is essential. It also slows down the “blurters”, who too readily give an instant reaction without without giving the issue due consideration.


  2. This resonates with me. One of my biggest pet hates is the teacher who moans about a student (or sometimes whole classes) lacking “spark” and I’m as guilty as the next person – “they’re just so passive”. It is too easy (and often preferable) to blame the students and not the method of teaching. Perhaps this is fuelled by the belief that only students who contribute to discussion and ask questions are the ones who are interested. At the other end of the spectrum, perhaps this is also fuelled by the belief that learning happens best when students are noisily and busily involved in group or whole class “thinking” activities. In either scenario, I don’t think learning can happen very effectively when what you are being asked to do makes you fundamentally uncomfortable. Maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss individual quiet, sustained, thinking and writing time. I’m sure it wouldn’t be just the introverts this would benefit.


  3. Pingback: Personality Type in the Classroom | RGS Learning·

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