I was listening to Susan Cain’s Ted Talk, and her dialogue on the Ted Talk podcast, and I found myself wondering about myself. I completely agree with Cain’s ideas about introverted people, and how their ideas are often left out or neglected. As she explains, extroverts are the loudest and often most heard, so their ideas are the ones gathered and used.
So how does this relate to me and to my classroom?? Well, I have always considered myself a shy person; slightly withdrawn and socially awkward at times. I rarely speak up at meetings, and prefer to work alone and do things myself. However, in my classroom, I have never once felt that shyness or introversion. I thrive in my room. I can talk to students, I can tell stories and anecdotes, I share ideas, and I take charge (as I must). So does this mean I am not introverted? I’m okay with it either way. But if I am extroverted I think I am a shy extrovert.
Obviously this made me think about how I teach my students. I wonder if I do not pay attention enough to those students ideas who prefer not to speak out… I wonder if I act differently to the extroverts. Am I negative to them? Do I stifle my extroverts, and demand too much of my introverts?
Luckily, the art room can be even playing ground for many types of learners, as well as both introverts and extroverts. Students can choose to share ideas, or they can work out their ideas on their own. We have not done any group art projects in my class, as time has not allowed that, but I wonder how that would go over with my introverts???
This is something I want to keep in my peripheral thoughts as I plan my lessons and teach my students. I want to encourage the worth of students working together, but also encourage the ability to work independently. And I want to make sure I am not trying to make a student change who they are to fit some grand uniform schematic of how people should be.