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It’s easy to assume that an introvert has lesser capabilities than an extrovert.
But thankfully, that is not true at all.
So, educators need to remove this misconception from their mind and value the capabilities of introverts as well.
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If you open your eyes and see the social lifestyle everywhere, it is biased slightly towards the extroverts.
People, who are outgoing and gregarious, are seen as the symbol of success in society.
Standing out and being heard are necessities of surviving in modern society.
Everybody is asked to stay dynamic and aggressive as if we all are on a roller-coaster ride.
However, the mind of a natural introvert doesn’t work like that. Introverts feel overwhelmed in a dynamic environment. But those introverts are restricted to the current social scenarios. The similar introverts come to your classroom and face the challenges of being in an extrovert-driven environment.
The biggest problem in our current social scenarios is in the way we look at introverts. Natural introverts are often judged. People feel concerned about them as if they have some mental disease.
Many people also think introverts are shy people, which is not true at all. For a shy person, other people create anxiety. On the other hand, introverts get overwhelmed by the stimuli coming from too many people around them.
Introverts feel exhausted not anxious. They just need some alone time to get their energy back.
Classrooms become a never-ending group activity for introvert students. Too many stimuli don’t allow a positive environment for introverts. So, their educational performance tends to go down and they become the so-called shy students in the class.
In a nutshell, we all need to redefine the method of teaching in a classroom to motivate introvert students.
Secret#1: Observe and Learn about Introvert Students in your Classroom
1. Avoid Typecasting in the Classroom
In your classroom, there are students with all kinds of characteristics. Being their teacher, you can surely see those characteristics by observing their behavior. However, you should never indulge in typecasting or making your observations a fact in the classroom.
If you address a student as “sensitive” or “the quiet one”, it tends to impact the introvert student as well as other students in the classroom. While other students start looking at introverts as a shy person, the introvert feels that he/she is the odd one out in the class.
So, whenever you are talking regarding an introvert student in your classroom, don’t let your observations become a typecast.
2. Observe the Unique Qualities of an Introvert
To understand the capabilities of a student, you have to look beyond the “introvert” label.
A student can look introvert at the first glance.
But if you observe, you will find unique qualities such as creativity, kindness, observant and other personality traits. These personality traits usually stay hidden behind the introversion.
An introvert, who seems shy to you, can have plenty of jokes, which he cracks with his close friends at home.
You need to talk to the parents to understand how the student behaves in other environments.
Find out all the scenarios when the student acts freely and looks happy. This will help you create similar scenarios in the classroom as well.
3. See How Long they take to Answer
Introverts don’t always raise their hands immediately after hearing your question. They do know the answer, but they try and collect their thoughts first, which can take a while. You need to observe this quality in introverts.
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Ask a question and allow an introvert student to work on his/her answer.
During this time, you can handle the extroverts, who want to answer your questions right away. Regular observations like this will help you find out the true capabilities of introverts in your class. Not all of them are out of answers, as it generally seems.
Secret#2: Communicate with Introvert Students
1. Have a One-on-One Conversation
An introvert student usually avoids sharing thoughts and challenges if you communicate in front of the whole class.
“What is your problem?”
“Do you need something else?”
They never help an introvert student.
You need to provide a safe and one-on-one interaction to communicate with such students. An introvert child feels that he or she is supposed to blend in the classroom. But they feel unable to do so, which makes them scared and confused. Sharing these thoughts is another task, which they avoid. But you can make them convey their feelings in a safe and quiet environment.
Present yourself as a helper and promise to assist in every possible way to improve the bad situations. This assurance will allow an introvert student to share his/her thoughts.
2. Give Subtle Signals of Appreciation
The skills of introverts tend to go unnoticed in front of extroverts. You can change that by indulging in subtle indirect communication with introverts. Even a smile or a pat on the back can let your introvert student know that you see their capabilities.
When introvert students feel appreciated, they feel free to open and indulge in classroom activities.
Secret#3: Bring Changes in the Classroom Teaching
1. Modify the Classroom Space to Create a Low-Key Environment
The design of a space impacts the behavior of people. For example, people behave differently in a large park than, in a small terrace garden.
The large size of space allows people to act more dynamically, but it makes introverts uncomfortable. On the other hand, a low-key environment offers more intimate space for people.
You can use the same concept to adjust the design of your classroom.
Just like any other communal zone, you can make it smaller and more intimate to provide quietness. In a smaller space, all students can become calm and focus on thinking and studying. This way, introverts, and extroverts both types of students can feel a part of the learning environment.
2. Design a Quiet Period in your Classroom
As mentioned before, introverts require some quiet time to reenergize themselves. But generally, classrooms keep on going on and on without no quiet breaks.
You can help both introvert and extrovert students by designing a quiet period in your classroom.
Decide a particular time when all students have to indulge in quiet activities such as drawing, reading, meditating and others. This way, quietness will become a part of the daily routine for all students.
This does two things. First of all, introverts get a chance to attain their energy back by staying calm and focused.
Plus, it allows extrovert students to understand the advantages of quiet activities, which makes them see introvert students as normal.
3. Utilize Different Teaching Channels
Your teaching method can have diverse strategies in the modern age.
There are plenty of technologies to utilize classroom blogs, social media pages, online videos, and others to help all students learn effectively.
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You can even use simple methods of writing and make it helpful for introvert students.
For example, instead of asking for an oral answer, you can allow all students to write their answers. An introvert might feel shy to raise hands to answer orally, but you will definitely get a written answer from them.
4. Encourage Quality of Participation in Students
All students in your classroom should learn the value of quality participation.
Quality of participation is about giving enough thought and effort to everything you want to say before actually saying it.
Encourage this habit in terms of classroom questions and even when students communicate with each other.
As introverts require time to gather their thoughts, this approach will surely help them and motivate them in indulging in giving their answer.
At the same time, the same approach will improve the learning ability of extroverts as well. Generally, your extrovert students say the first thing that comes to their mind.
This is true when you are asking questions and even when they are having conversations with other students.
The approach of quality participation will develop a tendency of analyzing thoughts and coming up with the best possible answer.
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Now, you have the top 3 secrets of motivating introvert students in your classroom. Though these methods are directed towards introverts, you will find that extroverts also get better learning experience with these methods.
So, understand introverts, attain diversity in your teaching approach and communicate to motivate.
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