Extroverts & Introverts Sharing the Classroom 2/5/18

School seems to be a lot easier for an extrovert. Walking around campus and saying hi to people, participating in class seems to come natural for someone like an extrovert. Introverts have to work very hard at putting themselves out there. The extrovert doesn’t have to think too hard to raise their hand or say hello to someone they don’t know well. Also, something I never really thought about was how hard I have to work to be different than what I’m naturally comfortable with. It’s good to learn to put myself out there, pat myself on the back for trying, and maybe help others be aware that we’re all doing our best.
— Anonymous High School Student

Some introverts feel like they need to learn how to be extroverts in order to thrive in school and life. In what ways do we help the introverts in our lives feel seen, understood, comfortable, and valued for how they are? If introverts feel they need to push outside their comfort zones to be like extroverts to do well, how can we help extroverts understand the ways introverts learn, socialize, and relate? What do we need to understand to be more inclusive of introverts? What can schools and teachers do to make classroom environments comfortable so that all students feel they can participate in ways that come naturally for them?

“When introverts have to spend time in activities or environments that are very hectic, they can end up feeling unfocused and overwhelmed. Extroverts, on the other hand, tend to thrive in situations where there is a lot of activity and few chances of becoming bored….  Researchers have found that introverts tend to be more easily distracted than extroverts, which is part of the reason why introverts tend to prefer a quieter, less harried setting.” Schools and classrooms are inherently social, sometimes hectic, and stimulating places.  It is also much harder to find time and quiet spaces for introspection in today’s world where daily life seems to have gotten louder.

Don’t persuade, interrupt or defend. Be curious, be conversational, be real. And, listen.
— Elizabeth Lesser

Celebrating being perfectly imperfect,

Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids
By Susan Cain, Gregory Mone, Erica Moroz