For Teachers: Working with Introverted Students


Most of our posts are pretty universal in their message on resilience. This one, however, is really geared to all our teachers out there.

A starting point for cultivating resilience in ourselves and others is to start by knowing ourselves and knowing others. Chapter 1 of Onward is dedicated to this: “Understanding your own personality and that of others helps cultivate empathy and self-compassion – and anything we can do that cultivates those states is a priority.” So when I read Creating Paths to Participation for Introverts, as the extrovert that I am, it was a great reminder of what the introverts in our classroom might need.

I love the seven practical strategies shared in the article, especially the digital suggestions as many schools move towards more of a 21st century learning model and are infusing technology into their classrooms more. And as a parent of an introvert, I love #6: “Practicing social interactions: All students need to learn life skills like talking to community mentors and experts in the field. This can be particularly stressful for introverts, so they might need to write a script for the communication and to practice it with a trusted adult or peer. This step can create a positive social experience instead of a potentially scary, unpredictable one.” This is a skill that those of us who are extroverts tend to take for granted. Preparing and practice/role plays are essential for some of our students.

So as you kick off your year this year, be intentional in how you set up your classroom structures making sure there are opportunities for introverts to thrive.