Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Don't Forget the Introverts #EdChat

I've been seeing lots of tweets flood EduTwitter about reaching out to the shy students and engaging every single child because they just need that one teacher to be the one to save them from their silence. The savior complex is just gross at this point.

What I'm about to say is not revolutionary, but I guess it needs to be said again,

It's ok to leave the silent students alone.

Some people think that this means to ignore them. That is not what it means at all. It means give them the space they deserve to feel comfortable in the classroom. Not every kid is silent because they classroom is not a safe place. On the contrary, the student might be silent because it is the only place where they don't have someone asking something of them. It's a chance to just sit and take in the information. Kids can just sit, listen, and learn and be ok with it.

Many will find this hard to believe, but I am actually an introvert. I'm really good at hiding it in public, but my closest friends know that I'm an introvert. I would drive my teachers nuts because I would selectively participate in class. They would try to catch me "not engaged" because I was not taking notes. I would reply with whatever answer they were looking for and go back to listening. Sometimes I sat and listened because I did not have the time to do the reading, so I was trying to find out what happened and learn from others.

I'm also dyslexic, so being asked to read out loud was a nightmare. I would hide as much as possible on reading aloud days. I didn't need someone to save me and get me out of my shell, I needed people to leave me the hell alone for that day and let me be me.

All of this talk about getting every student up and engaged is forgetting the vulnerable introverts. Let those students do their own thing when they need it. Don't ignore them. Let them know they are seen every day and that you respect the fact they are not feeling it today. Not every silent students needs to be saved.

So, if you see those tweets from people telling teachers to save all of these students, please do not RT it. Offer a reminder there are other students in the class that deserve their quiet space and do not need to be saved. Especially from people that are not even in the classroom anymore.  

1 comment:

  1. When teachers listen to #edutwitter instead of paying attention to their students...


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