Susan Cain has brought to our attention in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking the very unique qualities and needs of introverts and in doing so identifies the things we need to pay attention to in order to help them be productive in over stimulating situations.
After researching and reading fellow students thoughts and findings on this subject I have committed to these 4 fairly simple interventions to support introverts in my future classroom environments.
Redefine Classroom Participation – educators need to find ways to engage students that may not be as comfortable speaking up as they are to speak to just one or two people. These students also need time to process their thoughts before sharing and may even prefer to write those thoughts down versus sharing verbally.
Evaluate Classroom Design – pod formation desk assignments don’t offer stimulation-free space for quiet reflection which is something introverts need. Our classrooms need to allow for spaces that support introverts’ cognitive and physical wellbeing. Offering options such as rows, pods, or pairs and even ‘lounge’ space would be ideal.
Insert Quiet Times – there are two benefits from this technique, first, the introvert can re-energize in this quiet time preparing them to reconvene in the stimulating class time that may follow, and secondly, these quiet times provide a chance for reading, writing, or reflection which is when they do their best work.
Use less Group Work – Susan Cain, in her TED talk the Power of Introverts, calls educators to stop the over use of group work in education. While there is tremendous value in group work its use needs to be balanced with independent work and when used, the planning for group activity must incorporate ways to accommodate the needs of those less comfortable in stimulating environments.
4 simple interventions if used consistently will help care for introverts in my classroom.
Cain, S. (2012, February). Susan Cain: The power of introverts. [Video file]. Retrieved from: htps://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en
Cain, S. (2013). Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. New York: Random House Inc.
Pinterest. How to Care For Introverts. Retrieved from:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/143552306844918313/