4 Powerful Methods to Boost Introverts’ Learning and Engagement Curve in Schools

There is one famous proverb which says: “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” This proverb was given by an introvert- Mahatma Gandhi, the pioneer of Indian independence movement. It is thus important for the teachers to understand that introvert students are not the demotivated souls who do not want to take active participation in the class or any other extracurricular activities. Such students surely have different behavior and approaches towards executing their works but they are not less than anyone in terms of competency or performance. Rather, many studies show that introverts are the people who are more thoughtful and creative in their work. Such students have the capability to stand alone and work more independently without the assistance and motivation of others. There were many great introverts who have walked on this blue planet and have made a big mark of themselves, famously including- Warren Buffett, Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi, and Albert Einstein. Many researches have shown that majority of the great scientists, inventors, musicians, artists, and writers have been introverted.  It is thus important for the teachers to respect an introverted student. Such students have the equal potential to achieve greater heights; the only thing requires is some change in your teaching and student managing approach.

Create Awareness among Students

Students often feel discomfort when they encounter themselves in a situation where they become the center of some mockery. Non-performance in extracurricular activities and games often encourage other students to make fun of introverts.  Introverts are usually shy people who instead of performing in group act lonely. Their lonely behavior often misunderstood by their peers who judge introverts as the demotivated and depressing soul who can’t do anything. Such analysis is wrong as it broadens the gap between students but we can’t blame the other students as they also lack maturity and do not know that introverts are also nice people and equally competitive.

It is thus important for the teachers to spread awareness about the behavioral pattern of introverts to avoid them to be misunderstood by their peers. A teacher can ask students to prepare for a debate on the physiological differences between extroverts and introverts and the benefits of being an introvert. Such discussion can prove to be an eye opener for all and help both introverts and extroverts to make a stronger bond.

Customize Activities that Encourage Greater Participation

When a stage has set for a competition or a big event, introverts keep hold the back chairs. When a teacher looks for some answers in the classrooms, introverts often avoid eye-contacts. When it comes to perform in a group act, introverts try to escape from the scene and even if get convince to act then also they prefer to choose a smaller role in the play. With such demeanors often teachers and management think that they are not interested in participating in extracurricular activities and keep them at safer distance for future similar events.  Doing so can’t do justice with introverts and affect their overall development. It is thus important for teachers to customize some activities which can reflect introverts’ talent and make them feel valued, connected and empowered like others. Introverts do not like contests, quizzes, and noisy games as preferred by extroverts rather they like to be participate in activities that requires concentration like writing, drawing, and painting among other creative tasks. Let them get judged on the activities they are interested in and show the entire school about their unique talent. Such things can make them feel more confident and their feeling of getting ignored or un-valued diminishes completely which directly boosts their greater participation in future events and make them more aligned with other students.

Open a New Channel of Communication

Extroverts are very much active in their approach and whenever they want to discuss/ask anything, they directly approach the teachers. Contrary, introverts are also equally enthusiastic about discussing their grievances or finding answers to their critical questions but they are not vocal in their approach. Introverts usually do not prefer to ask anything in front of several other people. Thus teachers should find some unique approach to maintain positive communication.

Teachers can use alternative communication options to open a channel of dialogue in private. In these current times of internet and technology revolution, there are many platforms which can prove beneficial. Email communication is one such medium. By using email or even a one-to-one communication, teachers can make them feel comfortable expressing their concerns openly and honestly. Such initiatives create a trust amongst teachers and introverts and help strengthen their bond with each other. Ultimately it benefits students in improving into their weak areas and help them to achieve good grades.

Provide them Extra Space to Grow

Energy is a vital resource which is required to execute any task. Machines need energy, plants needs energy so do humans. However, as a human where you draw your energy from completely depends upon your personality types. An extrovert pulls energy with external sources like being in a group, talking to others, taking active participation in different events, etc. On the other hand, an introvert pulls energy by maintain a low profile and alone most of the time. It is thus important to create such spaces where an introvert can hang-out in free times like in lunch timings or the other to sharpen their creative process rather than feeling weird while their peers talk and play with each other. A few extra couches or small interactive chambers can do wonder in augmenting an introvert’s creative thought process and give them an extra space which they require most of the time.

This is a small set of tips. And if a teacher tries to find more innovative ways to engage an introvert student- it will help them to grow with equally high esteem and prestige as extroverts. The choice is ultimately in teachers hands.

— Ashwini Deshmukh

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