I’ve had another long week of “teaching” (quotation marks are meant to accentuate the idea of what I am trying to do; the reality is quite different). I did accomplish something I feel is big- I presented a professional development related to “Creating an Introvert Friendly School” at my current school of employment. It went well!
What did I share? I tried to hit the very largest pieces of the problems associated with introversion, social trends, and learning. Being an introvert is not the same as being shy. Introverts get brain chemistry balanced by internal stimulus and extroverts rely on external stimulus. Introverts need to “recharge” regularly. Constant group work needs to be rethought. Introverts need to be considered as much as extroverts. Schools are primarily designed for extroverts.
It is interesting who from the teaching staff asked me for copies of my paper titled “Creating an Introvert Friendly School”. It is also interesting to see how some of the more extroverted staff reacted to my time with them. I’m not out to start a fight with the extrovert crowd (who is?!), I hope to open a discussion.
The district I currently am working for has many Native American students and introvert students may make up more than half of the student body. I am especially concerned with our societies distorted views towards male introverts (it has never been easy for me!) Taking into account the many pieces of each individual student should help in designing an appropriate approach to learning.
Schools may be the best place to start dialog on the needs of introverts. I hope to be a part of the change needed to serve this large portion of our population. If you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at the links below. Quietly yours, Joe