The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

What About the Introverts?

So much of what we read about as good pedagogy these days hinges on student collaboration. We find ourselves encouraging noise in classrooms, grouping students to help one another, and implementation of social learning. I often encourage these strategies in evaluation meetings, as well as informal feedback to teachers, thinking that the future economy will depend on people who can work well with others.

Then I read the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that cannot Stop Talking, by Susan Cain and watched her TED talk.

I’m still in strong support of noise in classrooms and of students working together. However, the book and video are a good reminder that “all or nothing” approaches margainalize students and do not allow all of our learners to grow.

This year, I’m going to do my part to think more about the introverts (students and staff) to make sure we’re allowing them the room they need to think and succeed.


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2 thoughts on “What About the Introverts?

    • Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for reading, commenting, and offering the resource you passed along. I think Jess strikes a good balance, and was particularly drawn to her quote near the end of the piece:

      “I have a newfound respect for the people in my life who are less apt to jump into the fray of class discussion. But I also know that sometimes it’s important – even imperative – to speak up for one’s self.”

      I think recognizing introverts and is a critical step to striking the balance I wrote about; “all or nothing” approaches are damaging.

      I appreciate your contribution!

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