Life as an Introverted Teacher

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Crono91, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2014

    Question for all of you introverted teachers out there.

    How. Do. You. Do. It?

    I was researching it, and I found some book called Quiet, about introverted teachers, so I might check that out.

    I'm one of those people who is gravely introverted (not shy), but also with a deep passion to teach. I've routinely questioned if this is going to kill me in the in, and if I should switch majors, but every time I think about it, there's just nothing else I'd want to do, so yeah...

    I do want to differentiate introverted and shy. In high school, I worked as a grocery store cashier, and I was called out as one of their best employees, because I hustle, and I engage all of my customers--I tend to throw on an energetic and social persona at work.

    So I know I can do it as a teacher, too, but that doesn't mean it won't drains me.

    ---

    So, question to you introverted teachers: what do you do to keep yourself from burning out? Do you teach the class a little differently (I read about one teacher who meets one-on-one with each student once a week, which sounds amazing if it's possible).

    Do you plan specific alone time? Avoid staff lunches?

    Dish out your secrets, please! I know I'll need them in the future. :dizzy:
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 11, 2014

    Hugs, Crono91. This is a question that's come up on A to Z at in various threads, among them http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=180400, http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=176298, and http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=161897.

    Remarkably many very good teachers on this forum have noted that they are introverts. Some are more introverted around adults than around children; some, like you as a cashier, develop a persona to use when they're "on"; others run classrooms that are simply quieter, less high energy places (and many students thrive without incessant stimulation).

    What did you do to recharge when you were cashiering? That would be a good place to start looking for strategies that will work for you.
     
  4. Crono91

    Crono91 Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2014

    Thank you so much for taking the time find those threads; I should have searched before hand.

    Well, as a cashier, when it got closer to the later hours, and it was slower, my manager would ask for volunteers to do "housekeeping." (Clean bathrooms, facing, sweeping, so on). Alone time right there... ironically, me being introverted and willing to do that is one of the reasons they thought highly of me. xD

    Don't think that can work as a teacher.
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 11, 2014

    I'm "on" all day at school, and then I come home and my house it completely quiet. Some days I don't even turn on the television or music. I just enjoy the quiet.

    I have to have my "recharge" time. This is my 22nd year. Must be working for me.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 11, 2014

    This describes me perfectly! :blush:
     
  7. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2014

    I look at as if I were an actor.
    When I am at work, whether with the children, or in a meeting, I'm on stage. I act as if I'm not introverted. I talk to parents and the other staff as well as the children.
    When I'm not at work, I enjoy some time alone. That helps me to recharge.
    I also get to work earlier than most people so I can prepare for the day in relative quiet.

    After 30 years though, I don't need as much down time as I used to!:)
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 11, 2014

    Wait, wait: I meant to be helpful, not to make you feel that you hadn't done your homework!

    (For the record, I searched with the term "introvert". Using "introversion" might produce even more results.)

    I think you probably CAN build some quiet times into your teaching day: let's see if we can get the community brainstorming about how.
     
  9. kaeco510

    kaeco510 Companion

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    Aug 11, 2014

    I like to get to work 20-30 minutes before the majority of the staff gets there. It gives me time to have my morning tea, check my email, etc. in the peace and quiet.

    One way I have found to build quiet into the day is sometimes having the kids do a free-write warm up for the first 10-15 minutes of class. They either have a choice of prompts, or I let them have free choice.

    Also, sometimes when I am feeling overwhelmed or just talked out, I have lunch in my room by myself. The other teachers don't question it - I always just say I have a bunch of grading to do and they get it. I try not to make this a habit though!

    As others have said, I definitely have a persona for when I am teaching. When I get home in the afternoons, I am EXHAUSTED from being "on" all day. I usually have an hour or so of chill out/quiet time in the afternoons.

    I have found that the place I struggle with being an introvert the most is in meetings. I am an introverted processor, so basically I need to think things through in my mind in order to process things instead of talking them out like some people. So a lot of the time it takes me longer to come up with ideas / responses / etc. and it may seem like I am not actively participating in the meeting. This is something I am going to work on this upcoming school year.
     
  10. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2014

    I turn on my teacher persona when I hit the doors of the school. It is on full force until lunch. At lunch, I unplug. I still eat with teachers, but they know I am likely going to be zoned out. (My first 2 years I ate with a group of teachers who would comment on my zoning out; they didn't understand ... the group I've eaten with for the last 8 years just accept I am likely not going to engage much over lunch, no big deal).

    After lunch, I ramp up again into teacher mode through the end of the day.

    When the day ends, I am drained. My drive home gives me some recharge time (about 15 minutes) and then I usually have an hour before my husband gets home. During this hour, I basically veg.

    I have had to tell my family to NOT call me until about 8pm. They know "I'm done" with people until then. (My husband is an introvert, too, so we have quiet evenings together).

    All of this being said, I LOVE teaching. And, people who ONLY know me as a teacher don't believe I'm an introvert. People who have never seen me teach have asked how it works with my personality.
     
  11. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Aug 12, 2014

    I fully engage during my time at work. When I get home, I am pretty much in my room on the computer, relaxing. I also used to take naps and relax in my car at work during my lunch break. Coworkers always knew where I was. They thought it was funny. I felt really good and recharged after my "car breaks." I also used to get to work about 15 minutes early to relax before the kids and parents would start coming. Try getting to work slightly earlier. A 20 minute nap will do wonders!
     
  12. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Most of the people at school who be surprised by how different the "school me" and the "home me" are. At school, I am talkative, bubbly, and laugh (loudly) a lot. At home, I am quite quiet and would, if I could, go hours and hours without talking to anyone.

    I find times during the school day to be on my own to recharge--at recesses I tend to be in my classroom either on my own or with one or two close friends.

    I'm about halfway through Quiet; it's helping me to see my students through a different lens. My expectations of their oral participation have changed.
     
  13. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 12, 2014

    This is such a great topic! I also turn it all on for school, afterall, students want an engaged teacher just like we want engaged students but when that dismissal bell rings, I'm back to being me. My family also knows that when I get home, I need to veg out which means, please no loud sounds, no emergencies that only I can solve, and no other demands. Also, do not speak my last name!!! ARgh!! Ms........ all day can get taxing! I love teaching. It's where I can be a totally different person. I push myself to go out of my comfort zone and I enjoy it. I guess it's my adrenaline!
     
  14. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2014

    I could have written this post word for word, except this starts year 23 for me!

    My step daughter just started working part time at the drivers ed school where I teach the classroom component. She said I'm an entirely different person when I step in front of the class! She was shocked!
     
  15. LiterallyLisa

    LiterallyLisa Companion

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    Aug 12, 2014

    I get up in front of my class and I am a different person. My coworkers and college friends have all said they were surprised when they seen me in action :p

    In order to "survive" I:
    -get to school early so I can do all of my erranding, copying, etc in peace and quiet.
    -close my door when I need to! I am one of the only teachers on my hall that does this--but I have to if I want to get things done and have my sanity
    -enjoy my lunch, even though I have to sit in a noisy middle school cafeteria and watch my students. The first couple weeks the teachers I sat with asked if I was okay. (this happens a lot to me as a quiet person) I just told them I was recharging. Eventually they understood. If I could sit by myself without people bothering me, I would. :p
    -assign silent reading time/writing time. This gives my voice a break and I might even sit in a chair for a second! It might only be 15 minutes, but it can get you through the rest of the day!

    I love teaching, and there is no other place I would rather be. I have to agree with Kaeco though I struggle in meetings.


     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 12, 2014

    I hate being around large groups of people. I do much better in smaller groups. Teaching is different to me though. They are kids and I know they are there for English class. I have no problems being outgoing in my teaching job. You may find you're the same way :)
     

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