Question for introverted teachers:

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JimG, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. JimG

    JimG Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    119

    Dec 12, 2018

    What do you do to connect with students? Very broad question, I know. But any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2.  
  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,720
    Likes Received:
    1,316

    Dec 12, 2018

    What age? If you're looking for tips. Relationship building is very different between kindergarten and high school!
     
    readingrules12 likes this.
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,720
    Likes Received:
    1,316

    Dec 12, 2018

    One thing I like to do is tie a lesson to a small aspect of my personal life. I might start a lesson with something like, "I've set a goal for myself to read more often. Last night, I sat down with a cup of peach tea and my favorite green blanket and read for a while. I'm reading a really good book called __. Does anyone else have a book they're reading right now that they love?" This is pretty innocuous information that really doesn't give any personal info away but it creates a connection between you and your students. In elementary, especially, they love to raise their hand to say things like, "I have a favorite blanket that I read under too!"

    High school kids probably aren't as obvious with their connection making but it's still helpful to share little details. Find one aspect of your life you can talk about. Maybe it's rock collecting, your pet parakeet, your love of a certain tv show... Any little peak into your life makes you seem more like a real person.

    Ultimately, I don't think you need to be flashy or overly extroverted to build relationships. You just need to seem like you care. Ask how their day is going when you have a free minute. If they were out sick, ask if they're feeling better. If they took a vacation, ask what the best part of the trip was. If you want a less conversation based approach, ask them all to write you a paragraph about something happy that happened this week. Then write a short response back, like "Congrats on getting that A!"
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  5. JimG

    JimG Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    119

    Dec 13, 2018

    Some good ideas, thanks. I teach high school math, so by subject matter alone, I feel the matter is an uphill climb. I tend to be very to-the-point in my teaching, and pausing just to chit chat does not come naturally to me.
     
  6. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    91

    Dec 13, 2018

    At my high school we are supposed to be supervising in the hallway during class changes. So teachers stand by their doorways and greet students as they enter the room. That makes it easy to have mini-conversations and build rapport.

    Start by figuring out which of your students are on sports teams and by looking up their game schedules. You can make a natural and easy connection as they walk into your room: "Good morning Johnny. Good luck on your game tonight. You're playing Central, right? How's the season going?" Then read the paper and check out the highlights and the next day: "Good morning Johnny. Tough game last night. You guys had some great 3 pointers."

    For the nonathletes, pay attention to any involvement they have in school activities or clubs. "Good morning Tommy. I see you're on the list for the chorus field trip. Where are you going? Sounds fun. Have you always been a singer?" The next day: "Hi Tommy. We missed you in class. How was your field trip?"

    For the kids who aren't involved in activities: "I notice you wear a Broncos sweatshirt." Sometimes just an "I notice" statement is enough. (I think that is from Love and Logic.)

    At the beginning of the year I do an interest survey and I always ask about school activities, jobs, interests, career goals. Then I use that info: "Good morning Susie. You still working at McDonald's? You must get a lot of customers after school."

    The trick is to be sincere in your questions.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  7. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,970
    Likes Received:
    362
  8. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    57

    Dec 13, 2018

    For reference, I am 30 years old and teach sophomores through seniors in chemistry, AP chemistry, and AP biology. I consider myself to be fairly introverted; I am good during the day at work but when I clock out I need my alone time to recharge. Anywho, there are a couple of things that always work well for me. Any time we aren't working intensely I will just engage in chit chat about high school sports games, clubs, local events, eating out, etc. I will frequently share stories about my home life, particularly the funny things my toddlers do. There is also one thing that never fails: memes. Don't do it to a cringy level, but dropping "let's get that bread" before a test or quiz never fails. When students know you enjoy memes and other internet phenomena, that brings you a lot closer to someone they can relate to.
     
  9. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    16

    Dec 15, 2018

    I am very introverted , and I always have my soft voice and quiet manner noted as a calming influence that keeps students happy. I try to talk to students about things I notice about them, such as a different hair style, their favorite sports teams, or just things they like. My kids also come from extreme poverty, so I keep snacks in my room and send them home with the kids as part of the school food to familys program. Plus, if we are doing holidays or units where I know it ties to the students' cultural backgrounds, I let the students take the wheel and share what they know. For example, I had some Guatemalan students share about Mayan bracelets because they are pretty similar to the wampum belts we are studying for our Native American unit. If there is downtime, ask students about their home countries, lives or anything else that is appropriate to ask. They love talking about themselves. Next year , I am going to have my students help me decorate my door for the holidays as part of the school's door decoration contest. You don't have to be loud or talk a lot. Just pick the right time to ask questions to your students and they will love it.

    I teach K-12 ESL and I relate to my students a lot. I often share stories about how I overcame challenges learning English or how I was initially very unhappy for my extended family to leave me and go back to their lives overseas. The students like to see that someone like them made it big, and hearing how teachers use certain strategies can motivate the kids to pick up different tools and use them in their lives.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,329
    Likes Received:
    833

    Dec 15, 2018

    I don't know that I do anything specific. I just treat them with respect and try my best to do things that let them know that I care. I'll attend ballgames or other activities when I have a chance. I'm never going to be the flashy, talkative teacher, but that doesn't seem to matter. In fact, I think the introverted kids appreciate having someone who isn't all in-your-face with attention.
     
  11. pommom

    pommom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    97

    Dec 15, 2018

    I am an extreme introvert. I have always been able to make connections with the kids. My introvertness seems to get in the way of when I am up there actually teaching...
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,619
    Likes Received:
    974

    Dec 15, 2018

    Try as best you can to make yourself more personable as I’ve found that students will resonate with you more if you are approachable and willing to chit chat with them. When I instruct, I will periodically pause (once or twice during the lesson) to ask the students how their day is going, what their plans are for the weekend, and what goals they have. Students really appreciate me because I genuinely care about what’s going on in there day to day and not just talk to them about schoolwork.

    I really don’t understand why some teachers — I’m not pointing any fingers — are so emotionally neutral and cold, at times, to students. It’s like they have no personality.

    I’ve been told that I am one of the “popular” teachers by students and staff because I can relatable and not robotic, though some of my colleagues say that I because I work so much and don’t ever complain about tediousness and working, haha!

    If anything, just strike up a conversation. It really goes a long way.
     
  13. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,007
    Likes Received:
    437

    Dec 15, 2018

    My introversion doesn't seem to apply with kids. I struggle with adults, so I'm not super talkative/chatty with coworkers outside of work-related conversations, but kids I have no problem talking with. I've found that as long as I mention something a student can connect to (usually an interest or hobby), the students largely take over the conversation and that's enough to begin building that rapport.

    I also teach 1st grade though, so they just love to tell adults about anything and everything that is happening in their lives. I've had that experience with middle and high schoolers as a sub, but it's less common.
     
  14. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    450

    Dec 16, 2018

    I’m more introverted with adults than my students. I teach 13 to 15 year old teenagers so one of the things I do to break the ice is jokes at the start of the lesson. There’s this daily calendar that has wrong answers that students write on their tests and I read them one of those (the appropriate ones) every day. I’m very into sport, makeup, food, every day entertainment news etc. and so I can relate on quite a broad range of topics.
     
  15. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    63

    Dec 16, 2018

    ^^^
    This is 100% me as well. I'm super charismatic with the students, and have a wonderful connection with them. The same can be said with my co-workers, because I am comfortable with them. My introversion comes out with parents. I don't know most of them very well, so I get a bit awkward when I see them in public or at school events.

    One thing I do to connect with my students is to use humor. We all need a little comic relief, and it gives us inside jokes that we can come back to throughout the year.
     
  16. pommom

    pommom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    97

    Dec 17, 2018

    What is this daily calendar with wrong answers, and students write on tests? I am interested.
     
  17. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,007
    Likes Received:
    437

    Dec 17, 2018

  18. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    450

    Dec 17, 2018

    It’s called “F in Exams” daily calendar. There’s a joke Monday to Friday for the year. It’s useful to build a relationship with my students. Like it’s our thing that we do that no other teacher does with them.
     
  19. pommom

    pommom Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2015
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    97

    Dec 18, 2018

    Oh cool. Do I find it online?
     
  20. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    450

    Dec 18, 2018

  21. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    183

    Dec 19, 2018

    I, too, am introverted. I try to work on the little things: greet students, ask students how they’re doing after they were absent, look at their vacation, puppy, deer photos, ask what they did over the weekend - whatever feels comfortable. Right now I have a difficult student who shares my love of animal prints, so that is what we discuss!
     

Share This Page

test