Alternative Certification?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Tyler B., Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Should teaching certification be waived for candidates who are successful in their field?

    Just read an article in the New York Times where the author pointed out that frequently the most successful people in a field are often terrible teachers. He suggested that good teachers tend to be people who’ve freshly learned a subject and remember how they learned it. I would go farther and say that the best teachers also have training in how to reach, manage and motivate children.

    The article reminded me that teaching is a set of very demanding skills that many people just can’t master. The quiet high school science teacher who can hold her students spellbound and inspire them to further study is a far better person to teach than a dazzling Nobel winner who can’t manage a class full of adolescents.

    Your thoughts?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Well, I haven't run across any Nobel winners in the elementary and secondary school systems. Experts in their fields often describes university instructors, however. I will say, as a science teacher, that if you could show me the right expert, I could definitely see a place for them in Honor's and AP classrooms. Besides, just because you start teaching without further education doesn't mean you will remain a teacher without leaning more about how to teach. I've met a few newly graduated teachers who are not stunning teachers either. What is their excuse - they have a degree in teaching?
     
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  4. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    There are definitely low skilled teachers out there. Somewhere between 40 and 50% of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years. It's a really hard job. 17991812_10155253604888708_2612032261320149703_n.jpg
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    And that half of all teachers will exit before their fifth year started long before AR teachers became as prevalent as they are today.

    I doubt that there are any Nobel Prize winners in that list.
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    You are correct and I’ve read this statistic many times before. This is why California adopted its BTSA program years ago for new teachers to get the support they need so as to retain said individuals in the profession. It has since been renamed to Induction instead of BTSA. Though, I’m totally glad to be done with that, haha, and felt it was a huge waste of time.

    Personally, I’ve always been told that I’m good at explaining things ever since middle school and have tutored students ever since, paid or otherwise. I think that led into my wanting to go into teaching and ultimately becoming a high school math teacher. My teaching credential program was fantastic and I learned so much from there. BTSA, not so much. It was pretty pointless and we only met like once a month and there were so many forms I had to fill out. We discussed things I already learned in my teaching credential program and what I did in my teaching practicum, like how to write lesson plans and how to differentiate instruction. I was very bored each meeting, but I can definitely see the benefit for newer teachers. I did mine in year 3 and did the Early Completion Option (ECO), so mine was only 1 year instead of 2. Thank goodness for that.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    To answer your first question, I still think it is important for teachers to be certified. Otherwise, you get people who are very successful in the private sector who think they can teach without the necessary training and that can negatively impact students’ learning if they have someone who is not well-equipped to deal with student behavior plus else in the classroom.

    For example, at my private school you are expected to actively work towards certification after being hired — if you are not already, of course — and have to get certified within your first 2-3 years or you are let go. And just to get your foot in the door you need to have passed all of your certification tests first for your subject. In my case, I took and passed the CBEST, Praxis 5161, CSET Single Subtest I: Algebra and Number Theory, CSET Single Subtest II: Geometry and Probability and Statistics, and CSET Single Subtest III: Calculus and History of Math before I even started teaching in an official capacity. It was expected by my potential employer at the time that I at least have passed those, even though I had not completed a teaching credential program before my interview. I then had to take several diagnostic tests in the first round and pass with at least 90% accuracy on all of the math subjects taught (Pre-Algebra through AP Stats and AP Calc) to get to the next round of interviews.

    There were certified math teachers who couldn’t pass those and it was shocking because some of them had 6+ teaching experience. This goes to show that you can have people who are certified and aren’t meant for teaching or don’t have the necessary knowledge.

    Back to my situation, I had to get certified ASAP and so I was assigned a mentor teacher and enrolled in a teaching credential program. Additionally, I had to observe 72 50-minute classes from a Master teacher and write detailed notes of anything and everything that went on in each lesson. I also had to student teach for 6 months. With that said, I think it is important to have formal training in all of this because I learned about classroom management and how to deal with parents and admin and many other things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Whether a teacher works in a public school or private school, they should be certified or actively trying to get certified. Just like intern teachers work towards their certifications in public schools, private schoolteachers should, also.
     
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  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I’ve seen enough assemblies, presentations, guest ‘experts’ to know that it takes much more than content knowledge to be an effective educator.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    :yeahthat:
     
  10. Mr.history

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    Like a lot of jobs, teaching is just as much about personality as it is anything else. If someone who knows their field is also able to form strong relationships with students and make them want to learn, then I think they could do the job with a little help writing lessons, making assessments, ect. However a lot of super smart people who know the content better than anyone can also make lousy teachers.

    When I was with my student teaching cohort, there were probably 30 of us total. About 7 or 8 of the people in the class probably knew the history content the best but they were also not a "people person" and they had a rough time at their schools. I've kept up with them on facebook and I think only 1 of them is still in a classroom 8 years later.

    I had a math teacher in high school who retired from being an accountant. Super nice guy and the kids loved him. He was a great teacher too. I also saw someone get hired at my old school who was an ex-engineer for the DOT and he didn't last the whole year. He was an odd dude who just didn't have the personality to make it in a room full of 25-30 teenagers. I think people who gravitate towards teaching need to understand and be honest with themselves about how outgoing/flexible they can be and realize what is needed to work with certain age groups.
     
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  11. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Yep! I want all teachers to be experts in their field AND to be excellent disseminaters of information, and their personalities are equally as important as the first two criteria.

    I am a very outgoing and energetic person, even though I’m a total math and science nerd (who typically tends to be somewhat reclusive), but I can relate to students and make them feel welcome in my classroom. (Plus, it helps that I’m very young looking, so they are more willing to open up around me, haha!)

    I don’t understand why people who are introverted go into teaching.
     
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  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Hey Tyler! This is slightly off topic, but I wanted to know your opinion on something.

    I recently posted an experimental study (all within the last 10 years) that resulted in a statistically significant higher level of student achievement.

    Here they are — and bare in mind it’s a public charter school — but I think this is an example of a charter school done right. The parameters of the study were very rigorous and teachers and the school were held to strict standards and held accountable:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/05/education/05charter.html

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.bu...ter-school-pays-teachers-125000-a-year-2012-4

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/382340/
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    So as an elementary teacher, I’m a bit of a generalist. Yes, I’d consider myself an expert in much of my curriculum, but it changes often. NGSS changed WHAT and HOW we teach science. So while I may know a lot about the content (and pedagogy) there are changes and shifts (shifts happen!) that can shake that expertise feeling a bit and need time for reflection and development.

    As far as the introvert thing- introverts can be very outgoing, enthusiastic and passionate, great teachers. I don’t think you quite understand the characteristics of intro and extroverts..and that misinterpretation disrespects those wonderful teachers who are introverts. If you plan on going into admin, may I suggest you embrace all kinds of types and styles of educators..
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I was going by the their definitions, as I understand them. A shy, reticent person doesn’t seem like someone ideal for teaching as they have to frequently publicaly speak and interact socially in a variety of circumstances.

    ret·i·cent
    ˈredəsənt/
    adjective
    1. not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily.
      "she was extremely reticent about her personal affairs"
      synonyms: reserved, withdrawn, introverted, inhibited, diffident, shy; More

    ex·tro·vert
    ˈekstrəˌvərt/
    noun
    plural noun: extroverts
    1. an outgoing, overtly expressive person.
      synonyms: outgoing person, sociable person, socializer, life of the party
      "like many extroverts, he was unhappy inside"
      • PSYCHOLOGY
        a person predominantly concerned with external things or objective considerations.

    in·tro·vert
    ˈintrəˌvərt/
    noun
    plural noun: introverts
    1. a shy, reticent person.
      • PSYCHOLOGY
        a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Those are not accurate definitions. I suggest further research.
    These definitions are regarded as overly simplistic because almost no one can be accurately described as wholly introvert or extravert. Most people fall somewhere between Jung’s two types (and his work is not what we’d consider recent) Ambiverts have both introversive and extraversive tendencies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
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  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Those actually are accurate and can be found on Google. They are textbook definitions. Let’s not invent our own definitions now.

    Here are the definitions of introversion and introvert from Merriam-Webster:

    Definition of introversion
    1: the act of introverting : the state of being introverted
    2: the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life

    Definition of introvert
    1: one whose personality is characterized by introversion; especially : a reserved or shy person who enjoys spending time alone
    • His research further shows that about 70% of top executives are introverts.
    • —Linda Grant

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/introvert
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Merriam Webster wouldn’t be my go to for psychological research. Good luck with that admin thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
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  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Thank you for your support, even though I suspect you’re being sarcastic, lol!

    I apply definitions as they are defined in the dictionary. And I would be working at my current school as I’m being looked at already for filling the VP position and my colleagues are already used to my personality.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And woe to those you deem introverts whose interest in education you question. Thankful to be working in a district where all are valued.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    I value all of my colleagues, but I don’t understand why you are upset when I apply definitions as they are defined. As a self-described introvert, that doesn’t seem like an endearing quality to have, by definition. However, I would base my classroom observations and reviews not on a teacher’s personality status, per se, but on their performance in the classroom and their interactions with students. I would set aside personal feelings as that would not be professional.
     
  21. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    That experiment failed or is failing. Their students are underperforming in reading and math when compared to their 40 school peer group. Here's an interesting analysis of the program. And there's no such thing as a "public charter school" since all charters drain money from the public schools and spend it without public accountability.

    I do think that raising teacher pay and having the public pay for the certification classes would result in raising teacher quality. This school offered great pay, but piled on a huge workload and fired a bunch of teachers at the end of the year. You can't get the best teachers this way.
     
  22. futuremathsprof

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    I read through your article and the *individual* who wrote it (Why are you quoting a blogpost?) only reports their scores from one academic school year and not the data over the 5-year period that the study was analyzing. In one of the articles I posted, the end results were quite impressive.

    https://www.mathematica-mpr.com//~/media/publications/pdfs/education/tep_fnlrpt.pdf

    Yes, the attrition rate was high in the beginning (first 1-2 years), but it went down thereafter. The teachers that remained were committed and the ones that were renewed were excellent teachers — there was an extensive vetting process in the beginning.

    From the article by “The Atlantic”: “The data was drawn from standardized testing, comparing students who were demographically and academically similar in surrounding neighborhood schools.

    Even though the Equity Project students fared better compared to their peers at surrounding schools, the Wall Street Journal notes that only 43% of the school’s eighth-graders passed state math exams in 2013. A pretty low number, though a considerable improvement compared with the 26% city-wide pass rate.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  23. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    The Mathematica paper looks pretty good except that they did not control for "charter school lottery". This is where only engaged parents put their students into the lottery leaving the students with unengaged parents in the public school. Of course, students with engaged parents should be expected to perform better.

    Blogs can be a very weak way to support a position, but I prefaced my reference to it by saying it was an analysis, not a report or study. I'm pleased you are wary of blogs, as am I.

    Teacher quality does not just depend on a high salary. Some of the perks of teaching include knowing that I'll have due process if an administrator decides to target me, I'll have a pension to compensate for my low salary, and I'll have a place of honor in my community where parents and students invite me to grad parties and so forth. I love teaching because I feel I'm really good at it, despite often questioning decisions I've made.

    I'm concerned about a popular notion that anyone can teach and that teacher training courses and certification are a waste of time. The guy who started The Equity Project Charter was a grad of the Teach for America program where college grads are given only 5 weeks of training then put into a classroom that should have had a certified teacher.
     
  24. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Actually, the experiment was controlled for and the students were demographically and socioeconomically similar to the surrounding schools. And the results were statistically significant and accepted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As stated by Mathematica, “More than 90% of TEP students are from low-income households ... and 99% are African-American or Hispanic.”

    The teachers who work there are certified as they do work in a public school — regardless of your definition of a charter school — and they have been effective at what they do.

    Not everyone can teach. I totally agree, but the teachers at the Equity Project Charter School CAN teach as evidenced by the data, which continues to improve. The surrounding schools, not so much. That’s what happens when you pay teachers higher wages. You get teachers who are experts in their fields and work extremely hard to keep their jobs. According to the Mathematica Project, “TEP teachers receive intensive professional development and have substantial administrative authority and responsibilities. TEP holds teachers accountable for their performance: more than a third of TEP teachers were not renewed after their first year.”
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Extraversion and Introversion as terms used by Jung to explain different attitudes people use to direct their energy. These words have a meaning in psychology that is different from the way they are used in everyday language.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    What I like about the TEP model is that teachers are paid handsomely, they receive excellent benefits, they have more administrative authority, there are fewer administrators, they are respected in their community, AND students are thriving. You can’t get any better than that.
     
  27. futuremathsprof

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    I’m not saying that introversion is an “unhealthy” personality type. What I *am* saying is that extroverted individuals are better suited for the teaching profession, whereas introverted persons are more ill-suited for the teaching profession. I’ve read article after article and story after story about how teachers who were withdrawn, quiet, kept to themselves mostly, floundered in the classroom and did not build good rapport with students.

    Now, regardless of the originator’s intended meanings of the words, the group consensus (as accepted in the literature) are the Merriam-Webster and Oxford definitions. Jung’s “definitions” are vague and informal. What exactly does “Applied focus of the energies in the inner and outer world” even mean?

    Jung’s definitions are inferential: If you “focus your ‘energies on the inner world,’ ” then you are focusing on the self, as that is your preference. As a teacher, your focus should be on your students, colleagues, and surroundings.
     
  28. TrademarkTer

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    I would describe myself as introverted around my peers/colleagues, but I open up when in the classroom. Either way, what difference does it make if you are doing an effective job in the classroom?
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You are judging introverts as not well suited for the classroom and questioning why they would be teachers. You’d be shocked how many great teachers would consider themselves more introvert than extravert.

    If you can’t understand the psychological definitions and research perhaps you shouldn’t be judging others on your misinterpretation of them
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
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  30. RaiderFan87

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    This is a bunch of nonsense. I am an introvert and I am a great teacher. Saying that introverted people are ill-suited for the teaching profession is a sweeping generalization to make and a very uneducated statement.
     
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  31. MrsC

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    I am I am most certainly an introvert, and one of my greatest strengths as a teacher is my ability to form strong relationships with my students. Being introverted does not equate with being shy, withdrawn, or socially awkward. It's important to understand the differences, particularly in our students.
     
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  32. TeacherGroupie

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    It might be illuminating for futuremathsprof to ask around among the really successful teachers at his school: chances are good that a number of them identify as introverts.
     
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  33. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    This 2015 study shows that 17% leave the profession. It accounts for those who change schools and for those who take a year or two off and are back within the 5 year period.

    https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2015/2015337.pdf
     
  34. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Your data is better than mine. My figures were based on the Ingersoll study that reported over 5 years, this one has a 4 year look back. Still, the figure I quoted (based on the Ingersoll study) is clearly too high.
     
  35. futuremathsprof

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    At your suggestion, I polled all my colleagues and got the following results: 37% identify as introverts, 60% identify as extroverted, and 3% identify as both.

    I further questioned the 3%ers and they said they are extroverted at work, but introverted at home.

    Of course, I can’t extrapolate beyond my data set, so this only says that the majority of colleagues at my private school identify as extroverted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  36. futuremathsprof

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    I understand terms that are well defined. “Applied energies in the inner and outer worlds” is just a bunch of nonsensical woo-woo. Further, I would imagine most people would have difficulty understanding what that means.
     
  37. TeacherGroupie

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    So 40% of your colleagues don't exclusively identify as extroverts, futuremathsprof: that's not a majority, to be sure, but it's not far short of one and thus falls short of supporting your claim that only extroverts can be good teachers. And what about the results from the teachers you consider superior?
     
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  38. futuremathsprof

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    I did not say that extroverts can *only* be good teachers. Show me the quotation where I said that. I specifically said that “extroverts are better suited to be teachers” because teaching requires you to socialize with students, staff and parents; to engage people in large and small groups, to publicly speak, to interact in a variety of ways that introverts, and, at least from what I’ve read, introverted teachers find “taxing” or “mentally anguishing.” There are even teacher-support groups online and elsewhere for introverted teachers wherein they receive tips for how they can cope with the extroverted aspects of teaching.

    With that said, I’m sure there are many great teachers, which there are, who are introverted. I’m just saying that someone who naturally wants to do all of the aforementioned things I mentioned is more equipped for the job than someone who copes or puts on an act that goes against their normal personality.

    I would hazard a guess that a simple majority or greater of teachers would identify as extroverted. Would you mind if I asked if you polled your colleagues and found out what they identify as? I don’t think it would be an invasive line of questioning.
     
  39. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I regard myself as an introvert, but I teach as an extrovert. It's completely natural and requires no act.
     
  40. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Ditto. I may not wish to interact with every Tom, Dick, and Harry, but I love my content, and from the interaction I get with my students, my love of my subjects apparently shines brightly. I believe if you are excited about what you teach, there will be enough positive energy that flows, which students will pick up on. Because I am not the extroverted class clown, I am more sensitive to the needs of students who are shy and feel they have nothing of merit to add to class discussions/ projects. My sensitivity to their own self doubts actually serves me well. I did a quick survey of the 12 staff members in my building, and we numbered 10 introverts, one who is on the fence, and one who identifies as an extrovert. We work with some of the most difficult students in the state, but these mostly introverts connect with these students and are crucial to the positive outcomes most of our students will achieve. My personal feeling is that this subset of students can identify anything that isn't genuine from a mile away. We don't need dog and pony shows to connect, but be must be willing to meet them where they are at, and build from there. Our single extrovert may not be the extrovert he believes himself to be, because when not "on", he is quiet, subdued, with no real inclination to mingle or be the "up" person he shows the kids. I would be willing to bet that if you saw this dozen while teaching, you would not be able to identify the two who don't identify as introverts. We are all very good at what we do.
     
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  41. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    My views are starting to change. Interesting!

    I like having my mind changed.
     

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