Very Shy Student

Discussion in 'High School' started by sccrplayer, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. sccrplayer

    sccrplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2007

    I have a very shy 9th grade girl in my class. She dosen't talk much, and when we do group work, she is always last picked, and she dosen't ask to join a group. I want to help her. Her other teachers have the same feelings. Any ideas?
     
  2.  
  3. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,549
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2007

    Sorry I am of no help but thank you so much for caring about this girl. She sounds just like my son and luckily he has a teacher who is trying to bring him out of his shell. Don't give up on her!
     
  4. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2007

    It is amazing how much more students can be engaged then they appear. I wouldn't force her too much though. I try to vary groups and partners so that no one gets left out. I have one 8th grader than no one will ask to be in a group so I always have to assign partners!
    I have one quiet(9th grader) who left a present on my desk but didn't put her name on it! I said it my normal loud voice, "who is this from?" and I saw her raise her hand in the back of the room. I found out from her sister that she loves my class. :)
    I do make an attempt to talk to the shy students about their interests. I accidently ran into a practice session for our scholastic team and found about half of my shy students there! I call it the secret meeting of intelligent people and I often crash the practice session just hang out with those students a little more.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Dec 30, 2007

    Don't have the kids make the groups. You should make them based on what you know about the kids' learning styles/strengths, etc... Also make it COOPERATIVE LEARNING, not group work. Everyone should have a job to do- this will prevent her from being run over since the group will have to count on her participation.
     
  6. trina

    trina Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 30, 2007

    I have a student just like her. As I recently found out, he doesn't talk because he doesn't want to get in trouble. Even when it's OK to talk, he doesn't. He's also very concerned about germs and breaking a bone. His mom said he's just one of those kids who NEVER EVER does anything that will bring any danger or bad consequences to himself. She said he's the easiest kid in the world to raise.

    Perhaps you could praise her "good" behavior and just accept her for who she is- which might be a student who wants to be very obedient...?

    Incidentally, about a month ago he was invited to a birthday party that a classmate had on a Friday night. It was very very tame- parents at home- chips and dip, etc. but the other students said he actually talked at the party. This confirmed to me that he CAN talk and be sociable but that the risk of getting in trouble for talking at school is too great for his very conservative nature.
     
  7. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Likes Received:
    12

    Dec 31, 2007

    Like others have said, don't let them pick groups. I tell them that in high school, my job more than ever, is to prepare them for the real world. They wont get to pick their teams on the job, and they don't get to in my classroom, either.

    I had a super shy girl in my class last year. She never spoke to me or anyone else. According to her family, she was a social butterfly at home. Go figure. I never changed my expectations for her participation in the class though. She's going to have to learn to adapt if she ever wants a job.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 31, 2007

    Not talking during class isn't always the same thing as being shy. Sometimes students assume they aren't supposed to. Also, it is peer pressure age. I know I didn't feel comfortable around my school peers until 11th grade yet I was a social butterfly in the neighborhood.

    Nowadays I talk to anyone. Last week I spent an hour in one aisle of Walmart talking to someone I didn't know. Go figure.
     
  9. sccrplayer

    sccrplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 31, 2007

    I know she talks at home, so I know she CAN talk. Maybe it's the whole 'getting in trouble thing' that trina was talking about. I also got a Christmas card from her, but she signed her name. Maybe she'll come out of her shell a bit soon. I'll try to really include her in activities, and talk to her personally.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 31, 2007

    I'm not sure what you teach, but can you get to know her (and her interests) a bit through journal writing or something?

    I once taught a girl who said NOTHING in class-- nada, zip. She played soccer, so I knew she had friends, but I never heard a word from her in class. Thankfully, she was doing poorly in my precalculus class and frequently came to extra help. Through extra help I got to know her a bit.

    Two weeks after graduation, she was on TWA flight 103. It crashed minutes after takeoff enroute to Paris. There were no survivors.

    Each year when the anniversary comes around (and it was a big deal here, so it's always noted in the papers), I think of her and am grateful that she was so bad at math. Otherwise, to be honest, I would probably have difficulty remembering her face. Instead, I remember her in her soccer uniform, at extra help, smiling and getting to know her a bit.
     
  11. sccrplayer

    sccrplayer Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 31, 2007

    Aliceacc, that's a sad, touching story.

    Well, I could try a journal idea. That might be nice. Thanks!
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,115

    Dec 31, 2007

    Oh, Alice, how sad. I just read 'Night Fall' by Nelson DeMille- fiction (?) based on the TWA 800 flight. Still so much unresolved in the minds of many about what happened there. :mellow: I'm sure the time you spent with her on pre-calc help was a support to her. Reminds me of how the few hours we have with kids (our own and the ones we teach) are so precious and fleeting...:love:

    (PS: It was TWA 800, Pan Am 103- both tragedies...)
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 31, 2007

    Oops. sorry. Believe it or not, both nights are very clear in my mind, although they were several years apart.

    I was at the airport for Pan Am(dropping off friends at JFK, they were going home to Ireland for a visit.) It was pandemonium.

    Deirdre was on TWA.

    Nelson DeMille is from Long Island; it makes sense that he would write about it. In fact, it's strange. Peter's 2 nieces were down from upstate, and my mother in law wanted to take them to the Museum of Natural History in NYC the day after the TWA crash. I knew what had happened; I had been up half the night watching coverage. We didn't know about Deirde yet. (The AP at our school identified her school ring; that's how they ID'd her.) But I had the worst feeling about being away from the phone all day. I just knew that someone from one of our schools had to be on that flight. Sadly, I was right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  14. keep_smiling

    keep_smiling Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 31, 2007

    I was so that girl 20 years ago!!!!!! If someone would have helped me I wouldnt be stuck like I am now!!! Back then I wasnt afraid to talk to my friends -- the popular crowd-- but I would never say hi to others that weren't my friends. I look back now and people just thought I was a snob. Truly I would rather die then say hi to someone I dont know!

    My social anxiety has made me have a sheltered life. I love being a preschool teacher. I love the kids and my job, but I know I would have been an excellent kindergarten, first or second grade teacher. I was scarred to death to go to college and have to talk to people. Unfortunately my parents and teachers didnt see the whole problem with my social anxiety.

    Skip ahead 20 years... I have come out of my shell, but still have a long way to go. I'm working on it. I just want you to know I would have loved someone to help me all those years ago. I know my teachers would call my mom about it, but no one ever followed through. Please find to root of her shyness and please help her.
     
  15. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 31, 2007

    I had a very quiet student in my class for three weeks only (I had easily over 180 students)and then he committed suicide. I felt so bad about it and people kept asking about him but I barely knew him. It is so hard when you have classes over 35. In a fifty minute class that is not even a minute and a half per student! It is the quiet students I worry about the most.
     
  16. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2008

    Perhaps these kids you mention suffer from Selective Mutism(read somewhere it used to be known as Elective Mutism)?

    Refusing to speak at all in class, whether to peers or teachers.. but speaks at home.. that's definitely Selective Mutism.

    I used to have it. In my kindergarten days. It frustrated my teachers because they knew I talked at home, but in school I was practically a mute. It's not a nice disorder to suffer from, trust me. I felt like speaking at times, but was terrified to. Even when I NEEDED to speak, I couldn't. After a couple of years, you really really want to start talking, but you feel you've kept silent for too long, and you're afraid the others will point fingers and say, "Joanne's speaking! WOW!"

    I'm told my kindergarten teacher once saw me with my family in a shopping centre, and followed behind us in awe, watching me chatter away. :lol: Of course if I had known she was following us, I would have shut my mouth immediately.

    I started speaking around 6+.. but have always been labelled 'Shy'.. until my last few years in secondary school. As a child who had Selective Mutism, I'm proud to say I've been 'shushed' a few times in upper secondary school by teachers. :D

    By the way, my family and teachers never knew about such a disorder. I found out myself when I happened to see an article online, this year. I found out there was such a condition, and I wasn't the only child who had it.

    Check out this website www.selectivemutism.org for more information.
     
  17. JoshCHT

    JoshCHT Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2008

    I had issues with social anxiety and selective mutism throughout school. I stopped talking in 2nd grade and didn't start talking and making friends at school until halfway through college.

    I went through very intense loneliness and bullying. I wasn't too lonely though as I have a twin brother that had the same problems. We were still lonely in that we didn't have any other friends and missed out on most of the social milestones.

    We couldn't stand to be around people because of the severe anxiety so we wouldn't go to the lunchroom for lunch or recess. We just stood in the hallways. We wouldn't go to the restroom either. We didn't make friends, date, go to the prom, or learn to drive. We didn't do any of those type things until college. We wouldn't speak and would just nod our heads for yes or shake our heads for no.

    We were diagnosed with social anxiety and selective mutism when we were seniors in high school.

    Sometimes the shy kids are just shy and sometimes those labeled extremely shy really have serious anxiety or depression disorders and need help.

    Seung Hui Cho, the student shooter at Virginia Tech, had been diagnosed with selective mutism (a social anxiety disorder) when he was in middle school.

    Of course most kids with social anxiety and/or selective mutism won't end up violent but the severe loneliness, depression, and bullying that tends to go along with it can lead to very bad things.
     
  18. Docere

    Docere Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 1, 2008

    I used to be that girl. I used to absolutely hate to hear teachers say, "Get into groups." Like others have said, you shouldn't let them choose their own groups. It makes everything easier and less stressful if you assign groups.
     
  19. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 2, 2008

    If I not managed to overcome that problem, I have no idea how I would have survived all my years in school.

    But Selective Mutism(SM) doesn't leave anyone permanently.. I think. I was president of my club, a school prefect, went on stage to talk to 1000+ students in my school days... but at the end of it all I'm still an introvert, don't have many friends, skipped my school prom.. etc. I no longer fear speaking in public, but I'm never comfortable with it either.

    Get that girl some help.. if she really does have SM, the frustration she is fighting within may be enough for her to consider suicide..:help:
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Oureducation
Total: 202 (members: 2, guests: 176, robots: 24)
test