What are your thoughts on introverted teachers?

Discussion in 'High School' started by futureteach24, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. futureteach24

    futureteach24 Companion

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    My P gave me a tour of the school for over an hour and I said almost nothing =( When he passed me off to my dept. chair at the end of the tour he told her I seemed nervous to him. Do you think they'll be upset once they find out I'm an introvert? I think I'm a good teacher (at least that's what I've been told). I'm a first year teacher by the way.
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm definitely an introvert when it comes to new situations so I probably wouldn't have said much either! However, once I warm up to people I can be very talkative. Mine mostly depends on who I'm around. I'm sure once you get to know the staff more of "you" will start to shine through. If they hired you then there was obviously something they liked about you!
     
  4. bison

    bison Habitué

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    If you're already hired, I think you'll be okay! It's probably a good idea to practice being a bit more social in these types of situations. I'm very much an introvert as well so I get it, but it's important to try and interact and relate to people when appropriate. A lot of being a teacher is being able to be "on" in front of your class, and you want to be able to show that you're able to do that. We just need that time to recharge after school. :)
     
  5. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I'm an introvert, too, and it was always appreciated and respected at my schools.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There are certainly successful introverted teachers. Do keep n mind, however, that peoples first impressions of you may be that you come off as shy, nervous, standoffish...as hard as it may be, you should gauge the situation and consider 'stretching yourself' a bit to overcome these impressions. Congrats on your new job and good luck!:thumb:
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Introverted is fine.

    But I think that even introverted people need to develop a demeanor that displays confidence and interest in their job.

    Saying nothing for an hour puts all the responsibility for the tour on your principal. It makes him wonder how you'll interact with parents and with the other teachers. A simple "how nice" or "What grade is this?" every now and then would probably have made a big difference in the tone of the tour.

    I agree with the others-- I think that you have to stretch your comfort zone a bit.
     
  8. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    First off, congrats on the job! :) You'll do great things.

    I'm agreeing with Alice here.

    Perhaps make it a personal goal that each day for a week you're going to reach out to somebody (a stranger) and say something. It could be the person at Starbucks who hands you your coffee: "You folks make the best mochas!" or a co-worker: "I really like that pin on your blouse. So unique!"

    After a week, try for two people...etc.

    As teachers we are required (not suggested) to communicate with our students' families about their progress. Using this time NOW to build up your social skills will make it easier once the Fall comes. :)

    Best of luck to you!
     
  9. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    I agree with the previous posters. You should be fine, especially once you become more comfortable in your new position. Your post made me think of when I first got hired at my school. I must have seemed so nervous and overwhelmed when I was introduced to people that other teachers initially thought the students would eat me alive in no time. That never happened, and this is my 12th year at that school. (I was even the school's teacher of the year in 2011!) I'm sure at the end of the year you'll be laughing about this with other people in your building.
     
  10. BumbleB

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    Are you always introverted or do you warm up once you feel more comfortable? Like dgpiaffeteach, I am shy at first but I am more talkative once I get to know people. If you are constantly introverted and never let people see a warm and inviting side to you, then you may give off the impression that you are not happy to be at school (which is not true).

    When you're in an uncomfortable situation like that, you almost have to force yourself every once in a while. Even a quiet "mmhmm" as affirmation after they say something will make them feel like you care about what they have to say. It can be hard, but it makes people feel more at ease and comfortable around you.
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I am very introverted as well and feel horrible in those situations. But I warm up soon enough. I am sure you will as well.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I'm an introvert, and I'm getting ready to start my 20th year of teaching. Early in my career I had people tell me that I'd "come around" and get over being so reserved once I'd been teaching awhile. Not happening. It's just my personality. I'm quiet and reserved in most situations. I'll open up more once I'm used to someone, but I'm still not a naturally outgoing person.

    People used to call me shy when I was young, but I'm not so much shy as reserved. It's not like I want to join in and be more like an extrovert. I'm perfectly happy with my quiet nature.

    I get the job done at work, and I'm the one people come to when they want something done quickly and quietly.
     
  13. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Ater a day of me yelling at my kids, pointless meetings.. I want alone time. I Half days are my favorite because I shut the door, put my feet up, have a snack, and luxuriate in the sound of silence again. Guess that makes me an introvert

    If you are shy this is not the job for you because you will have to talk a lot as a teacher, entertain your class with stories.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Except when you're posting pictures of yourself in a bikini, right?
    At ths point, milsey, you can't possibly think anyone takes you seriously.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    This is the teacher who wonders why her "bait" isn't getting her any interviews????:lol::lol::lol:
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    She isn't lacking job offers for being an introvert,,:spitwater:
     
  17. Linguist92021

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    You can be an introvert and / or shy, and be a really good teacher. And introvert can still talk a lot, 'entertain' the class with stories, etc.

    I have a friend, I've known her for 6 years. She's quiet, sweet, a wonderful person. She teaches 3rd grade (and have been for 10 years or so). I don't know if she's considered an introvert, but she's definitely quiet and a bit shy. She has no problem controlling her classroom, and making sure they all learn. (I've observed her for my classes before).
     
  18. Special-t

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    We did an activity that revealed half our staff considers themselves introverted. I am definitely an introvert. I am not a good conversationalist and I don't particularly enjoy small talk. A good trick I use to keep a conversation going is to ask questions.
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    It has also been said that asking questions is an easy way to make friends and have people like you. People love to talk about themselves, so if you have trouble being open, asking questions about others is a way to go :)
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Good point. I think some extroverts feel for the poor, shy introverts. Not necessary.
     
  21. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm an introvert as well. I HATE how people assume it's some character flaw that you must learn to get over. Like other posters were saying, I don't mind being a quieter person. I enjoy my quiet time alone! Pretty much any person I've ever worked with in any setting has told me that they were initially "worried about me" because I seemed so reserved at first, but I "got much better" later. I even had a professor who told me my senior year that she never thought I could make it as a teacher (gee, thanks) until she really saw me "come out of my shell" that year (I was in classes with only 8 other people, most of whom were good friends so I participated a lot more than in the past). There's nothing wrong with being an introvert. Remember, many of your students will be introverts too- you'll be able to relate to them much more and they'll probably feel more comfortable with you than one of those people that thinks they need to "fix" them by turning them into an extrovert.

    Like others said, if I know I'm going to be in a situation like that I typically plan ahead for some questions to ask so I don't make the other person feel awkward.
     
  22. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    It makes you a lot of things, but I don't think introvert comes to mind.



    In any event, I am very introverted with other adults, but I am not at all with the students.
     
  23. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    When I started teaching I was painfully shy. (I still am not one to just bust into small talk unless it is with someone I know really well.) My first year I started presenting at conferences. I made myself. I'm sure those first few were rough on the participants, too. Now, though, I'm a pro. (Well, in my eyes! :D) I get great feedback and have even had some neighboring schools ask me to come make presentations to their school. It hasn't pulled me fully out of the shell, but it pulled me most of the way.
     
  24. mkbren88

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    I am an introvert, but once I get to know someone, I open up and get more comfortable. I was always considered really shy growing up, especially around adults. That has subsided a little bit, but I still do get nervous meeting and speaking to adults I am not comfortable with yet.

    I was 14 when my sister graduated from college. One of her college professors thought that I was "special" because I didn't say anything at all when he introduced himself. It wasn't that I couldn't, it was that I didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything. I am the same way now. If I don't know how to respond, or if I don't know what I will say sounds good, I just won't say anything.
     
  25. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    WHY in the world would you say that teaching isn't a job for the OP because she is shy????

    Of COURSE one can be a teacher, even if they are shy.

    I'm incredibly shy. Horribly shy, but when I'm in the classroom, I do my thing. I talk a lot, deal with admins, resolve conflicts, etc. My coworkers who do not know me personally would never believe that I'm painfully shy. And socially awkward. When I'm in my element, I can put on my "Professional Teacher Hat" and do my work.

    ETA: And why would you admit that you yell at kids? Do you not know that yelling is a sign of an ineffective teacher? However, feel free to start a new thread asking for advice on how to manage your anger/yelling.....
     
  26. Emily Bronte

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    great advice Peachy
     
  27. msleep

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    There are quite a few on here who confuse shyness and introversion. Please read up on the differences because 1/3 or more of your students are introverts and this will affect how they learn. It does not mean, however, that they are shy.

    It is interesting that education courses barely touch on introversion when it may be one of the biggest factor in a students learning process.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OP, please read some of the other posts by Milesy (you can click on her name, then follow the option to read her other posts) before deciding whether or not to take her advice.
     
  29. TeacherShelly

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    Like! :thumb:
     
  30. JustMe

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    I understand what you're saying. Even though I consider myself BOTH shy and introverted depending upon the situation, that isn't the case for everyone.
     
  31. Kaseta

    Kaseta Rookie

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    If you're a good teacher that is what matters in the end.

    Personally, I think I'd be in the same situation but slightly different reason. I might not be terribly nervous, but I don't talk for the sake of "fixing" silence and that makes some people unsure or uneasy.

    I'm an introvert and it hasn't hurt my classroom teaching. Now, my relationships with other teachers may be slightly different. I won't talk to hear myself, only comment when I feel the need, prefer to listen, and don't really discuss much of my personal life to others. Some take this as snobbish or shy behavior, but really its just my perspective of what others need to know about me and what is truly worthwhile and productive making a comment on.

    I'd say as long as it doesn't negatively impact classroom management or parent communication it isn't an issue for yourself, only others if they wish to make it so. If it is shyness, then gradually working up on things little by little will help you get used to them and build confidence.

    Once you get a few years under your belt teaching, it will be a confidence booster, too. I think we're all nervous when we first start out teaching, are in a new situation, unfamiliar people, etc... just human behavior in regards to new things.
     
  32. Historyteaching

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    I am by all accounts extroverted, but when my Principal showed me around my school on my first day (it was my first time teaching too).
    I didn't say much at all. I nodded a few times and just listened.

    Perhaps the scenario led to your quietness as well...new people, new school, first time teaching ever, your P aka your boss walking you around. Makes sense to me. :)
     
  33. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I would say I am fairly introverted, but some of it has faded with age and conficence (in myself and in my teaching abilities). I think a wide range of teaching personalities is best, the kids are certainly not all the same.
     
  34. courtney

    courtney Rookie

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    An honest question for the true introverts (since there seem to be quite a few around here): What led you to choose a career in education if you struggle with socially-appropriate interpersonal interaction? It seems counter-intuitive, you know, if speaking to and working with large groups saps a true introvert's reserves...just curious. I was shy as a child, but became involved in theater in middle school and went on to compete at the national level in high school..now, I'm the one striking up a conversation in the elevator. It just makes me feel better to interact with people at every opportunity, so a career in teaching others to do the same just seemed very natural. Thanks for any input you all may have..I'm genuinely curious because I want to avoid intimidating my students. This will be my first year employed as a Communications teacher..thanks!
     
  35. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Courtney, being an introvert doesn't mean you can't interact socially. This mistake is often made. The two often coincide because introverts prefer alone time and as a result don't develop their social skills as much as extroverts, but it's not always the case. I'm not particularly shy these days, can interact very well, etc. Being an introvert means that I need time alone to "recharge" so to speak. Extroverts get energy from being around others, while alone time is boring. For me personally, I can be "on" and interacting with the kids all day (and loving it!), but I'll be pretty drained and need some quiet alone time after school.
     
  36. catlover

    catlover Rookie

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    I think your principal was just concerned about whether you felt comfortable and welcomed. I don't think they'll care at all if you're introverted/shy/not talkative or whatever as long as you are a nice person who does a good job. There are so many different and unique personalities that make up a school. I don't think anyone seriously cares about personality differences unless a teacher is hard to get along with or if their personality quirks get in the way of teaching.

    As an introverted person myself, one thing I've done is to try to be very courteous. It seems like you can get away with saying very little on something like a tour if you break the first long silence with, "Thank you so much for taking me on this tour -- I really appreciate your thoughtfulness," and then the second long silence with, "I'm really enjoying this -- what a lovely school you have." Then any additional silence just seems to flow under the bridge and everyone is happy.
     
  37. courtney

    courtney Rookie

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    Oh, I know they have the ability to interact socially..I said "struggle with" because the OP seems to be concerned that her silence on the hour-long tour has negatively impacted her relationship with the principal. I also referred to introverts energy being "sapped by talking to and working with large groups" because I understand what introversion means..hence, your need to "recharge" after a long day with your students. I'm still just curious why a true introvert would choose teaching as a profession when so much social interaction is required by our jobs, I guess...
     
  38. catlover

    catlover Rookie

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    Courtney, I don't think the OP implied that she was struggling with the social interaction of being with the principal, or that she was drained by having to socially interact. My reading is that she was not concerned about anything until the principal handed her off and commented to someone else that she seemed nervous.

    I think such a situation is typical of introversion. She didn't feel the need to talk, so she didn't. But later she learned that the principal had had a different expectation. As a result, the P mistakenly thought she was nervous.

    Whereas some might characterize introversion as incomplete mastery of a skill, I personally think that's a mistaken view. I would say that most introverts don't feel they "struggle" to interact socially, but that they don't have the same need extroverts seem to have to keep up a constant flow of chit-chat.

    I mean, one could equally (and equally unfairly) describe extroverts as "struggling" with the ability to just be quiet unless there is something worth saying, or that they have an emotional need to constantly talk. Just to clarify: I don't think either of those things are true. But if using a "deficit model" for thinking about extroversion is wrong, the same is true for introversion, in my opinion.

    At a guess, I would say that introverts might choose teaching as a profession because they love learning and enjoy sharing knowledge with others.
     
  39. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    I am an introvert, but in no way do I "struggle with socially-appropriate interpersonal interaction." I just prefer not to talk about my personal life at school with other teachers. I'm still friendly, and everyone likes me at school. I still have friends, and I am not exhausted when I get home. I'd just rather spend most weekends reading or something instead of being out. In no ways does my introversion affect my teaching.
     
  40. ArtOfMe

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    I'm also introverted and quite a bit shy, but I tend to be ok in front of groups of people. I wasn't really into entertaining small talk while student teaching, but I focused on my job and the material I wanted to get across.

    However, my coop did tell me that my quietness in the faculty lounge during lunch made some of the teachers think I was skinny. He told them I'm just shy. I felt bad to hear that. I never thought anything I had to say would be important since they all knew each other and were much more experienced, so I said little. But if someone spoke to me, I was very polite.
     
  41. ArtOfMe

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    I'm also introverted and quite a bit shy, but I tend to be ok in front of groups of people. I wasn't really into entertaining small talk while student teaching, but I focused on my job and the material I wanted to get across.

    However, my coop did tell me that my quietness in the faculty lounge during lunch made some of the teachers think I was skinny. He told them I'm just shy. I felt bad to hear that. I never thought anything I had to say would be important since they all knew each other and were much more experienced, so I said little. But if someone spoke to me, I was very polite.
     

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