One of the greatest challenges for teachers is balancing the needs of many different types of students. Each and every student is unique, and each student learns best using a different methodology or tactic. In many classrooms, the loud, boisterous and excited extroverts often take center stage. They raise their hand for every question, and excitedly join groups for group activities. For the introvert, this can be intimidating and force them to hole up inside even more. Teachers should remember that is important to balance the classroom, and incorporate activities into the lesson plans that help introverted students excel as well.
Here are five activities you can use to help the introverts in your class.
Teachers often prefer to promote students working in groups, as it helps them learn to work together as a team as many of them will have to do in the real world one day. However, it is important to recognize that for the introvert, this is not necessarily the best way of learning. By assigning an independent writing assignment during a quiet hour, the introvert gets the time necessary to think and write on their own about a given topic.
Extroverted students may find it easy to raise their hand and ask a question, but introverted students will often be too shy or scared to do so. Take time every few weeks to do individual conferences with students so they can quietly discuss what they enjoy about the classroom and what they might be struggling with. Make sure all students participate, so no one feels singled out. A teacher would not want to make a student feel like they are being punished by talking to the teacher one on one.
This is the perfect project for the introverts in a classroom, as it gives the introvert an opportunity to think not only individually and independently but also reflectively. It is a creative assignment that will be enjoyed by everyone, but it will help an introvert to excel and understand the subject matter even more. For instance, when studying the environment, ask students to photograph some objects around their home that can be reduced, reused and recycled to create a more eco-friendly environment.
Introverted students prefer to work on their own, but in reality all people have to learn to work together at some point. Instead of dividing the classroom into two large groups to perform a play, create several smaller groups of two or three people. Teachers should ask these students to come up with some dialog for a play together. This helps an introvert feel more comfortable in the company of just a few people, but also teaches them the importance of working as a team as well.
When studying biology and plants, teachers should ask each student to bring in a packet of seeds and plant them in a cup of soil. This allows the introverted student an opportunity to learn about the material first hand as well as recognize the importance of caring for others — whether that be a person or a plant. The best part is this is a project that teachers can use that not only introverted students will enjoy — an extrovert will enjoy this activity as well. By not singling out the introverted students in the classroom, teachers are reaching them and helping them learn but not allowing them to feel isolated and alone.
As the school year begins, teachers should pay attention to the different students in their class. By studying the actions of their students, teachers will quickly gain an understanding of which students are extroverted and which ones are introverted. Once that has been determined, teachers should develop a course of action that will help everyone in the classroom excel. Lesson plans should be balanced, and included activities that benefit all different types of people. This is one of the greatest challenges for teachers in today’s age, but it also comes with the greatest rewards when all students are successful in a classroom.