September 26, 2012

Finding Peace and Quiet

Recently a couple of friends recommended this book to me:


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I put it on hold at the library and waited until I got an email telling me it had arrived. Am I the only one who anxiously waits for new books? New books and book shopping are better than clothes in my opinion. I am a little "unique" and I understand that.

Has anyone else read this? I loved it! It did take me a while to finish because it has tons of references to studies and research that take a little more concentration to understand. (And my pregnant brain struggles staying on task. Having to visit the ladies room all the time might have something to do with that.)

I am an introvert. I do best in small settings of people I know and recharge with quiet evenings at home reading and blogging. I struggle with new things or disagreements. I listen and tend to analyze interactions and relationships. (Often when my husband and I are out together I have to explain why I am giggling. You see and hear the silliest things when you people watch. Please tell me I am not the only one. Am I?) Sometimes I feel like a mouse in a world full of beautiful and talkative birds.

Upon finishing the book, I thought Cain's insights were intelligent and relevant to me as a person and as an educator. Our modern society places a strong emphasis on extroverts. This can be seen in business, society, and even in our classrooms. Think about terms like "class participation, cooperative learning, group work, presentations, defending your argument, and tables." Right now in education there is a huge emphasis on cooperative learning. This can be a good thing, as long as it is used in moderation. (Remember you have introvert students too!) I got so frustrated with my last year of college, because it seemed that every assignment in my major was a group project. People have different time frames, ideas, and plans for a final product. It made me want to pull out my hair. I felt I could have learned more, finished faster, and been less frustrated if I had been able to work on my own at least part of the time. I'm not the only one who felt that way. This is an article from a current junior about her feelings on "cooperative learning."

Source: via Siska on Pinterest

Remember your introverts and your extroverts as you plan lessons and assessments. As I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking I took notes. What good reader doesn't stop to make connections and highlight important ideas? (Don't worry I didn't use a real highlighter in a library book, just post-its.)

Here are somethings I learned that I want to remember in my classroom:
  • Encourage natural passions. It is the little boy who loves reading about marine animals who will be a great scientist. Get books on all kinds of subjects. (National Geographic, Gail Gibbons, Time for Kids, etc.)
  • Teach children that it is ok to be different. (I'm Gonna Like Me, I Like Myself, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, etc.)
  • Teach children how to communicate in small groups, in front of people, and one on one. These are skills they need to pick up before they head off to the business world.
  • Give and teach students roles in group projects. Keep groups small in number. (2-3) Maintain a good balance between independent and group work.
  • Teach children that a lot of people are terrified of new things. (First Day Jitters, Wemberly Worried, Something Might Happen, etc.) Take it slowly. Build up to bigger problems.
  • Teach them it is ok to pretend to be bold. But to remember what makes you comfortable and find a balance in your life.

What do you think?

Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? 

What are your thoughts on introverts and extroverts in the classroom? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm such an introvert, surrounded by extroverts. I love my quiet house after being surrounded by people all day. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First