As the parent of a quiet child, you may be concerned about how they’re treated in the classroom. You know that your child is gifted and curious, but their teacher may be lowering their grades because they don’t understand your child’s personality. They think your child’s silence is a sign they’re disengaged when they’re actually deep in thought.
The good news is that some education experts are beginning to see the light. They’re focusing more on learning and less on talking.
Take advantage of these trends so you can nurture your child’s strengths while preparing them to succeed in any environment. Consider these suggestions for steps you can take at home and with your child’s teacher.
Steps to Take with Your Child
Studies show that introverts can be just as happy and productive as extroverts. Raise your child to thrive as their authentic self.
1. Validate their experiences. Introverts may have to work harder to achieve recognition. Boost your child’s resilience by listening attentively to what they have to say, and expressing compassion.
2. Find their passions. It’s natural for any student to open up when they feel enthusiastic about the subject. Help your child to explore their interests.
3. Offer positive feedback. Praise your sons and daughters for making an effort. Guide them by pointing out specific signs of progress.
4. Model assertiveness. Quiet students may need help sticking up for themselves. Demonstrate how to resolve conflicts and ask for what you need.
5. Proceed gradually. Introverts typically prefer to spend more time thinking before acting. Be patient and allow your child to proceed at their own pace. Their deliberate process probably produces superior results even if it takes a little longer.
Steps to Take with Your Child’s School
There’s a tendency for teachers to feel more comfortable with talkative children. If you suspect that your child is being placed at a disadvantage, encourage reforms that create a more inclusive classroom.
1. Explain the science. Your child’s teacher may be more receptive if you describe the biological evidence of differences between extroverts and introverts. Ideally, children can learn on their own terms instead of conforming to one standard.
2. Break into groups. Discussion groups and project teams help students to develop closer relationships and deepen learning. Kids can practice solving problems, and there’s less chance that a few students will dominate the conversation.
3. Try peer teaching. Students teaching each other is an especially powerful technique. Children master the subject matter while developing presentation skills.
4. Schedule pauses. By requiring a brief silence before answering, teachers can encourage thoughtful responses. It also gives more kids a chance to weigh in.
5. Move around. Experiment with formats that encourage socializing and natural conversation. Walking around the athletic track instead of sitting at a desk may stimulate a livelier discussion of calculus proofs or classic novels. Looking at a colorful poster may lead to comments and questions.
6. Create quiet spaces. While introverts have a greater need for solitude, any student can benefit from a place to rest and reflect. Campaign for expanding library hours or installing more benches and fountains around the campus.
7. Use social media. Facebook and Twitter offer this generation of quiet students new ways to participate at school. Kids can polish up an insightful comment instead of feeling pressured to talk fast and loud.
Every child deserves a quality education based on teaching methods that adapt to a wide range of personalities. Prepare your child for a bright future by building up their confidence and advocating for schools that serve the needs of all children.