Particularly with the publishing of Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, we are paying attention to and more thoroughly considering the role of introverts in society. There is a call to celebrate introverts’ contributions and destigmatize the personality type, and rightly so. Educators are frequently in a performance situation – teaching class, leading discussion - and so, on some level, forced to behave more like an extrovert and if introverted, less like ourselves. As an introvert, I have struggled with this spectrum for years. I love what I do, but teaching with an extroverted personality is exhausting. It stands to reason that some sort of extroverted behavior is needed for classroom management alone, but how do introverted teachers navigate that and preserve our energy while serving our students in the best possible ways? How do we share our enthusiasm and passion for what we do in our own, somewhat quieter way? How do we function (and sometimes survive) as introverted teachers?
My session will start with a brief discussion of an introverted personality type, largely culled from the field of psychology. Then, I will share my own experiences as an introverted teacher over the past ten years, as well as those of others with whom I’ve spoken. I will also draw upon existing ideas and approaches for introverted teachers and leaders. I will share strategies for educators culled from research on introverted teachers and leaders, as we are both. Attendees will leave with concrete strategies for being their true selves in their teaching lives. Studies indicate introverted teachers burn out more quickly than others. The teaching profession benefits from all personalities, and it behooves us to support introverts in this field. Figuring out how to be true to oneself, to be as authentic as possible, makes us better, more efficient teachers and leaders.
Goals and Target Audience:
While the session is geared toward teachers, I will also address teaching introverted students, so students, professors, and graduate assistants may also get something from this session.