Who Are Introverted Students?

Who Are Introverted Students?

THIS ARTICLE IS A TRANSLATION OF AN ORIGINAL TEXT BY OUR PARTNER
SUCCÈS SCOLAIRE

An introverted student can be an enigma for their teacher, and sometimes even for their parents. They talk less, so it is harder to know what is going on inside their head. Although we have to work a little harder to get to know them, this does not change the fact that an introverted student has the potential for quiet strength. 

Being an introvert in a world of extroverts

What is introversion? It’s being more attentive to one’s inner life than to the outside world. Of course, being introverted doesn’t mean that a person is more self-centred than others. It means that they have an inner life full of introspection, creativity and analysis.

However, because our society values social interaction and appearance, introverted personalities are often labelled with misleading impressions. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see introspection specifically associated with shyness and a lack of self-confidence, two things that every parent and teacher are inclined to correct.

This is why it seems natural to want to help a young introvert to “come out of their shell.” Although the experience can be rewarding, it can also be draining and give the child or teenager the impression that they are inadequate in their tastes, desires and relationship with the world. To avoid this feeling, it is also important to recognize their strengths, which are often underestimated, and accept their limitations.

The strengths of introverted students

The strengths of introverted students

Introverts have many strengths that can help your young person find their place in school, on a team and even in the workforce. Discovering them will allow you to help your child recognize and develop them. We will present four of them, but we encourage you to check out Quiet Impact: How to be a successful introvert, a book by Dr. Sylvia Loehken. This book breaks down several prejudices about introversion and addresses 10 strengths that are often found in introverts.

  • Concentration: the ability to focus their energy on an activity, whether internal or external, intensely and consistently.
  • Empathy: the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, acknowledge common interests first and foremost, and be diplomatic.
  • Substance: having a rich inner life gives introverts a certain depth, thanks to their ability to be introspective and analyze themselves and how they experience the world.
  • Attentiveness: the ability to receive information, filter it, read the other person and understand their needs.

These strengths enable introverted students to observe the world around them and make sense of the situations and events they experience, often with accuracy and depth. This is why your quiet child may impress you with their sensitivity, reflections or observations.

Introversion = shyness?

Not necessarily! Although we often associate introversion with shyness, you may be surprised to learn that this is a false equivalence. It is entirely possible for introverts to be comfortable speaking in front of a group, actively participating in various events or meeting new people … when they choose to. What creates the wrong impression is that this desire to approach people or the outside world is less present than in extroverts.

The same is true for self-confidence issues. It is possible to be introverted and self-confident, just like it is possible to be extroverted and lacking in self-confidence. However, it is important not to forget that childhood and adolescence are times when we build our self-esteem, whether we are introverted or extroverted.

Winning over an introverted student

This is the challenge: an introverted student will not open up to their teacher right away, or they will take some time before sharing their problems with you. We really must take the time to build a relationship of trust, recognize their specific signs, ask them questions and be attentive. Of course, this must be done in a reasonable way, because you do not want your child to feel pressured. The goal is to show them that you are there for them.

As you win them over, introverts open up without being asked. Teachers discover that the student who was silent at the beginning of the year is a physics buff or knows a lot about dinosaurs. A concerned parent who does not understand their child’s difficulties with math discovers that it’s only geometry that’s causing a problem, not everything about the subject. Phew!

It requires a bit of time and effort, but things will fall into place as you remain sensitive to your child’s pace and personality.

After all, just because someone is reserved in the schoolyard, it doesn’t mean that they won’t reach the same heights twenty years later!

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