Worried about a Student Who is an Introvert?
One of the most common misconceptions about personality styles is the difference between being shy and being an introvert. It’s not really the same thing. Shyness is often rooted in fear and anxiety while introversion is a type of personality style that has certain characteristics, most notably the fact that introverts recharge their energy with time alone while extroverts gain energy from time spent with other people. Although shy children typically are also introverts, not all introverts are shy.
Here are some of the strengths that introverts can celebrate:
Introverts are highly observant— Introverts typically notice and remember details about people and their surroundings. They take time to notice and process what is happening around them.
Introverts are creative– Perhaps due to their powers of observation, introverts typically take the information that they observe and create wonderful new ideas. They can think outside of the box and provide a unique perspective on life. For this reason, they often make great writers. artists and leaders.
Introverts are great listeners– Introverts listen to understand, process and respond with thought and empathy. For this reason, they often make great teachers and counselors because they really tune in to others.
Introverts are introspective– Typically introverts are not quick to respond but need time to process information. They spend a lot of time thinking through and analyzing information about themselves and others.
Introverts are rarely bored– Because introverts are deep thinkers they are constantly planning and working out their dreams and goals in their head. This can keep them entertained and busy!
Introverts are loyal friends– Because introverts are thoughtful observers who value their time alone, they typically choose a select few friends. With their inner circle, they are supportive and loyal through thick and thin.
Teaching the Introvert
In the past, many adults felt a need to “help” children who were introverts overcome what were seen as deficits. Today, thanks to much research and eye opening books like Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, introverts are celebrated for their unique strengths and abilities. Cain concludes her book with a section on advice to parents and educators.
Here are some of her main points:
- Take the time to understand the personality style of the introverted child
- Don’t try to change them into someone more extroverted by pushing them into sports, activities, play dates or anything that they are not interested in doing
- Recognize that the areas where they have strengths are sometimes solitary pursuits. Encourage and celebrate these talents.
- Learn about and share with them the lives of some of the famous introverts. Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt are a few.
- Recognize and teach children that introverts can be leaders, performers, really anything that they have a passion for, they just go at it from a different direction.
- Celebrate with the introvert the characteristics they have that make them uniquely special.
School Counselor Resources
Want to learn more about personality style?
Visit the Wyatt Store and scroll to the bottom of the page where you can grab these two eBooks:
Parenting with Heart: Understanding your Child’s Personality Style
Do you sometimes feel that your children are speaking a different language? Do you wonder how to motivate and inspire them? In this eBook you will D-I-S-Cover your own personality style and how to speak the language of other personality styles to create a winning environment in all the seasons of your family’s life.
Teaching with Heart: Understanding Your Students’ Personality Style
Do you sometimes feel that students at your school are speaking a different language? Do you wonder how to motivate and inspire them? In this ebook you will D-I-S-Cover your own personality style and learn to work in the strengths of each personality by recognizing the secret fuel and environmental needs for each. Understanding the personality styles of students can revolutionize how you interact and lead in the classroom!
The Elementary School Counselor Book of Leadership Lesson Plans
This book is a treasure trove of lessons, activities and discussion starters to nurture tomorrow’s leaders through developing critical thinking skills and growth mindset. It includes twenty-eight lesson plans based on Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly successful people, bibliographies, activities, problem situation cards, ASCA standards and learning assessments.
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