I’d rather sit alone or with one person at a quiet lake than be with one hundred people at a hipster bar. I understand the introverts in my classroom well. They need time and space alone to process. They need often need more covert ways (back channels, one-on-one meetings etc.) to contribute and demonstrate understanding. They especially need teachers to stop telling their parents they need to “participate more in class.”
What I don’t understand in an intuitive way are extroverts. The way they are so visibly “on” all the time and their need to talk to a million people all at once makes my stomach turn. When I interact with them, I want to say, “Hey you don’t have to tell me everything and wear a sparkly suit, I can observe about half of what is going on without you saying a word.”
Sometimes however we have to become (or at least hang out with) an extrovert to really understand them. I wish I could say I was writing this post from ISTE12. But I let the introvert get the better of me. Last year when I attended I nearly combusted from all the interaction. There was no time or place to recharge (oh boo…hoo). So I decided not to go this year. In retrospect, ISTE11 was a great start to my journey to better incorporating extroverts into my lesson planning.
Part of becoming a better teacher often means getting over ourselves and doing things that make us uncomfortable. So, if you are an introvert at ISTE12, take time to recharge alone, but don’t let fear and who you perceive yourself to be, stand in the way of interacting and learning from the non-introverts around who surround you.