Can an introverted teacher thrive?

John Spencer writes:

My dog is also an introvert. I didn’t realize that was possible with dogs, but it is. She likes to have “me time.” If things get too loud and crazy, she will walk into the other room. When she meets other dogs and they start wrestling around with each other, she will quietly move out of the way. Watching her has been a reminder for me that it’s okay to be introverted. It’s not a bad thing that I love spending hours alone during the day reading and writing and making stuff. Yes, I miss teaching eighth grade, but my job as a professor allows me to work out of my introverted identity without feeling guilty.

For what it’s worth, I actually think it’s possible to thrive as an introverted classroom teacher as well. You just need to embrace your inner greyhound.

I agree. This passage spoke to me, as I too am an introvert. Sometimes people are surprised to hear this, as they mistakenly think a teacher must be an extrovert and they know that I like to talk. But those last two observations are irrelevant if you understand what an introvert is: someone who loses energy when surrounded by a lot of people. (That’s a vast oversimplification, but it’s the #1 point.) Like Spencer and his dog, I need some alone-time. I usually like small gatherings, but I hate large parties. Even when I like a (small) party, it exhausts me. There is no contradiction between enjoying teaching and being an introvert.

Read Phil Armstrong’s excellent advice:

From Phil Armstrong

Categories: Teaching & Learning