Want to teach, but you’re an introvert? Like what celebrity audition tagline says, “do you have what it takes?”
Teaching while introverted requires social stamina to keep up with all the noise and everyday activities. I truly understand how it feels to want to teach. Yet, the social environment exhausts you, and you’re doubting your potential for this career.
Now, you’re left thinking, can an introvert make a good teacher? How much toll would it cost for an introverted teacher?
Fortunately, many introverts triumphed in the education field. They make good teachers who even exceed the standard expectations. They can be more creative, thoughtful, and considerate teachers.
I am an introverted teacher who makes my own personal rules and boundaries. We must find a way to keep rolling during our everyday social battles.
To be honest, it was difficult in the first few years.
Becoming a teacher means having students constantly knock on your door, asking a question, trying to get your attention, or purposely annoying you. I’ve experienced teaching high school students who have this sky-high, limitless energy.
When that happens, I always love the idea of setting up my wall in an instant.
Many students greeted me along the way when I entered the school in the morning. Some are overly excited. Others are so energetic, like toddlers.
They run, scream, and laugh all over the place. I’m like, “Come on, the day’s just starting.” Yet, exhaustion already starts to meter up.
At first, all these boisterous crowds are challenging to take in and the transition could take months.
Fortunately, in the long run, you would eventually love this joyful and reckless behavior from students, even as an introvert. It’s only a matter of getting used to it and realizing it’s fun to have a parent-like connection with your students.
Why Introverts Can Be Good Teachers
Can introverts make good teachers? Absolutely, yes. Introversion carries heaps of attractive qualities.
Introverted teachers are intrapersonally smart which makes them self-reflective and thoughtful of their students. They are keen observers with a relaxed demeanor, which can transcend to a classroom atmosphere, making students feel safe.
As active listeners, introverted teachers listen to what others have to say and refrain from embarrassing students. Moreover, their creativity can shine throughout their lesson plans and activity.
8 Tips for Introvert Teachers to Overcome Classroom Stress
However considerate, creative, and deep thinkers introverts are, our main issue is draining our social batteries too fast. We have low social interaction endurance, making it harder for introverted teachers.
Here are a few tips to avoid introvert teacher burnout and survive classroom stress.
1. Don’t try to imitate extroverted co-teachers.
Introverts as teachers, here’s how to survive. Tip #1 don’t try to imitate what the extroverts are doing.
You can pretend to be a fun teacher and joke around and converse with your students. But be careful. When you try too hard, you may just drop dead tired to keep the fun teacher facade.
Being someone you’re not — more so as an extrovert — is an attempt waiting to fail.
These pretentious acts could only shatter the natural creativity in you. As introverts, we must focus on delivering a class using our strengths rather than amplifying our social weaknesses.
2. You don’t have to engage after school hours.
Since the online classes started, some students thought they could reach you 24/7. To be fair, many teachers do the same with their students.
However, connecting 24/7 isn’t a hard rule.
Give your students a definitive schedule of your consultation hours. Inform them that you don’t answer during weekends, and it will become a piece of knowledge for them.
Shut off all these communications at their appropriate time. While we have to teach our students as much as possible, we also have to give ourselves rest.
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3. Find friends at school to talk to when you’re stressed.
On tedious and busy days, find someone at your school to talk to once in a while. While introverts love alone time, we still need a consumable amount of socialization. Friends help us get through difficulties. Friends are there to validate our issues whenever we’re on the verge of a breakdown.
Sometimes, if an introvert gets too tired, they see everything in gray. So to decompress such feelings, recharge with people you are close to.
4. Engage students in the learning process.
Trying to entertain your students might be a struggle if you’re an introvert teacher.
From my experience, I was never the funny one. So as an introvert, the best way to be an effective teacher is to engage and draw students’ interest. Engage them with new knowledge, meaningful learning, and true-to-life experiences related to the topic.
I found my students interested in relevant real-life experiences. Here are some ways I do it:
- I open controversial topics for us to discuss.
- I’m open if the discussion turns into a debate.
- Provide new information about technology and the progress of society
- Introduce news, studies, or discoveries they still don’t know.
- Ask what-if scenarios.
- Cultivate their personal opinions and insights.
Touching their curiosity is also an excellent way to go. Believe me, students love learning new relevant information they could apply in real life.
5. Only take responsibilities you can handle.
Often, becoming a teacher requires more than just presenting your lesson plan. In an educational institution, teachers should be versatile to perform different responsibilities.
Teachers arrange events and ceremonies. They accommodate enrollees, design classrooms, organize study materials, and host school events.
However, as an introvert, however great you are at communication skills, your social batteries are your enemy. To avoid social burnout, don’t overcommit. Only take responsibilities that you can handle.
6. Don’t suppress your creativity — let your students perform new activities!
Many introvert teachers have these crazy yet creative ideas. If you find an activity interesting and supply the needed lesson for your students, don’t hesitate to implement it.
Whether it’s a contest you’re thinking about, a play, or a mini-science fair — don’t suppress the idea. Be upfront about how you want things to go. You will never know how much your students will enjoy the process.
7. Manage to recharge in quiet places.
Introverts like me get very unresponsive when drained. My students could throw jokes at each other, and I’m not even mentally present to share a good laugh. Nevertheless, I keep a smile.
If your batteries get drained out, find solace and recharge yourself. Use your vacant hours to find your peace. Grouping with your closest friends can be reviving, too.
It gives you the impression that you all go through the same daily. It’s a reminder that if they can, you can, too.
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8. Act as a facilitator.
Education today has improved from teacher-focused to learner-focused. This way, instead of endlessly engaging the students in your lecture, you can redirect your instruction to a more cooperative strategy.
Allow them to interact with each other, share opinions, or do group activities.
This way, they are more engaged in independent learning rather than ultimately dependent on you.
While it is difficult for an introvert to be around a big crowd of students, we can’t discount that introverts can be good — or even great — teachers. Their social batteries should not hinder their skills and desire for teaching.
Overall, the experience of having these young minds learn from you is fulfilling. Having students grateful for your work is an absolute feat.
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