Quick Wednesday Lesson: Sometimes Students Are Just Shy

Shy Girl

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had to put in a seating chart in one of my classes the other day. Because of the random generated chart I made, a girl that I always assumed didn’t like me very much ended up right beside me.

Suddenly, she was talkative, happy, and her attention was directed my way.

I realized I was reading too much into her past actions (or rather, her inaction). She wasn’t mean, stuck-up, or aloof, just shy. The minute I changed the game a little (i.e. I made it easier for her to communicate with me – she wasn’t going to take the lead), she opened up.

This is a valuable lesson. We don’t know what a student is thinking. To assume a student, parent, or peer is hostile or unfriendly just because they don’t say much is the wrong approach. It is important to never write off anybody, or project your assumptions onto someone else.

It’s also important to realize that as a teacher, you can make little changes to raise the self-esteem of students and help them come out of their shells. Never forget that you, as a teacher, can really make a difference in the lives of students, even in small matters.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is a teacher, author, and speaker. His articles receive over a million hits per year and have appeared in a variety of publications. He is co-owner of a communication company, and he also writes for The Popular Teen and other sites. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.