I see Twitter as a big gymnasium with everyone standing around in groups and shouting to each other.

How do you find your people out there?
How do you find the right conversations in all that noise?

For me it’s paradoxically unapproachable and approachable at the time same. It’s virtually recreating a space where I would not thrive- where you have to weed through the masses to find your people and your conversation. But being virtual, it means you have the time to think about your responses and reactions– time to have a conversation, thoughtfully.

I know it’s do-able, I just haven’t put much time yet into navigating the big Twitter room. But this morning I did take a peek and I found that @susancain the author of the awesome book Quiet had shared an article about how to respectfully factor in introverts when considering class participation.

Here’s the article: Encouraging Introverts to Speak Up in School by John Spencer.
Give it a read! It’s not long.

It recalls a lot of what I wrote in my first blog post, thoughts on introversion and college. For example, I feel like I could have written this myself:

 I didn’t want to be caught off-guard, forced to share my thoughts to an entire class without having the chance to think through things on my own. For this reason, I developed a strategy. When a teacher first started talking about a particular topic, I’d jot down five of the best questions I could conjure up. I would rehearse them in my head until the words sounded right. This allowed me to speak up without being put on the spot.

If I wasn’t prepared when a teacher called on me, I’d freeze up. I’d shake and sweat, stammering and sputtering over my words. A few kids would mock me, but most students would stare in shock as I struggled. In most cases, the teachers would assume I hadn’t been paying attention, when the truth was I needed to work through my responses alone before sharing my thoughts with the class.

I developed some similar strategies. I would raise my hand at the beginning of class. That way I’d get my obligatory participation done, and spend the rest of the class feeling less anxiety and having more ability to process. Then, I could talk later on when I felt really compelled to.

What do you think of John Spencer’s list of ideas? Would they (have) help(ed) you? Would you use them in your classroom?