Introvert Update: Should Introverted Kids Learn to Speak Up in School

I’m starting to believe that introversion (“introvertedness”? whatever…) is a legitimate personality type, and introverts shouldn’t be forced into an extrovert mold just because conventional wisdom says that’s normal.

However, we live in a world where you have to be able to communicate with people, and that includes introverts. So, I’m glad to hear that some teachers still require class participation from everybody, in spite of complaints from parents who apparently would rather their introverted children communicate with the outside world by sending written messages through pneumatic tubes:

In the end, I have decided to retain my class participation requirement. As a teacher, it is my job to teach grammar, vocabulary, and literature, but I must also teach my students how to succeed in the world we live in — a world where most people won’t stop talking. If anything, I feel even more strongly that my introverted students must learn how to self-advocate by communicating with parents, educators, and the world at large. 

Dr. Kendall Hoyt — introvert, assistant professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School — agrees. “You don’t get a pass for your personality type. I understand that social anxiety is a real thing – I am an introvert, and my mother used to actually faint if she had to do public speaking – but part of my job as a teacher is to teach people how to articulate and be heard.”