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Breaking Through to the Quiet Students | Stephen Patterson

As a teacher, you walk a constant tightrope of educating all students under your wing and making sure that outliers don’t miss out on the joys of learning. The responsibilities of educating a child belong to the parents, the educators, and the child themself. Without a true collaboration, it can be challenging to reach students […]

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As a teacher, you walk a constant tightrope of educating all students under your wing and making sure that outliers don’t miss out on the joys of learning. The responsibilities of educating a child belong to the parents, the educators, and the child themself. Without a true collaboration, it can be challenging to reach students who are quietly struggling.

Shy or quiet students might have a host of reasons for being apathetic or unresponsive. It is essential to dig deeper before attempting a cookie-cutter solution because hasty decisions might be counterproductive. Shyness due to underlying causes such as autism requires empathy and sensitivity on the part of an educator. The worst thing would be to draw attention to someone for whom that’s their greatest fear. In addition, the objective should never be to change a student’s disposition or true nature by making them more conversational or boisterous. The goal is to inspire and encourage a love of learning. That being said. A teacher absolutely cannot do this alone. 

Research has shown time and again that parental involvement in schooling can make a massive difference in the success of a child, both academically and psychologically. It also enables teachers to focus on their classrooms as a whole, making life less stressful and allowing them to be the best teachers they can be. There are numerous ways in which teachers and parents can work together as a team.

Communication and transparency are paramount when solving any issue, and it’s imperative for a child’s education. Regular updates and check-ins with parents to see how well the child is doing at home are necessary. As the teacher, you are the only link to what happens within the classroom, and the parents are your window into how work is done at home. If a child is shy, disengaged, and inattentive at school, parents can gently encourage conversation about causes and possible solutions. The very act of showing interest in a child’s life has proven to boost self-esteem and motivation. The continuous dialogue allows a teacher to get to know a student on a deeper level, allowing for customized teaching plans and flexibility. 

While at school, it’s essential to create an environment where all students, not just shy ones, feel safe to speak out and express opinions. As an educator, your role is to prepare them to be self-sufficient, productive members of society who also entertain an enthusiasm for learning. 

This article was originally published at https://stephenpatterson.co/

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