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Should Introverted Teachers Receive More Accommodation for Their Teaching Style?

Should Introverted Teachers Receive More Accommodation for Their Teaching Style?

A recent article from The Atlantic discusses why introverted teachers are burning out more than their extroverted peers.

"After 11 years of teaching English at a public high school, Ken Lovgren left the profession, mostly because he was drained by the insistent emphasis on collaboration and group work,” The Atlantic said.

"Engaging in a classroom that was 'so demanding in terms of social interaction' made it difficult for him to find quiet space to decompress and reflect. 'The endless barrage of ‘professional learning community’ meetings left me little energy for meaningful interaction with my kids,’ he told” The Atlantic reporter, Michael Godsey, and said that he knew he wasn’t alone out there.

Godsey claims that after much digging, he found many other teachers who feel the same, and that introversion may very well be the reason why so many K-12 teachers leave the profession within the first five years.

Most teachers are suffering from “collaborative overload,” Godsey says, as the result of an influx in time spent in collaborative activities over the past two decades.

But while its an annoyance for most, it’s especially damaging for introverted teachers who need personal time to recharge.

Godsey cites several studies that link burnout and introversion in his article: “Barbara Larrivee’s book Cultivating Teacher Renewal: Guarding Against Stress and Burnout cites five different analyses that show 'being introverted predicts burnout' in the general workplace.”

So what is to be done to help introverted teachers embrace their teaching style and persevere?

Godsey touches on the fact that emphasis is being placed on embracing students various learning styles; maybe teachers should have the same ability to play with their strengths as well.

This includes allowing for professional development to be done on personal time and being given options, not mandates, when it comes to collaborative activities.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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