Six Ways to Help Shy Students Feel Comfortable
First, be intentional about getting to know your student. What you may learn about other students fairly quickly will take longer with quiet students. Ask their parents what activities help the child learn best or what environment makes them most comfortable.
If you use a seating chart in your classroom, place the introverts next to students who are friendly but not loud. This will likely put your quiet student at ease, providing a calm environment where he or she still won’t need to carry on a conversation.
Regulate class discussions. If you have a discussion or question and answer time in class, it can be beneficial to guide conversations. You can do this by setting a limit on how long students can speak or by intentionally calling on students who talk less.
Help them connect with other students. Look for kids with the same hobbies or interests as your quiet student. It will probably be challenging to find someone they will connect with immediately, but persevere. Encourage them to eat together at lunch, or sit with them and bring up a topic they both enjoy.
Remember not every timid pupil needs to come out of their shell. While it is beneficial for kids to socialize, students may keep to themselves because they have friends in another sphere of life who already fulfill their social needs.
Address anything that could be making your student uncomfortable. If you sense there is more going on than just shyness, ask the student if something is bothering them. Maybe there is a classroom practice or another pupil that may be making your student unwelcome. You can’t adjust everything to make students feel at home, but it is often worth exploring.
In the end, environments can’t be perfect for everyone. Nor can you fix every issue that may present itself, but these are a few ways you can handle a shy or quiet youngster. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a student is show you care.
If you want to understand more about your introverted students, check out some of Susan Cain’s “Quiet Power: The Secret Strength of Introverted Kids.” For more on teacher-student relationships, read our article Six Ways Teachers Can Keep Homework From Overwhelming Students.
About the Author
Anicah Brooks loves writing and is a member of Word Weavers International. She is an avid fan of historical facts and her travels to places like Australia, Spain, and Italy has made her a resource among her peers for information on international cultures. She enjoys spending time in coffee shops with her friends and family.