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special ed teacher (preschool-3rd grade)

never had a problem with homework

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I am an introvert and I have never had a problem with doing my homework and handing it in on time. In fact, I was often early with my assignments. I did not need more time, but I did find other ways around doing it after school. For instance, I did my homework in between classes or at lunch so my after school time was mine and I was not distracted by things going on at home. I am aware all of us are different, but I seriously do not think that homework is the biggest issue facing introverts in school. It's the bullying and demands of peers and adults. It's not that we want to "fit in" it's that we want our space and our property to be respected. We want to communicate in our way. We are efficient in the ways we interact with others. We tend not to be fake or superficial for the sake of being social (unless it's forced upon us). It is not a disorder and I do not care what the DSM-V says. People need to start respecting the fact that introverts in the classroom or in the boardroom are not extroverts and never will be and if you need to understand who we are, just ask instead of coming up with some nonsense that doesn't apply (at least across the board).

Hi Tony Thank you for this

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Hi Tony

Thank you for this and thank you for pointing us to some valuable resources. I do believe that introverts are often misunderstood and overlooked, because they do not draw attention to themselves. I am concerned, however, that the distinction between a troubled teen and a natural introvert is not clear. Grief is an emotional state and an introverted child may respond the way that this young man did, but so may any bereaved child. Introversion is a natural trait that may mean that the person will PREFER not to share thoughts and feelings. It is definitely important that teachers know and are tuned into their students character and emotions, but knowing how to get the best out of a happy introvert and knowing what to do for a child in distress are two different things.

Reading Specialist from Hellertown, PA

With my Community College

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With my Community College students, I've noticed that some of the students I have that do not open up in class discussions do open up on our online discussion board which is part of the Online classroom page. Our Reading class is web-enhanced. The computer can be a great tool to give those who are more introverted a way they can participate and add to discussions on a regular basis.

There are other platforms which are more appropriate for the Elementary grades. I discovered one this summer called Cubert's Cube. It is a site for creative writing and students can collaborate on stories, essays, poems, plays you name it. The site is based on Wikis which makes this possible. It is also very user-friendly and has super security controls for the teacher. There are also interactive story starters which are inspirational and gallery feature where the students can create or upload illustrations! It is a nice way to do a group project and give the needed space for the introverted child.

Teacher, Writer, and Artist

I HEAR SELECTIVE MUTISM

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One of my students, Huckleberry, doesn’t like to say anything. Even when I go ahead and tell him the answer to a question, and then ask everybody else not to say the answer when I ask Huckleberry the question, and then ask him to say the answer so he can hear what it’s like to say something out loud in class from his own larynx, Huckleberry will smile, but he still won’t say the answer from his own larynx even when he knows the answer.

But during the morning and afternoon break and while he’s waiting for the bus, Huckleberry’s out there with his buddies and he’s yakking away like Rush Limbaugh, with arm gestures and everything. He really does have a great smile, too, and a fuzzy wad of red hair with a life of its own. Huckleberry and another student named Flavio are best friends. In class and on breaks, Flavio is just like Huckleberry. The great smile included.

www.adixiediary.com

President, NJ Association for Middle Level Education

Online discussions get all students involved

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I wrote a blog for Tolerance.org http://www.tolerance.org/blog/digital-discussions-get-all-kids-conversation on the benefits of using online discussion platforms to get all students involved in discussions. Using an asynchronous platform like Collaborize Classroom (collaborizeclassroom.com/tregoed) gives kids time to think and encourages all students to contribute to the discussion. A tool, like the SCAN tool at tregoed.org, uses online discussions in real time - students represent different points of view, use screen names and avatars, etc. I have seen introverted students thrive in these discussions.

Clinical Psychologist & Author of The Homework Trap

Homework and the introverted child

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I would like to use this article as a springboard to emphasize something I have said many times, and that is that homework needs to be time bound. The author here highlights that children who are introverts have slower processing speed. This is important information for the teacher to know and it may have bearing on what that teacher expects in his or her class. But what happens at home? The processing speed issues are the same at home as they are in school, except that homework is an assignment whereas the school day is bound by the clock. It may be that the introverted child is getting the homework done, but at what cost? Is it possible that that child feels uncomfortable with others yet might benefit from having more social interaction, maybe not in a large group, but at least with a few other shy or introverted kids? Yet, homework can have a way of intruding on play time. Learning to interact despite one’s basic introverted nature is an important life skill. If homework is the be-all and end-all of education, and parents are dissuaded from using their judgment about what’s best for their children, teachers can end up creating excessive demands to complete assignments that are actually working against what that child needs. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D. www.thehomeworktrap.com.

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