In Susan Cain’s book, Quiet : The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, I reflected on my role within an extroverted collaborative system that I’ve been in within last 10 years of my teaching experience. Ideas that are valued usually come from those who articulated it and push the ideas. As an introverted educator, I’ve struggled collaborating within an extroverted setting pushing meaningful ideas out. Something happens inside the brain of an introvert that allow information to go through a variety of complex connections and within that period, the person ponders usually in quiet and usually alone with their thoughts. I believe this is where genius happens. How do we capitalized on the skills of introverted educators?
As an introverted educator, I’ve always struggled collaborating in group settings. When there is a group of 3 people or more, I tend stay quiet for couple reasons. 1.) My ideas don’t come right away. Data collected from a meeting takes me a while to process and iron out. 2.) When someone has stated the idea, my mind focuses on making the current idea better and I discard my last idea because it is not worth sharing when the current idea is popular. 3.) It is hard for me to articulate my ideas, My ideas are always written down and processed before articulation. 4.) If there is no goal or a purpose to collaboration, then I have no purpose within the collaborative space.
My essential question related to the overarching question us “How do we make aware, include, value, capitalize, and build on the the ideas of introverted educators within an extroverted school system?”
This research inspires me in a couple ways. It pushes me to communicate in other ways that are my strengths. Blogging has been a means for me to collaborate not only within our school setting but across school settings to those who are searching for ideas to create a STEAM class. Using social media and video has also been another means. Sometimes articulating ideas is not enough, sometime we need to model and show our ideas in action. In collaborating though this media, I am able to process my ideas, plan what I am going to say, communicate my ideas with clarity and precision so that the audience is able understand the idea, and support my ideas with evidence or visual action.