Every class is a heterogeneous group of students where no 2 are the same. Thus, for a teacher, it is important to ensure that every student is on the same page when it comes to learning.
In the case of extrovert students, it is easy to know their understanding level but when it comes to shy students, gauging their reaction can be a daunting task. Since they’re hesitant in speaking out loud in the class, extra attention must be paid to such kids so that you don’t lose out on anything important they would’ve wanted to communicate.
Here’s how I tackled with shy students in my class.
1. Involve them more in class: For a teacher, it is easy to misunderstand the quiet students as weak in studies or uninterested in the subject, but this is where we go wrong. There are high chances that the student is unable to speak due to a lack of confidence or any other reason.
But they might do so if given a chance in the class. So, make sure to ask questions during the class to these specific people to make sure they’re in the class and not missing out on something important.
2. Giving them responsibilities: Teachers can also try to give these students some extra set of responsibility so it gives them a feeling of belongingness and is encouraged to participate more in the class. Asking them to present a topic first to explain to the class or solve a question on the board can make them come out of their shell.
3. Grouping them with extrovert students: This method works to a great extent in my class. Whenever I find a child who is struggling to communicate in the class, I make them sit with talkative students so that they can be influenced by them and imbibe some of their habits.
Even if the students do not feel difficult to talk during the class, they at least start talking to their partners which is a job half done.
4. Personal Counselling: I prefer talking to shy students personally as there are a lot of things that affect their behavior. Thus, every once in a while, I ask them to share their day with me, what bothers them, what motivates them and other things like that.
The most important part of this method is to talk to them like their friend and not as a teacher. It might take some time to break that barrier and bring them to ease but once the channel is clear, they’ll express like never before. Sometimes, a lot of things back at home also bother them which impacts their participation in the class.
It is also preferred to keep in touch with the parents of such students and make sure that you both are on the same page and are aware of the child’s progress.
While none of these methods is a one-time solution as they require a lot of patience and consistency but are 100% effective.
I hope you find it useful!