Most experienced teachers agree that the difficult student is not the one that is rowdy. The most difficult students are those that are quiet. They are not going to disrupt classes but a teacher has to make sure that students are properly engaged. If the student is shy, engagement is difficult. If you want to learn how to deal with the shy students, Stephen Buzzi gives great advice below.
Put Shy Students In The Front
You do not want to let your students pick class seats since this guarantees a portioning that is not that great. The shy students will hide. Experienced teachers dictate seating arrangements. This can offer various benefits. The big one is that the shy student is closer to the teacher. Playing the authoritarian is not popular but in this case the teacher’s authority will guarantee great experiences for everyone.
Don’t Always Call On Students When Hands Are Raised
In some cases you want quick answers since this helps with teaching flow. However, when you wait a little longer, there are more hands that will pop up. Many students rarely raise their hands even if they do know the answer to the teacher’s question. Giving them some time might encourage them to give it a go. If you notice that there are some students that simply do not raise their hands, call on them from time to time to participate. You do not want to overdo it but rarely doing it does help them step out of their bubble.
Extravert Students Can Help
Less outgoing students may want to participate but it is the reserved nature that stops them. In many cases all they need is a hand. Outgoing students can help. A really easy way to do this is to put the extravert students next to the shy students. Choose those that are more gifted. Also, when group work is assigned, mix various personality types. Shy students should be surrounded by those that are going to force them to offer an input.
As an extra related tip, if there are friendly students you rely on, talk with them and see if they can help you with the shy students. Group dynamics can help you so much more than what you might anticipate.
Talk With Shy Students In Private
When you are a teacher, a great part of the job is to build relationships with students. This is definitely easier with some of the students and can be difficult with those that are shy. Even so, a great strategy to help them is to build on the relationship you have them. When you talk with them, one-on-one, you can jumpstart this relationship.
Remember that with your shy students the real problem is not the fact that they are not willing to participate. In most cases all revolves around personality and a clear lack of confidence. As you take the student aside and you individually discuss some things with them, you show them that you care and you address a concern they have, shyness.