The Introverted Teacher.
I am an elementary school teacher, and have been for 28 years. I am an introvert.
Summer Break is my sabbatical. Without it, I would not be the highly effective teacher I am and have been for 28 years. I use the summer to reflect on the previous year, to learn new things, to travel, to spend time with my daughter, and…to not talk so much!
Most people equate introversion with shyness. I do not consider myself, “shy”. Introversion means that after a day spent in a bustling classroom with constant people, hours of talking, and listening to others talk, that I need to renew my energy by being alone instead of being thrust into more socialness after work hours.
Now, “alone “does not have to mean without people. It means that the people who are around me, are also introverts. The quiet of sharing a room together while one of us watches TV, one of us has on noise canceling headphones listening to music and one of us is busily typing a screenplay is intoxicating to me.
I dread after school meetings and school evening events because it limits the amount of quiet time I need to reflect on my day, to sit in silence and to reenergize. Those events leave me mentally exhausted, which carries over, into the next day. I know myself so well at age 55. I know what helps me and what hurts me. The truer I can stay to that, the better it is for everyone.
So, that being said, I’m sure some people are asking themselves why I went into teaching in the first place? I never felt comfortable when I was a student at school, and as an adult I wanted to create an environment for children where everyone, extroverts and introverts could thrive. The positive response and results from my students and their parents would say that I have been successful in doing so.
So if I don’t join you at Happy Hour on Friday, or if I don’t show up at optional evening school events, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you or that I don’t support our school. It means that I am at the saturation point with human contact, and desire my solitude to energize.
I am not shy.
I am an introvert.