ever endured. I wondered how on earth I would get through a whole year of such
agony. Why had I ever thought I wanted to be a teacher? I laid on the floor,
reliving the horror of each “Welcome to my class, here’s the syllabus” lecture
I had given. The bored faces. The slow ticking of the clock. The crushing
realization that no one could rescue the situation but me.
kind of teacher who stands at the front of the room and talks. Not for long,
as a teacher, I think it’s been an asset for me. As an introverted teacher, I
have constantly searched for ways to present the material to my students in
dynamic, creative ways. Ways that keep me out of the spotlight.
other in the process. We produced our own outdoor version of A Long Day’s
Journey Into Night, traveling around campus for each act. We divided into two
literature circles to study The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises, delving
into the 1920s by examining its history, fashion and scandal. We practiced
writing through workshops and conferences.
I was up late every night preparing, always learning about new ways to teach.
American Literature students gave me the only standing ovation I have ever
received as a teacher. I get teary remembering how much I learned from them.
introvert’s teaching toolbox. My students have done collaborative work with
kids overseas (want to find a partner and try it? Hop into our Facebook group, Creative High School English and post a request!). We have created online writing portfolios and blogs. We’ve done
literature-inspired art shows and lunchtime poetry jams. We’ve performed our
own Canterbury tales on our own pilgrimage and produced live radio shows. We’ve
had reading festivals and reading contests, acted out Shakespearean scenes in
costume and done theater workshops with a guest artist.
teaching day from absorbing so many emotions and thoughts from my creative and
occasionally grumpy and tired band of kids. But though the teaching profession
presents its challenges to me, as an introvert, I truly believe that what first
seemed like a weakness has become one of my greatest classroom strengths.
Students get enough lectures. I have other gifts to share.