Thursday, February 4, 2016

The problems introverts face in the teaching profession

It can drain them. Since I assume many faculty are introverted, this might explain their preference for research. By Michael Godsey, writing in The Atlantic.

Why Introverted Teachers Are Burning Out
I’ve written about the challenges faced by introverted students in today’s increasingly social learning environments, but the introverted teachers leading those classrooms can struggle just as much as the children they’re educating. A few studies suggest that introverted teachers—especially those who may have falsely envisioned teaching as a career involving calm lectures, one-on-one interactions, and grading papers quietly with a cup of tea—are at risk of burning out. And when these teachers leave for alternate careers, it comes at a cost to individual children and school districts at large. 
The term “introversion” can mean a variety of different things in different contexts. Carl Jung defined it as an orientation through “subjective psychic contents,” while Scientific American contends that introversion is more aptly described as a lessened “sensitivity to rewards in the environment.” It’s generally accepted, however, that as Stephen A. Diamond gracefully describes it, “[Extraversion and introversion] are two extreme poles on a continuum which we all occupy.” 
The most common use of the term is to differentiate between introverts (who are energized by quiet space, introspection, and deep relationships and are exhausted by excessive social interactions) and extroverts (who are energized by social interaction and external stimulation and tend to be bored or restless by themselves) as a way of explaining different personal reactions to similar contexts.
It’s in this sense of the word that some teachers are citing their introversion as a reason why today’s increasingly social learning environments are exhausting them—sometimes to the point of retirement.

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