I hate to admit that, in 36 years as an educational consultant and nine as a radio host responsible for finding topics to explore, I hadn’t given shy children any thought – until I came across a book called Quiet at School: An Educator’s Guide to Shy Children. That’s when it occurred to me that not only do shy children have unique challenges in classrooms; also, those challenges are mostly known only to the children themselves.
And that, of course, is the crux of the matter. If the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the kids with “louder,” more disruptive issues are going to get the teacher’s attention. In the meantime, shy children sit silently struggling.
With that in mind, I invited Quiet at School co-author Robert Coplan to talk with me on Studentcentricity. Educator Melanie Taylor joined us.
We talked about the most common indicators of shyness in children, and how they might look different from early childhood to adolescence. And I asked Rob about the teacher’s natural inclination to encourage children to speak up more and raise their hands to answer questions. Is that actually the way to help shy children succeed in school?...