I presented the first in a series of posts reinventing the world with the introverts in the majority, and then followed that up with a blog about introvert home design. I want to write about the ideal introvert city and office setting, but first I want to write about introvert schools.
I decided to write about schools next because Claire at Openly Quiet wrote an insightful two-part series on home schooling, and champions alternative schooling for introverts. I applaud Clarie’s writing and urge all of you to go out and read her blog.
Schools – Introvert Style
Let’s start with the teachers themselves. They should be the heroes that every little girl and boy want to become. Not the sports stars. Not the rock stars. The teachers.
Colleges that train teachers should be difficult to get into, accepting only those with proven aptitude, because they are turning out a precious commodity, the people who will shape the next generation. They should be not only a place to train aspiring teachers in the best techniques, but they should also be places of research into the cognitive functions of the mind. We need to know more about how we learn, and how to foster creative thinking. Instead of stomping out creativity, schools should inspire it, encourage it, feed it.
Teachers should make the big bucks. Let’s do away with tenure, and replace it with a merit system that starts teachers off with a generous wage and then financially rewards them for innovation and the happiness and success of their students. Turn things inside out. Teaching should be a challenge to stay fresh and fun, not a challenge to grind through the day to meet ridiculous standards created by legislators.
Class size will be small so that the teacher can be attentive to the children.
Kids should be encouraged in their passions, following their native-born talents.
Learning should never be rote. Let’s put our best minds to work finding effective teaching methods that respond to a student’s main learning channel. Make learning multidimensional and interactive.
Keep classrooms quiet, well equipped, comfortable and safe. Create a physical environment conducive to learning. Make them bright and cheerful, but also make spaces where you can get away to think quietly, draw, build, and experiment with ideas.
And please, for all our sakes, let’s give girls the same encouragement and opportunities that we give to boys. Let’s see more girls as the president of the robotics club or the champion “mathelete”.
Imagine your favorite teacher. Most of us are lucky to have one or two gems during our entire childhood. What if all of your teachers had been like that? Mind boggling, isn’t it?
What if they had the time and equipment to let you explore the things you were good at, to develop your talents? What kind of person would you have become? Who would you have grown up to be? Would you be working at the same job you are now? How would your life be different?
Share with us! Hit the comments and tell us about your best memories of school, or what you think your schooling should have been.
Disclaimer: I should explain that I’m not a teacher. I don’t have children in any school system. I had a good education, for the most part, in parochial schools in the US. But I see the kids I volunteer with struggle with fitting in, bemoaning the inadequacies of their schools, complaining about the teachers they have. They want to learn but are being poorly served. And if you are an introvert, you are especially handicapped in large, noisy classrooms, in a competitive group-think environment.
Hi. I’m Chris. I’m an introvert. Look for my ongoing series debunking the introvert myths (Sunday) and introvert cartoons (Wednesday), plus anything else interesting that I find in the meantime. Come and share with like-minded introverts. I also contribute to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.