“In a gentle way, you can shake the world” – Mahatma Gandhi.
“It’s totally fine if you don’t know the answer, or if you couldn’t make yourself answer in the heat of the moment.” The teacher said to me, and it interrupted my sleep. Oh! It was a dream. Or I must say, it’s always been a dream. In fact, in my entire life of learning, I have never heard this sentence from any teacher in an encouraging way—whenever a student fails to answer any question. The teacher quickly concludes that s/he doesn’t have the answer, and they demand irritably, “what’s your point?” And then, from punishment to embarrassment, introversion is choked. Why doesn’t a teacher take introversion and shyness in consideration?
It’s not only the students of the classroom who fail to encourage introverts, but teachers and professors fail too. Teachers enter the profession to help students, and when a teacher enters a classroom, they are accorded to share their knowledge with every student in the classroom. But, do they succeed in sharing and uplifting students? Though teachers emit the light of knowledge for all, it doesn’t reach all the students evenly.
And this uneven dispersion widens the gap between students. Eventually, the one who gets the maximum amount of light shines brighter. And therefore, through their immense knowledge on one side, they are truly competent for uplifting a group of students towards their goal, but on the contrary, they are indignant towards introverts. Unwittingly, introverts may wrap themselves in a sheet of self-doubt.
We often consider an introvert student useless as the last slice of bread in a loaf. Can’t we consider them as priceless as extra cheese on the pizza? Research says every third person is an introvert. It means they are always around us. But this data might be indigestible because we all try to fit perfectly in the box of society.
The most desirable person is the one who is confident and argumentative. These type of students are often considered as the face of the classroom—those who participate in every debate and discussion. Moreover, our teachers always expect them to. Yet, we often consider extroversion as valuable. Only books validate diverse personalities. No one dares to embrace the diverse personality traits in reality. Perhaps our culture is so extrovert oriented, or pseudo extrovert oriented that no one cares or no one has even stumbled upon the word introvert. And this is how introverts get ignored, and pseudo extrovert gets frustrated when they fail to match the expectation.
Most teachers consider buzzwords like “public speaking” and “leadership” as essential skills, and the more a student participates and collaborates in a classroom, the more intelligent s/he is. However, talking in public, holding a prolonged conversation could be easy for outgoing people, but it could be a nightmare for some people. And this is how our schools and colleges define the epitome of an intellectual—by boldness or by how confident s/he is on the podium with a microphone.