How Classroom Teachers can Engage Quiet Students

Classroom teachers have the great challenge of engaging their students. It is difficult to teach someone if they are not interested or they do not participate in what teachers try to do. But, there are ways around this. Teachers can make use of different presentations of their lessons, they can create a classroom that encourages participation, and they can have several different channels for communication.

Classroom Teacher

In doing these things, teachers are able to get the attention of most of the students. However, there are cases when the challenge becomes greater. This is the case of quiet and introverted students.

These students would normally keep to themselves and try not to participate in group discussions and other common techniques that a classroom teacher may use. But, there is a way to get to them. Here are a few techniques which you can try in order to get the attention of a quiet student.

Use Alternatives to Whole Group Discussions

When it comes to extroverted students, whole group discussions can be very effective. They are eager to jump in and participate during these activities. However, this is not for everyone. Quiet students would tend to clam up and not participate at all. So instead of employing the common 10 minutes of group lessons to 2 minutes of activity or discussion, try:

  • Have students actually stand up and walk around the room in order to find a new partner to have a conversation with. You can even play music while they are walking around. This increases their energy and helps their creative thinking.
  • No student wants to make a mistake in front of everyone. So as a classroom teacher, you can actually minimize that risk by doing a four corners strategy. Each corner would be designated with strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. Read statements aloud and students would choose a corner based on the statement. This is a simple hack to get students to discuss their choices.

Offer Other Channels for Presentations

Standing up in front of the class and talking is the main go-to presentation form. However, this can make others feel uncomfortable or nervous. Instead of forcing everyone to do the same thing, why not let their creativity out and let them choose their own presentation channel? This can be in the form of an artwork, a video presentation, or even a song. There are a lot of media channels available for students and a classroom teacher, so take advantage of that.

Talk with Quiet Students

Sometimes there is a deep rooted reason why students are quiet and hesitant to participate in group or classroom activities. And you will never know until the student opens up about his or her challenges. This is where a private talking session may come in handy.

Quiet and introverted students are not comfortable in big groups so maybe a one-on-one talk would be different. Be proactive and talk with them.

You can even help them feel comfortable in talking with you by opening up in different channels such as in person or through student-teacher chat systems. The important thing is you encourage them and make them feel that you, as a classroom teacher, are there to help them. That you are there to listen. And that you are there to guide them.

Engaging an introverted student is very challenging. There are many layers that you have to peel through in order to understand the student and get him or her engaged with classroom learning activities.

As a classroom teacher, be mindful. Try to see what factors are affecting the student. Try to use different techniques to get the students engaged. Adjust to them and do not expect all students to be willing and able to do all types of activities right off the bat. Talk to them. More importantly, understand each unique situation so that you can prepare the best strategy for them to learn and grow.