Making Schools Work for Introverted Students and Teachers
An interview with Jamie Thom, author of A Quiet Education
In this interview with Jamie Thom, author of A Quiet Education: Challenging the Extrovert Ideal in our Schools (John Catt Educational), gain an understanding of how the qualities of introverts can serve to improve the learning environment.
Thom sheds light on the often missed qualities of introversion that can not only benefit teaching but also enhance school leadership positions. Often, it’s not the loudest person in the room that deserves the focus but rather the person who is more skilled at listening, empathy, and reflection that can bring about a higher level of effective teaching and leadership.
As you listen to the interview, think through the following questions to consider how specific personality traits affect your teaching and leadership:
• How are the “introvert” qualities of listening, silence, and providing space for thinking a principal aim of yours as an educator?
• Many teachers identify themselves as introverted, yet teaching often asks for extroverted skill sets. What methods do you use to recharge and find balance in your day to honor your needs?
• The dynamics in schools often apply the extroverted ideal to leadership positions. Do you find a reserved approach often gets lost in the equation? What traits, such as listening and humility, would you like to see promoted more in education?
• Many popular collaborative learning models seem to be engineered toward the extroverted student. How can the introverted student be better supported and scaffolded into the collaborative process?
Learn more about Jamie Thom’s book, A Quiet Education, and more great John Catt Educational publications, by visiting us.johncattbookshop.com
About Jamie Thom
Jamie Thom is an English teacher from Scotland. He initially taught in a large comprehensive in central London and was lucky in those fledgling years to be promoted to an Assistant Headteacher role.
Despite his inexperience, Jamie learned a considerable amount about the nature of leadership, working alongside teachers, and how to manage responsibility. While stumbling through those years, he felt that he had not yet “earned his stripes” and gained enough experience to cope with the stress and authenticity required of leadership.
Jamie is now in a full time teaching role and completing a part-time Masters in Educational Leadership, working in Cramlington Learning Village, an excellent comprehensive in North East England.
Jamie’s emphasis on educator wellbeing and that the treadmill approach to teaching can only lead to disillusionment and burn out. Slowing down both professionally and privately can help to remind us of the many joys of both life and teaching.
He is author of A Quiet Education: Challenging the Extrovert Ideal in our Schools, published by John Catt Educational. You can visit his website and follow him on Twitter @teachgratitude1
Dr. Berger is one of many industry education correspondents for the Mind Rocket Media Group, An educator and former school administrator. He often hosts education panel discussions and develops strategic content. As an academic Dr. Berger is a guest lecturer at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. A former assistant principal, he has been an adjunct undergraduate professor and developer of online college courses. He is a passionate Detroit sports fan who has also adopted Nashville sports teams as his own.
Contact the Mind Rocket Media Group if you are interested in an industry interview and a placement on EdCircuit.