First John and then Trevor wrote about introverts. So I thought I would weigh in also. We were joking at lunch the other day about the fact that we have a large number of introverts on our staff. My principal asked everyone who thinks that they are an introvert to raise their hand. A bunch of us did, including myself. I felt like some people were looking at me funny, like you are not an introvert.
I feel like extrovert and introvert is a false dichotomy. The truth is that sometimes I like to be with others and am loud and opinionated. Other times I crave solitude and my own thoughts. How I act is much more dependent on mood and situation than my personality.
I am a morning person, but I like it to be quiet. In college my roommate and I would get up at the same time, get ready, go to the cafeteria and eat breakfast together. The first words spoken were “See ya” when one of us left for class and that was perfect. Generally I get up and am out the door before my family gets up. On days when they are up I feel stressed by the noise.
At parties or in unfamiliar situations I am silent and in a corner. I like to be around people, but don’t like small talk unless it is about sports. I would prefer to talk about deeper issues like justice, ethics, or philosophy, not exactly dinner party topics.
But in my classroom or with friends and family I am very talkative and sometimes even dominating. I should probably step back and listen more.
I feel like most people are like this. Rather than extroverted or introverted I think most people swing between the two depending on their mood and the situation. I agree with Trevor though that we need to make spaces in our classes and schools for both situations and realize that some students may need a different environment dependent on the day and what is going on in their lives more than their personality.