Reflective Writing Assignment #3
The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain [TED Talk]
The talk by Susan Cain is about how an introvert can have great power to offer the world. The extensive research and experiences Susan gained and then wrote about can help us as instructors respect the different personalities in our classrooms. Having now done some research on this topic I will be able to become a more aware and sensitive instructor.
Listening to the talk has brought up several ideas for me. I watched the TED talk and I then went on to watch Susan’s talk at “google” as well as her talk about networking for introverts. With each of the talks I was seeking to understand the concept with an effort to understand not only my own decencies’ but also in an effort to understand the concept well enough to convey the information. I feel I have a unique opportunity to have an influence on young lives in a direct and indirect way. I feel this can have a positive influence on many lives as I share this new information with my co-workers, the children in my care, the parents of those children, my students at college who can then share it with their families and co-workers. I feel that honouring the introvert is incredibly important opportunity for everyone. I am very excited to have the ability to share this information with many people.
I am an introvert. Last night I went to a concert with my friend [who is also an introvert] at Rogers Arena. The anxiety I felt throughout the hours before leaving and up until the event were quite painful. I was nauseous, had stomach pains and cold sweats. I feel it was the fear of the big city and huge crowds. Once the music began my anxiety eased up but as soon as the concert was getting close to the end my anxiety ramped up again and we actually left early out of fear of the crowds that would be heading the same direction as us. I honestly think I will just listen to music in my home or car from now on. I’ve known I was not a social “butterfly” my whole life but I’ve always felt it was a negative thing. As I young person I would often use alcohol to cover up the fact that I really would rather not be in the social setting I was compelled into. I eventually came to understand and be comfortable with my “simple” and “quiet” life. I then began the adventure of instructing adults at a college. This was definitely leaving the comfort zone. I felt that I wanted to share my wealth of experience and knowledge with others and that is what pushed me to agree and to try. It felt great as I was shaping future teachers to care for young children in a respectful and loving way but it was difficult to be the one in the front of the class with all eyes on me.
Susan gave an example of there being introverts and extroverts in the animal kingdom and specifically a fruit fly where there are “sitter flies” who basically just bounce up and down and then there are the “rover flies” who go farther out and explore the surrounding area. Each of the flies has their own important jobs. Then Susan speaks about an experiment by scientist Sloan Wilson where there was a pond full of Pumpkin Seed fish and a trap was dropped into the middle. The introvert fish swam away and would not be trapped and the extrovert fish swam right in out of curiosity. The extrovert fish would be caught and eaten and the introvert fish escape and survive.
I found the talk helpful to me in reference to my young students as well. I know I have introvert children in my class and I can now see them for who they are and hope to assist them in new ways. I will also be able to share with their parents this new information and perhaps guide them in how to honour their children for who they are. This will of course also go for my adult students and the children in their care and the parents of those children.