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Questions for Introverts in ECE

  • 1.  Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-12-2021 01:31 PM
    Hello fellow introverts, I have a few questions for you all:

    1. Do any of you have jobs where you work alone for, at least, half of your work day?

    2. Do any of you have jobs where you interact with less than 5 people in a day?

    3. Teachers, how do you deal with being introverted and being in a class full of people?

    4. Do any of you relate with feeling more drained after talking to adults than after talking with kids?

    5. Any general advice for introverts in ECE?



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    Monica
    Pre-K Teacher
    Bay Area, CA
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  • 2.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-13-2021 06:29 AM
    Hi, Monica. I teach in a prek classroom with 20 children and a co-teacher. I definitely understand the feeling of being drained after being around groups of adults, rather than groups of children. I love to attend Early Childhood conferences, but always feel the need to go home and rest immediately after.

    Though we have a small early childhood program, and a close relationship with all of our families, I still feel fatigued after whole school events in which families attend.

    Staff training days, or gatherings where both of our schools come together are also difficult for me. I only attend the ones that are required.

    I am fortunate to work in a program where my coworkers try to be understanding of my introvertedness. When the pandemic began and we had to assign a greeter to the welcome area for health checks, I was not assigned to that position. Also, I am not scheduled to do school tours for new families. I do not attend staff events, aside from the required training days.

    I think the most important thing that an introverted person can do for themselves is to set healthy boundaries. When I first started at my school, I politely declined an invitation to the staff Christmas party the first year. That would have been absolute torture for me. Personally, being open about being an introvert and explaining it to people was helpful for me.

    Thank you for facilitating such an important conversation!

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    Ashley
    Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator
    Brandon, FL
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  • 3.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-13-2021 06:30 PM
    Thank you for your reply, Ashley. At what point did you let the people you work know that you're an introvert? Did you bring it up at your interview? How did you word it? I struggle with finding the right words. I feel that people might take it the wrong way.

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    Monica
    Pre-K Teacher
    SF Bay Area
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  • 4.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-14-2021 10:32 AM
    Great to see this conversation. My wife is introverted and is rarely understood. That leads to teasing her and telling stories to other friends about her. There is a great TED Talk by an introverted person. I don't remember her name, but I bet it would be easy to find or someone will tell us.

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    Jack Wright
    Child Development Consultant
    Success With Children
    St Ignatius MT
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  • 5.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-14-2021 09:40 PM
    Hi Jack!
    I bet you're talking about Susan Cain who wrote the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. It is a fantastic read and being an introvert myself, it actually helped me understand myself better.
    Here's the TED Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts#t-3941 


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    Elena Pasquan
    Mukilteo School District
    Snohomish WA
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  • 6.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-15-2021 09:36 AM

    Elena, thanks.

     






  • 7.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-13-2021 09:29 AM
    Monica,
    I am a fellow introvert and it can sometimes be difficult for me. However, I have managed a few ways to cope. In answer to your questions:

    1.Do any of you have jobs where you work alone for, at least, half of your work day? I am alone all day in a classroom with up to 5 children. I do occasionally fill in at the front desk but that's usually in the evenings. At that time I do not usually have any children with me and no other adults. The days this happen are wonderful as I get some much needed down time away from other people.

    2.Do any of you have jobs where you interact with less than 5 people in a day? Right now, due to Covid, interacting with less than 5 people a day is pretty standard. I generally interact with the children in my class only and that is 5 tops. I will see other staff throughout the day, for example when moving the children to the gym or outside to play. Interactions at that time are generally a wave and hello.

    3. Teachers, how do you deal with being introverted and being in a class full of people? I only have at the most 5 children in my class so I do not have a lot of people I am around during the day. However, if I am feeling a bit overwhelmed I usually ask for a short break or for someone to watch the children while I go to the restroom. I have a wonderful director, assistant director, and manager and they are more than willing to step into the classroom so I can get a breather. Also, if I am feeling extremely "peopled out" I will take my lunch in a room away from others or even go sit in my car during my lunch break.

    4. Do any of you relate with feeling more drained after talking to adults than after talking with kids? I can't say that I feel more drained after talking with adults. This is possibly because the majority of my time is spent with young children--2 years old to be exact. Having an adult conversation is usually welcome.

    5. Any general advice for introverts in ECE? If you are able, get away from people throughout the day. Eat your lunch somewhere quiet. If break times away from the children are possible, take them. If you get time to work on lesson plans away from others, do so. Enjoy nap time when hopefully all the children are asleep. Even though you are still in the room with them at least they are quiet and you can regroup. At the end of your day, once your home take some time for yourself to recover. People who are not introverts do not understand how draining it can be having to be around people all day. As much as I love working with children, I need some downtime to recover. It's been very difficult during the pandemic. My center shut down for four months and we were virtual. Even though I missed my kids and was happy being back in my classroom, it was a shock to my system when I was constantly surrounded by people every day and interacting to them. I had to readjust and remember to take advantage of those down times to recharge.

    Good luck to all my fellow introverts! It's not easy but we are stronger than we think!

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    Lisa Wall
    Greenfield IN
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  • 8.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-13-2021 06:37 PM
    Hi, Lisa. Thanks for the thorough reply. How many kids were in your class pre-covid?

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    Monica
    Pre-K Teacher
    SF Bay Area
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  • 9.  RE: Questions for Introverts in ECE

    Posted 01-13-2021 06:44 PM
    Monica,
    Pre-covid I had between 5 and 8 depending on the day. I also had an assistant teacher. I did find her more exhausting than the children sometimes now that I think about it. Pre-covid I had a class of one year old children. However, they all turned two except for one while we were shut down. He just turned 2 this week.