Classroom intervention helps shy kids learn. Being shy is often easily passed over in society. We think of shyness as a character quality that poses no harm and often will be grown out of. Shy children are known to show social withdraw, but many also tend to be anxious and fearful. Unfortunately, shy children can suffer educationally if special accommodations are not made by teachers.
My article focuses on the INSIGHTS method of temperament intervention. This program identifies children by temperament: shy, social and eager to try, industrious, or high maintenance.
Teachers are thought to be better able to approach young students with knowledge of their temperament type in hand. Different children require different methods to learn, and the INSIGHT program hopes to help make the identification of children’s needs easier for teachers by providing a framework to follow. The framework focuses on appreciating and supporting differences in personality, versus trying to fit all students into a “one-size-fits-all” curriculum.
The study incorporated INSIGHTS into twenty-two kindergarten classrooms to evaluate changes in student success.
The method includes creative and free play, the use of puppets, flashcards, and videos. The goal of the program is to make students feel comfortable facing daily dilemmas, such as having a substitute teacher or a play date.
Positive changes were seen across the board for students participating in INSIGHT, regardless of their placement among the four temperaments. The children showed significant development in critical thinking skills, as well as higher test scores in mathematics. These positive changes were increasingly seen in shy children.
They especially showed great strides in stability of math skills over the transition from kindergarten to first grade.
As educators, we need to adapt the thinking of INSIGHTS: every child is of a different temperament and with that comes individual challenges and successes. We have to do our best to modify our methods of teaching to suit each of our student’s needs. We may not have as much control over what we teach today, but teachers do have autonomy over how we teach.
The INSIGHTS method understands this, providing a framework that will work with any standards that need to be met. I believe this type of program is exactly what we need for all of our students to be successful, including those who are shy.