Can an Introverted Person Be a Successful Teacher? | Jordan B Peterson


dvssk8er3 That’s quite a mouthful, says: I’m studying to be a teacher, but I’m also an introvert. Could this be a big problem? Can I still be a successful teacher? Actually, what seems to predict success of teaching best, is Intelligence and conscientiousness, that’s the data so far, so if you’re conscientious Then you’ll probably be fine. I mean introverts have a harder time speaking in front of groups But you can learn to do that. You know an introvert can become a very successful public speaker. May not enjoy it the same way that an extrovert might, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn those skills and what I would recommend For an introvert is the same thing that I do when I’m lecturing is, I never talk to the whole group You know, it doesn’t matter how big the crowd is. I’m always picking out individuals in the group, and talking specifically to them so I’ll make a point to an individual and I watch their face and see if they’re nodding and Understanding right because that way you make contact with the entire audience And then you know I’ll talk to someone for about 15 seconds or so. I don’t want to put them on the spot too much And then I shift my attention to someone else and I sort of pinpoint around the room That keeps everybody in the room focused on what I’m saying because each person Reflects the entire crowd back to you And so I would say if you’re an introvert or if you want to speak in public in general Forget about the damn crowd, it doesn’t exist Speak to people one at a time, and an introvert can do that just fine. So you know that’s where your strengths would be and I would say you’re much more likely to be Unsuccessful as a teacher if you don’t work hard at it And if you’re not interested in it. And so if you’re an introvert I wouldn’t worry about that I don’t think that that’ll be the biggest problem that you’ll face

28 Comments

  1. I'm extremely introverted almost agoraphobic terrible w face to face conversations but almost all my fear goes away when speaking in front of a group

  2. My introversion borders on misanthropy, but I consider myself an excellent educator. Granted, I teach kids under 18, and children are easier for me. Their parents on the other hand…..

  3. I prefer speaking to people 1 on 1 rather than being in a group.

    But I'm also good at public speaking which I found a bit odd. It's probably because I subconsciously use the tactic of speaking to one person at a time like you mentioned.

  4. Oh wow, thank you, I am studying to be a professor and this exact question has been on my mind for two years now… sir, you are absolutely brilliant

  5. Clean your ass, bucko. That builds confidence. Then go on to do more challenging things, like cleaning your family’s ass. Then you’re cured, a bone fide ass-cleaning graduate. Then go out and conquer life and impress people with your sparkling ass.

  6. I got a great advice for public speaking from Angel. Nervous? Just imagine everyone in the audience dead. Can be combined with other advice as well — the lectern is your shield, and everyone is dead and naked. You're the winner, bucko. Good luck!

  7. As an introverted person myself, I have found that when I know the subject, I can speak on it with far less hesitation than otherwise. Like writing, telling me to just "write" makes no sense. I want something to talk about, and then I can go on for hours.

  8. I want to perform research at a university, but I believe I have to teach in order to do so. Is this true? I'm extremely introverted to the point that I have trouble speaking up in lecture. This subject has been on my mind for weeks because I believe not being able to speak in public might have huge consequences.

  9. Dr. Peterson, I was wondering, not necessarily related to the topic, on your thoughts about Rene Girard. It would be interesting to know since he and yourself go over very similar ground, deep textual analysis and interpretation, mythology and readings of the Bible, socio/psycho/anthropological implications on every day life, the modern day crisis due to valuelessness: all these things are spot on Rene Girard's points of focus. I'd appreciate a response, thank you.

  10. I never really did any formal tests, but I'm quite sure I tend towards introverted. I've held regular lectures at the university and even spoken to 1000+ crowds at conferences without a problem. The key to me is that I can do it when I am confident on the subject matter, that I really know what I'm talking about, and am prepared to answer any questions. However, I've never consciously used the "speaking-to-individuals" technique. In the very large halls with big spotlights you can't even see individual faces.

  11. Thank god. I’m pretty introverted, but I love little kids and I really want to be an art teacher. I’m looking toward being an elementary teacher because I find it easier to talk to small children.. and because they’re adorable. 🙃

  12. A good teacher is someone into their subject and a philanthropist. You don't notice other people in flow, you have to be a general phil because the majority of students must attend unwillingly.

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