Michael F. Shaughnessy, a columnist with educationnews.org recently conducted an interview with Abby Connors who wrote the new book, Teaching Creativity. I found this to be an excellent interview and well worth reading. Below is an excerpt from the interview about approaching shy children:
How do teachers ( and parents ) approach slowly and sideways?
Shy children need special encouragement to share their ideas with others. These children often have rich inner lives, filled with imaginative ideas, but for whatever reason, they’re hesitant to speak and participate in group activities. It’s important to approach these children “slowly and sideways.” We need to respect that they may be slow to warm up to others, adults in particular. When pressured to contribute ideas, these children often withdraw even further. Once in a while, I’ll ask them in a relaxed way if they have an idea they’d like to add – a movement, an animal to sing about, a line for a group poem. If they don’t respond, I say, “That’s okay – maybe next time.” If I have a gentle, unpressured approach in the classroom, they will participate at some point. And when they do, I try to remember to thank them quietly – a big “high five,” which other children may love, is too intense for sensitive children.”
If you are interested in her book, it’s the first book listed: Best Parenting Books