It can be hard to stand out as an excellent student when you’re shy. Asking and answering questions in front of a group of people can cause your heart to race, your palms to sweat, and your mouth to go dry. Here are four ways you can break free from the shackles of shyness and begin to participate in class.
1) Talk To Your Teacher
For a shy student, raising your hand and speaking up in class can be incredibly difficult. Your teachers may judge you for not showing initiative or they may simply assume you didn’t prepare for class, which is why you aren’t getting involved in the discussion. Instead of being passive and ignoring the problem, address it head on. Talking to your teacher one on one can be easier than speaking in front of the whole class, so set up a private meeting with your teacher, and explain what’s going on. The more you talk with your teacher independently, the easier it will be to talk with him or her during class. Your teacher will also appreciate that you’re being proactive.
2) Sit in the Front
EducationWorld suggests sitting at the front of the class. When you sit at the front of the class your peers will be behind you. It may be easier to raise your hand and speak up in class if you don’t have to look at a sea of students surrounding you. Your teacher is also likely to call on you more often if you’re sitting in the front. This will challenge you to stay involved and engaged.
3) Work with a Study Group
Joining a study group will help you hone your conversation skills. Talking with a group of four or five is much less intimidating than talking in front of a group of 20. Once you feel confident that you’ve mastered the material with your study group, speaking up in class will feel a lot less scary.
4) Ask for Prepared Questions
Sometimes on the spot questions can cause students to freeze up. When given enough time to process the question and prepare a verbal answer you may be more comfortable speaking up in class. Talk to your teacher and see if you can get some of the questions he or she may ask ahead of time. This will show your teacher that you want to participate and give you time to develop answers you feel confident sharing with your peers.
Here’s the unfair thing: shyness is often mistaken as apathy. It sucks but it’s true, so if you’re naturally shy, you have to recognize that and work to communicate your passion and engagement in other ways. You may have to overcome some obstacles, but there are methods of participation that will help you share your insights with the class. Don’t expect a teacher to accommodate you if you don’t approach him or her. Tell your teacher what you’re struggling with and work together to formulate a plan that will help you overcome your struggles with group participation.
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