i have a question. This is a serious question, with profound implications. Hold on to yourself, because the way you answer this could rock you to your very core. Well, maybe it's not as big as all that, but it should make you think.
Why do teachers make shy children speak in front of the class? Oh, it sounds like a flip question, but it isn't... I'm serious!! What good comes from this barbaric practice?
If you were a shy child, did your evil teacher's enjoyment of your discomfort actually help you conquer your shyness? I challenge you to find a person who can honestly say that they'd be a recluse today, were it not for Mrs. So-and-so forcing her to stand before the class and make a spectacle of herself. I bet you'll find many more who will not speak before an audience to this very day, thanks to the remembered agony of being made to do so as a child.
Is there a glib, charismatic person out there who was a painfully shy child? I want to talk to you.
And what is so very wrong with being shy? Teddy Roosevelt admonished us to "speak softly and carry a big stick". We are always told that we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. Well, I am here today to defend the quiet child.
Shy children are not stupid children. Some of the very smartest people I know are the quiet type. You can learn a lot by watching and listening, and very little by talking. Teachers, if you ask a shy child for an answer to a question without making it painful for them to answer, you might be amazed at the intelligence and insight of their answer. I think teachers should cease and desist immediately the debilitating practice of trying to force a shy child "out of their shell". It doesn't work that way, it doesn't help and it certainly hurts. Now and later, too.
Take heart, shy kids. I'm on your side. I trust a shy person far more than the loud ones. Let the class clowns gather all the attention, because I have it on very good authority that blessed are the meek.
Trish in AZ
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