There are two types of students in the classroom: the ones that have no problem giving an answer and being wrong, and the ones that sit quietly in the back, trying to muster up the courage to answer a question. A lot of students, myself included, are extremely shy, and find it difficult to participate in class. For me at least, my level of participation seems to differ depending on what class I am in. That is not to say that I care about one class more than another, it just depends on the environment and how comfortable I am with the teacher and other students. People always say, “it’s not you, it’s me,” and I truly feel that this statement describes how my shyness impacts my participation in the classroom and other settings. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like the other students or my teacher; it just means that I’m not as comfortable putting myself out there for whatever reason. There really is no reasoning to why I’m shy, and there does not seem to be a way to stop it.
Do I see that my shyness effects my class participation? Yes and no. I definitely notice that I participate less than other people in my class. However, I do try to give myself an incentive to participate, namely the good participation grade that could boost my average. I try to compensate for a lack of participation by showing that I am hardworking and dedicated in other ways. I do this through occasionally seeking extra help before or after school, and through helping other students in my class. Many may think that this would not show anything to my teachers, but they see more than we think. They know who is working hard and who could not care less.
I sympathize with other shy students. I go to an all-girls school and wear the exact same outfit as every other girl in my school, and still I find it hard to open up in the classroom. For some indescribable reason, it’s hard to be able to say how I feel without worrying about being embarrassed if I’m wrong.
I have to say, though, that during my time at IHA, I definitely believe that I have made great strides towards overcoming my shyness. It’s something that I, and other students who are shy, have to work on every time we sit down in class. It’s something that we need to be conscious of every time the teacher asks a question. It’s something that we will continue to work on for as long as we need, and it’s something that I believe will make us stronger in the long run.
By Mary Moskowitz’18, IHA News Junior Editor