The quiet learner

This post is part of the #EdBlogNZ 2016 Challenge for the bonus Leap Day challenge. The challenge was to “stretch yourself and create an audio or video post about a passion of yours”.

I have focused on being an introvert and a learner. My audio recording is below and beneath this is a transcript of the recording.



introverts uniteIn a group I can feel isolated. I can feel alone.

Sometimes I can feel more alone in a group than when I’m on my own.

Words wash around me, over me, through me.

I might have something good to say. Something relevant to the conversation. But it’s too late. I didn’t speak up in time. The time has passed. The conversation has moved on.

I might be questioned on the topic. I had something to say, but now I’ve been put on the spot. My mind is blank. My thought has gone. And now I feel even more alone. People are waiting for a response and I have no words to speak.

Talk with me one on one. Give me time to think and to process and we can have an in-depth conversation. Don’t bother with small talk though, I can’t keep that up. I’ll answer your questions about the weather or about what I do. But they will be short and to the point.

Engage me with my passions and I can talk with you. In fact, I might not shut up.

You see, I’m an introvert. I value my own thoughts and my own space. I don’t need to be alone, but I don’t need constant attention.

When I was at school, I hated being put on the spot by my teachers. I might know the answer or be able to respond, but as soon as my name was called, it was gone. My stomach would start to churn. My face would go red. I appeared as if I didn’t know anything. It was unfair.

Yet, I found myself doing this as a teacher.


Because I hadn’t understood my own personality. I hadn’t understood my introversion.

I despised group activities as a student. If it was only with one other person, I could manage. But with a larger group I felt my voice could not be heard.

However, I found my way with working online. Put me in a collaborative doc, and I can contribute. My voice can be heard. Throw me into a fast-paced Twitter stream and I will love every moment. I’m in a crowded online space yet physically I’m on my own. I am happy, I am learning, I am contributing and I’m engaged.


Image source: Joe Wolf, Flickr – CC BY-ND 2.0

3 thoughts on “The quiet learner

  1. A thought provoking post, Nat. As a co-learner and a teacher it caused me to wonder. What can make it easier for you in a team f2f meeting? Or winding back the clock, for you at school or uni?
    Wondering out loud here, and thinking about the ease in which you interact so seamlessly in the online arena or in a 1 : 1 skype we have, how would using something like ‘teachmeet’ during a f2f meeting, like running a back channel, suit?
    This really highlights the way we need to utilise UDl in the adult environment doesn’t it?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Viv.
      What can make it easier for me? I guess being pre-warned that I need to contribute can help sometimes (but not always). Sometimes I can still sit there thinking and be totally blank.
      1:1 I’m generally fine – especially when I know the person I’m speaking with.

      I’m guessing you’re meaning TodaysMeet – that can be useful, but only when people are contributing. I don’t think I usually talk to myself 😉 I do like the opportunity Twitter can have in having deeper conversations at conferences while the keynote is going on or workshops are happening.

      I totally agree about considering how we utilise UDL. How can we accommodate those people who struggle to to share in a group space?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *