Updated: Jun 20
People often think that debating is just for extroverts. This is not necessarily the case at all.
The idea that debating and public speak is only for extroverts isn't true. Over the years at Rise & Shine we've had countless introverts excel at debating. People sometimes mistake being an introvert for being shy or unable to speak in front of an audience, but we've learned not to underestimate the quieter children. We've seen many children who are fairly quiet in class stand up in a debate and speak extremely confidently, strongly and with great voice projection. In her very popular TED talk, Susan Cain describes the power of introverts. She explains that introverts are taught to think of their introversion as "a second-class personality trait," Cain says, "somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology." Introverts must swim against the tide to be themselves. “Our most important institutions," she says, "our schools and our workplaces, they are designed mostly for extroverts, and for extroverts' need for stimulation.”
Cain, who identifies as an introvert herself, says that introverts are "especially empathic". They think in an "unusually complex fashion". They prefer discussing "values and morality" to small talk about the weather. They "desire peace". They're "modest". The introvert child is an "orchid – who wilts easily", is prone to "depression, anxiety and shyness, but under the right conditions can grow strong and magnificent." She also explains that introverts are not necessarily people who hate or fear public speaking. Among the world's great speakers, there are many examples of introverts.
Cain's talk below is a wonderful way to understand introverts. At Rise & Shine, we're proud that we welcome and embrace introverts, extroverts and ambiverts (yes, there is such a word, apparently) and do our best to support each child to flourish and shine in their own way.