How would you handle an extremely "Shy" student?, that would look away from you during a lesson.

Would you continue to teach? How would you handle the situation?.

19 answers from our tutors

Best answer

First, it is important to find the source of shyness. Some students are just "camera shy." If this is the case, ask them if they would like to turn off the camera. Some students are shy because of their mistakes. If so, ask them if they want to be corrected immediately or after the lesson in their private chat. There may be many reasons for shyness, but the most important thing is not to make a point of their shyness.

  • If my student is shy I would definitely take the lead in the conversation and make him/her comfortable first. Eventually they will start talking and participating in the conversation.

  • -Normalize it and start low-risk participation. -Add movement, Humor, and Genuine Praise. -Create a meaningful class goal to build community. -Reward every risk your students take with love and positivity.

  • Act like it's not even happening, it will get them to think 'oh it's a not a big deal', be relaxed and maybe even a bit funny because humor makes everyone relaxed and once that first smile comes, they'll be saying bye to the shyness in a heartbeat. ^^

  • Teacher Terry
    Teacher TerryCountry flag: za
    ESL Teacher

    Make sure the student is comfortable, engage in conversations they like first before getting to the learning part. Learning can be intimidating for some students, hence they become shy. Find out their topics of interest, for example television or sports, you can talk about that till they get comfortable with talking to you and then move to the learning part. When teaching them, assure the student that making mistakes is acceptable and normal, no need to be shy about it as it's a learning curve.

  • Teacher Terry
    Teacher TerryCountry flag: za
    ESL Teacher

    Make the student is comfortable, engage in conversations they like first before getting to the learning part. Learning can be intimidating for some students, hence they become shy. Find out their topics of interest, for example television or sports, you can talk about that till they get comfortable with talking to you and then move to the learning part. When teaching them, assure the student that making mistakes is acceptable and normal, no need to be shy about it as it's a learning curve.

  • Hi. Firstly you would want to do an ice breaker in the beginning, for example everyone introduce themselves. Unfortunately we cannot control a person's reaction to anything so we allow them to become comfortable with the space and get to know one another. By creating a safe space you are allowing the shy student to become comfortable and slowly less reserved with their surroundings. While shyness can hinder participation, it doesnt necessarily mean it counters productivity as the student can be paying attention in class and still learning.

  • I would try to figure out ways to engage the student more. Depending on his or her age, I would possibly use visual aids to do that. If they're older, I would take a pause from my teaching and ask them how they're feeling.

  • First acknowledge the student. Which thing is the reason of his or her shyness. Try to involve him/her in questionnaire , discussion activity. Also make him/her believe that you are a comfort zone for him/her to talk.

  • First is to ackowledge the student. Then, make him/her feel that you are there to help and make sure that she is comfortable and at ease with you.

  • Jill
    JillCountry flag: us
    Certified ESL Teacher

    Is it the looking away that's bothering you? If that's the only problem, then I wouldn't worry about it. Some reasons a person might look away include not knowing where to look during a video call, being uncomfortable with eye contact or perceived eye contact, coming from a culture where it is rude to make prolonged eye contact, and naturally having eyes that move their focus away from you when the person is thinking.

Other student questions

Show all
Need help?