How to Deal When You're Shy But Class Participation Is Part of Your Grade

When you're shy, mandatory class participation can make or break your grade.

As much as you just want to remain invisible, keep your head down and do your work, that's not how all classes operate. Don't let introversion get in the way of your grades by following the steps below. Participating doesn't have to be as hard as it seems.

1. Really, really do your homework. Participating in class isn't always fun, but if you know the material like the back of your hand, it'll be a lot easier. Thorough knowledge of the subject will mean you're armed with everything you need so that when your teacher asks questions, you'll at least have ideas.

2. If there's one point you really want to make it class, make sure to write it down so you don't forget it. You can even read it directly off your paper if you get nervous. Better yet, write down a bunch of points, just in case someone says yours before you get the chance to do so.

3. When you get the chance to speak, get to the point. Demonstrate that you understand the topic and make your argument quickly and concisely. You won't have to talk for as long, and you'll have a shorter time window to make any mistakes within.

Patrick raising his hand on SpongeBob

(SpongeBob SquarePants via United Plankton Pictures)

4. If you can, sit toward the front of the room. If you're closer to the teacher, they'll be more likely to spot you first on the rare occasions that you raise your hand. Since they see you more, they might also think you're more active in class.

5. Don't get discouraged. Sometimes, you just won't get called on no matter how long you've been raising your hand. It's tough when you don't want to in the first place, but keep at it.

6. Don't be afraid to be the only person raising your hand. If you're positive that you know the answer, volunteer. You're pretty much guaranteed to get your points for the day.

7. Look around the classroom. If the other kids can speak up in class, you definitely can, too. And they're not so tough. There's nothing to be afraid of.

8. Try to participate every day. The more you do it, the more you'll realize it's not the end of the world, and the easier it'll get.

Violet hiding in The Incredibles

(The Incredibles via Walt Disney Pictures)

9. Don't worry about the other students. They're not the ones giving you the grade. Instead, focus on making sure the teacher knows that you know your stuff.

10. We won't deny that making a mistake when you speak aloud in class is the worst. But no matter how much it might make your heart sink, know that everyone else makes mistakes, too. You'll survive it, and the next time it happens, it won't sting half as much.

11. Lastly, use participation time in class as an opportunity to be heard. It can be scary to speak your heart and mind in class, but it can be rewarding to get people to listen and empathize with you.


If you totally relate, click HERE for 11 embarrassing things that happen while you're taking a test at school.