To my child’s teacher,

As the year is just zipping by, I wanted to make sure I got my thank you in. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. A teacher’s job is not an easy one.

Since I have your ear, I would like to talk about my daughter. As you are probably aware, she is a wonderful child with a sweet smile and big heart.

Oh, and another thing you may have noticed: my kid is an introvert.

In my day, many people considered introverts to be weird.

Others believed they were outcasts.

Still others figured they never had any opinions or original thoughts.

Being an introvert myself, I resent all these common misconceptions.

As we have learned throughout the years, our children are worth more than just a “tag” put on them. All kids have the right to their own unique personalities.

When I was in fifth grade, my parents were called to a meeting with my teacher and school counselor.

“She doesn’t talk,” was their concern.

My dad, an introvert himself, put their fears to rest quickly. Maybe too quickly.

“Who cares she doesn’t like to talk much, maybe she is smarter than all of you!” he said.

(Thanks, Pop!)

My dad was supportive of my unique personality—as I am now with my own daughter.

Introverts may seem like they need no attention at all. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth! They need it and crave it. It is just that many of them are shy about being at the center of it.

For instance, my daughter enjoys art. She may not feel comfortable in telling you right away, but she will show you through her work. When she is in a creative mood, there is no stopping her. She loves feedback and compliments. In fact, she thrives on them. Any word of encouragement or loving gesture does not go unnoticed—even if she is not able to voice her personal appreciation right away.

Since day one, I have encouraged my daughter to speak up. It has taken some time, but she is starting to find that voice.

This may surprise you this coming year, as an introvert can go from quiet to chatty in a matter of seconds. Yes, it is possible! I like to attribute this to their passion. They love to talk about what they are passionate about. They will let you know their interests. It just may take them a little while to open up about them. They prefer to do so in their own time.

My daughter will be turning nine soon—which puts her on the cusp of typical tween drama stage. She knows to treat others with respect and dignity. She knows to be a friend when needed.

However, many times introverts need assistance and encouragement using their voices in scary situations like bullying. This is where a wonderful teacher comes in with guidance, love and support through it all. Introverts sometimes need the push in being brave about doing the right thing.

I do not want my child to be overlooked amongst the louder and brasher set. She has feelings, as all children do.

They know what is like to feel left out and misunderstood. We should all be blessed with that kind of empathy!

I certainly hope you both have a great year together.

I am excited to see all that’s in store this year. Just please, dear teacher, don’t forget that introverted child in your class. She just happens to be mine and I love her very much.

I am sure you will, too.

Sincerely,
Proud mom of an awesome little introvert

Kathleen Sullivan

I am a freelance writer and full-time mom. My work has appeared on: The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Brain, Child Magazine, Mamalode xoJane, Parentco., Mommyish and Your Tango. I can also be found blogging at: http://www.threekidsonehusbandandabottleofwine.com/