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How Teachers Can Help ‘Quiet Kids’ Tap Their Superpowers

When Lily Shum was little, she dreaded speaking up in class. It wasn’t because she didn’t have anything interesting to say, or because she wasn’t paying attention or didn’t know the answer. She was just quiet.

“Every single report card that I ever had says, ‘Lily needs to talk more. She is too quiet,’ ” recalls Shum, now an assistant director at Trevor Day School in Manhattan.

She doesn’t want her students to feel the pressure to speak up that she felt.

That’s why she’s joined more than 60 educators in New York City recently at the Quiet Summer Institute. The professional development workshop was based on Susan Cain’s bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.