This term along with the controversially known “ghost children”, refers to that ‘quiet child’ who blends into the background, never causes any trouble and just gets on with things and goes with the flow. Sounds great, however they often go unnoticed in lesson.
They are called ‘invisible’, as teachers spend 80% of their time preoccupied with the “naughty” or “bright” pupils. This is a real shame as those ‘invisible children’ probably have the most potential who just need to be challenged.
Ways to bring these children into the foreground include:
- Give these pupils specific responsibilities such as handing out books, being a tool monitor etc.
- Ask them to read out a passage of some text (many pupils have surprised me with this at how willing they are and welcome the chance to be in the limelight!)
- Target these pupils in question and answer sessions.
- Hold up creditable work these pupils have done and use them as positive examples.
- Have a little chat with them at appropriate times during the lesson about their interests and hobbies, or just show an interest in who they are.
So next time you look around your classroom, make an effort to have a conversation with these children, ask them how their day was, what their favourite subject is, praise them on their amazing drawing etc. I know it works, as I’ve seen the difference first hand! I chose a selection of ‘invisibles’ from my classes, made a conscientious effort to bring them into the limelight and now some have really managed to come out of their shell! It won’t work with everyone as some are naturally introverts and like it that way, but it’s rewarding seeing pupils blossom and feeling that pride in knowing that you have such a positive effect on a child’s life!