If I were a good blogger I'd link to a post on The Introvert's Corner about this, but it's late and I'm tired and I'm only posting this tonight because I'm competing (with myself?) to post daily for 30 days. So if someone finds the post please link it in the comments.
Going from memory:
The definition of introvert is someone who gains energy from quiet. Socializing with groups is draining, alone time or best friend time is restoring.
The definition of shy is someone who is anxious about social situations.
For me, and I think for many introverts, I'm totally comfortable sitting back and listening. This evening I was content to munch on my brownie and listen to people talk about flight costs to Florida. I didn't have anything to add to that conversation so I was happy to listen. Then when the conversation turned to it being a big deal for even young kids to miss school, I jumped in because I cared about the topic and had something to contribute. I think the difference is that someone who is shy would want to speak up, but wouldn't because of anxiety. Anyone who's talked to me about teaching could easily mistake me for an extrovert, but the difference is that I come home and need to recharge, where an extrovert would be charged up from that experience. There are shy extroverts and completely non-anxious introverts and everything in between.
I'm curious how many teachers are introverts vs. how many teachers online are introverts. Socializing on my own terms from my couch is this introvert's dream. Thanks for being there whenever I'm interested in having conversations and for letting me only participate in the ones I care about without calling me awkward (at least not to my face!).