“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome,” Brene Brown. Vulnerability is our greatest measure of courage. In our daily work as teachers, we have to be vulnerable everyday! We become vulnerable when we learn more about our student’s personal lives. We become vulnerable when we have to learn more about our craft and make changes to our curriculum. We become vulnerable when we support our fellow colleagues. Being vulnerable is the inevitable result of the trust we must have in our colleagues and students alike.
When we are being vulnerable, we are also being authentic. In health class, it is essential to be vulnerable and authentic because of the curricular content. We are able to discuss the difficult content in an environment that has been cultivated to allow vulnerability. Establishing this environment gives students confidence and courage when they have questions about mental illness, drug education, and human sexuality. Show your students you care, build the relationships it takes to be vulnerable. It is also okay to show your students you are human by telling them you don’t know an answer, admitting this is modeling vulnerability.
According to Dr. Brene Brown, “being vulnerable, allows students to open up, leave their comfort zone, and learn in a more intentional, personal way.” Here are some ways in which you can build vulnerability in the classroom:
- Share your stories, hobbies, and likes/dislikes with your students.
- Admit when you are wrong or don’t know the answer.
- Consider how your personal experiences might help students navigate their own lives.
“We need to remain vulnerable; and celebrate those vulnerabilities as teachers.” Be courageous, take risks and be vulnerable!