THRIVE by Valuing Vulnerability

For me, my favorite chapter of Aaron Hogan's Shattering the Perfect Teacher Myth was Chapter 5: Valuing Vulnerability. He focuses on destroying the myth that the best teachers have all the answers, which is definitely one that I battle with every day. In fact, if you look back to the first time I did a project-based unit I struggled with my role changing from a 'sage on the stage' to a 'guide on the side':

"By the end of the project, I was surprised at how much they were getting out of the project that didn’t involve me directly teaching. As self-centered as that sounds, its true. I grew up with teachers that stood up and directly explained worried me that maybe the students didn’t learn anything from the research, but I know from their passionate conversations, presentations, and eagerness to complete the project that they did get something meaningful out of it. (Original Post)"

As I read through the chapter, I couldn't help but reflect on how I have grown as a teacher and how I have started to accept my vulnerability more and more. Honestly, I feel that integrating technology in my classroom is what pushed me to admit that I don't have all the answers. Because technology is so unpredictable and always changing, it requires you to be flexible and exposes your vulnerabilities. Nothing says 'vulnerable' like when the WiFi goes out or when your project fails! I found that I started building a stronger rapport with my students when they see my vulnerability and see me fail. Of course, it isn't easy to failure so I created this blog to help me reflect through mistakes.

In the chapter, I really appreciated the tips that Hogan gave to help teachers truly value their vulnerability as teachers and I wish I had these when I was a new teacher. He even discusses how empathy is a powerful tool and how it should be used to help support our fellow colleagues. If we are valuing vulnerability, we should be sure that we are empathetic and understanding to others vulnerabilities so we can all learn together.

While I have improved on celebrating my failures and mistakes and showing vulnerability to my students, Hogan provided a powerful reminder that being open and empathic is the power behind innovation.

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