Wondering Vulnerably in Public

Do your students know how you, the teacher, write? Can they catch you somewhere in the middle of your own learning process, doubting, wondering, as a vulnerable human far from the know-all/authority in the subject ideal? #

Here’s what I wrote in response1: #

I’ve discovered that more and more, I’m wondering in public. I’m wondering on Twitter, or via Evernote, or here on the blog, or in a half dozen other places, and it’s beautiful.  It’s messy and scary and contagious and weird – and it’s okay. #

I used to be afraid of my words being seen or overseen or misunderstood.  Now, certain that they will be all of those things, I am less concerned. #

That’s a certain shift – perhaps because of age or maybe overconfidence or just because of comfort with myself – but I’m less concerned about your reaction to my thinking. #

No. That’s not right. As a writer and a teacher, I’m very concerned with your reaction to my thinking expressed via my words. But I’m less concerned with that reaction interfering with my ability to understand myself. That is to say – I’m okay with my thinking. And I’m growing more okay if you’re not so okay with it.

So, in writing to learn today, I learned a little bit about myself.  That’s good. Thanks, Claudia, for the great prompt.
You can read all the responses from the group, too, if you’d like.
  1. Most of this I wrote earlier.  I polished and embellished a little before publishing here. []

6 thoughts on “Wondering Vulnerably in Public

  1. Earlier today, when you tweeted the link to the Google document, I was getting ready to go to work. I felt glad and yet sorry I had to go out. Anyway, it’s been worth waiting for the evening to read at ease.

    Your response is so beautiful. I think that choosing to be a teacher is a decision, a choice of viewpoint to life, to how you decide to learn and grow as a person. Being in front of people who are younger, less experienced, can often deform the reality that it is a bit of a coincidence who happens to be the teacher and who the learner.

    In a very shelfish, obscure corner of myself, I’m feeling glad I had a role to play in your learning today. It makes me less vulnerable to know we are more even. 😉

    Thank you, Bud. Wish I had been there.

  2. I’ve noticed a similar “letting go” in the nascent stages of my blogging life. I do, however, tend to be more guarded of that process around my students. I intend to work on that, not least of all by joining my Senior Humanities Students in creating a Capstone Project next year. I’m hopeful that by doing the same kind of work alongside them that they themselves are doing, that I will allow them the kinds of glances into my process that Claudia was asking about.

    Thanks – as usual a thought-provoking post!

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