In our current global situation of quarantining at home and learning virtually, the most essential skill to educating students is vulnerability. Our current situation is one that has not happened before and makes educators and students feel afraid, stressed, and anxious. Educators often feel the need to seem like they have it all together so student’s will not know they are afraid or anxious. I once heard a presenter say that educators should leave their problems in the car when arriving at school so that student’s will not see them struggle but students learn from what is modeled and if educators model apathy then students will not learn how to deal with their emotions. David Brooks recently wrote an article titled “Student Learn From People They Love” (source). He states that if teachers show vulnerability, students will be able to connect with them on a personal level and will thus learn more from them as an educator because they have connected emotionally. Brooks states that an older view of educators is that “if you wanted to be rational and think well, you had to suppress those primitive gremlins, the emotions. Teaching consisted of dispassionately downloading knowledge into students’ brains” (source). However, in our current situation, we have seen numerous stories of teachers heroically overcoming so much in order to passionately care for and educate their students. Brooks discusses various research but concludes with the realization that “what teachers really teach is themselves — their contagious passion for their subjects and students. It reminded us that children learn from people they love, and that love in this context means willing the good of another, and offering active care for the whole person” (source). An educator’s vulnerability helps students feel connected and encourages them to learn. Students can also interact with each other through the same type of vulnerability. This type of teaching and learning has been named social emotional learning. Click here to read the entire article by David Brooks.
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Image source, The New York Times
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