Perhaps more now than at any other time in modern history, our students need a feeling of connectedness at school. They need to feel seen, heard, understood, and known in our classrooms. And it begins with us. As middle and high school teachers, we have the power to inspire a whole new level of engagement with the students in front of us. David Rockower argues that the key to positive student relationships lies in our capacity to teach with vulnerability—to bring our authentic selves into the classroom.
David identifies three dimensions of what it means to teach with vulnerability (personal, relational, and dialogic), and shows what each of these dimensions look like in the classroom. Action steps teachers can take to implement the qualities of vulnerable teaching are offered alongside student activities that build trust, engagement, and community. Most importantly, David illustrates the transformational impact on student learning that results when teachers lean into their own discomfort and share personal stories, write with their students, and navigate difficult classroom conversations.