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UVM Theses and Dissertations

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Format:
Print
Author:
Way, Jennifer Lyn
Dept./Program:
DEPARTMENT HERE
Year:
2018
Degree:
MEd
Abstract:
Few words have the power to make people both cringe in fear and lean forward, fascinated to know more. This thesis focuses on one such word: vulnerability. Through the Scholarly Personal Narrative writing format, I explore what vulnerability means to me and how my understanding has changed. I examine how vulnerability in my life helped refine me into a wiser, more compassionate, teacher. Teaching requires vulnerability, a willingness to risk failure and accept mistakes for what they really are: lessons to create a connection among other humans. This thesis portrays how I have come to understand and accept vulnerability as a major component of my teaching practice. I illustrated my journey of vulnerability, using the pattern, “From There, To Here, Now Where?” First, I share stories of my past, to examine my first experiences of potential vulnerability as an adult. These sections describe how those uncomfortable situations led me to question the more traditional, lecture-style teaching I absorbed through formal education. In the “To Here” chapter, I share stories of how I developed a greater understanding of vulnerability through the graduate courses I chose. These sections demonstrate my evolving need for communication and connection—two vital aspects of vulnerable teaching. Lastly, I convey what I expect to take with me into my future career, emphasizing “Now Where,” by looking forward. I shared my idea for a new, creative organization, highlights from my job search, and how my mindset has changed by accepting vulnerability. In closing, I offer a collection of universalizable statements I learned through this process. This thesis chronicles my journey to accept vulnerability both personally and professionally. I found that teaching and vulnerability are intrinsically linked, and without the strength to be vulnerable, I am not an effective teacher. However, by being open to vulnerability, I may change the world for someone.