Celebrate: Vulnerabilities

A whole week at school is something to celebrate.  Beginnings are exciting and scary. Everyone is feeling out how the year will go. How much is expected and what can I expect from others, my friends, my community, myself. Who will support me? What is my role here? How do I fit in?  Can I be me?

All of that’s being sifted through. These questions are especially significant for the new kids. There are four.  The others have been together for years. There are pluses and minuses to having a history.

The newness is starting to wear off, and the weak spots are showing.

We’ve been doing a lot of writing.

“How do you spell…tarantula…pediatrian…conquer…”

“I’m not sure. Let me look it up on my phone,” I say.

“You don’t know?! ”

“Spelling can be hard. I have to double check,” I say.

We shared stories, and I told the story of being a bully.


“Yes, me,” I say.

This story sticks with me, and it brings out their stories of being less than.

We shared our reading histories. I shared the story of not being a reader for a very long time. Of the book I found that made me realize reading could be good, and the very long period it took to find the next one that matched that same feeling.

“Guys, I wasn’t always a reader. It took time, and lots of trying things out, looking for that just right book,” I say.


“Yes, me. I wasn’t a reader for a long time,” I say.

This week vulnerabilities started to show.

I think this book isn’t right for me.

I’m a slow reader.

It’s hard for me to write.

“Me too,” I say.


“Yes, me.”

This week I celebrate sharing vulnerabilities that open us up to real beginnings.

celebrate link up

Thank you, Ruth, for creating a place to celebrate. Read more celebrations and contribute your own here.

17 thoughts on “Celebrate: Vulnerabilities

  1. This Is such a lovely post! Sharing your personal vulnerabilities makes it ok for the students to do the same. Oh the trust and community you are building!!! I love it! You are doing the hard work!!

  2. It helps to hear that we are human, that we weren’t hatched as fully-formed perfect English teachers who already knew everything and did everything right. We have weaknesses and gaps and loads of learning yet to do. It’s good for them – and for us – to continue to model that we’re learners, too. Enjoy the weekend. May we all feel refreshed and ready for another week with our students on Monday!

  3. I love how you shared the snippets of thinking and growing that are evidence week one in YOUR class was not just a slow entry into the year….rather it was really about learning about each other…and growing as readers and writers.

  4. Your honesty in sharing who you really are will make your classroom a place of safety and authenticity. That is something to celebrate.

  5. Isn’t it exciting when we allow ourselves to share our own story with our students. It’s so fun to see their eyes light up or better yet like your experiences that you shared. Thanks for sharing your first week celebrations.

  6. Letting our students see who we really are is so important. I love the way you’ve written this with snippets of your conversations with students and their disbelief that you (who they probably see as being infallible) could have once been someone else.

  7. Beautifully crafted, Julieanne, “You?” “Yes, me!” Those conversations allowing everyone in the community to show, as you say, “vulnerabilities” starts that warm, safe environment that leads to risk-taking. It sounds like a very good week! Have a restful weekend, too.

  8. You have given your students a new lens in which to view their teacher. Sounds like a great way to begin the year. Love the way you included the snips of conversations!

  9. Julieanne – once again you NAIL the beauty of sharing our own learning paths, the real deal, the “yes, it is hard and I have not always been who I am today and I still am learning many things” parts of our teacher selves. Thank you for a beautiful post on exactly that! What a perfect beginning!

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