How Vulnerability Can Make Your Classroom a Safer Place

Today Michelle Cottrell-Williams @WakeHistory applies Brene Brown's research on vulnerability to make her classroom a safer place. Motivate yourself to be more authentic with your students as we talk about vulnerability, shame, and guilt in the classroom.

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In today's show, we'll discuss:

  • How students and teachers can practice vulnerability in a way that brings positive results
  • How to combat shame
  • A powerful “just because” poetry lesson to promote authenticity and vulnerability
  • The biggest mistakes teachers make that harms student trust
  • Defining vulnerability

I hope you enjoy this episode with Michelle!

Selected Links from this Episode


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Full Bio


Michelle Cottrell-WilliamsMichelle Cotrell-Williams

Michelle Cottrell-Williams @WakeHistory has taught in the Social Studies Department at Wakefield High School in Arlington, VA since 2006. Her favorite classes to teach are Sociology and ESOL World History II. Michelle is the Social Studies Department Chair, co-Instructional Lead Teacher, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2017. She strives to model vulnerability and empathy so that her students leave her classroom each day a little braver than the day before.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere