The vulnerability of the teacher…..being vulnerable to allow the children to take risks
Catherine Camden Pratt
Being vulnerable is not what we as ECE’s strive for. We want to be in control, to have the answer. We want to be professional, and professionals know. Vulnerability means admitting to uncertainty, putting ourselves in a position where everything might go sideways.
I know I’ve felt it. That if I let something go, a rule, or a routine, it will be a slippery slope and all hell will break loose. I will lose all semblance of credibility as a teacher.
Here’s what happened today. Big chunks of clay were on a piece of plastic on the floor on alongside small cups of water. Children approached it carefully, uncertain. They ran their fingers over the block, feeling the coolness, the texture. Melanie picked up the cup and poured it slowly over the block of clay, then felt it again noticing how the texture had changed. She poked a finger into it making a hole, then another.
More children joined Melanie, and more poured water over the clay until the cups were empty. Then the ECE did an amazing thing. She brought out a bigger tub of water. Children plunged their hands into the water and slopped more on the clay. The water ran in rivulets down the plastic, creating puddles dampening clothes, shoes and socks. Melanie took a cup to the sink and filled it again, bringing it back to the clay, pouring it over the blocks. Again and again she traipsed back and forth to the sink, refilling her cup, pouring it more and more water over the clay.
And you know what? All hell did not break loose. The room did not flood, no one drowned.
The ECE did not look unprofessional, she looked amazing.