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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    What does 'vulnerable' mean in the following context?


    A good teacher is vulnerable.


    Vulnerable – Allowing your students to gain insight into your life without revealing a lot.


    Vulnerability allows students to relate to their teachers as they share in common interests such as sports, television, etc.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #2

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    Where did you get the sentence from?

    "Vulnerable" is normally associated with something negative i.e. being susceptible to attack, criticism, temptation, etc.
    The two meanings you have given don't seem to fit the sentence.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    Where did you get the sentence from?

    "Vulnerable" is normally associated with something negative i.e. being susceptible to attack, criticism, temptation, etc.
    The two meanings you have given don't seem to fit the sentence.
    I got it from here: http://teaching.about.com/od/Informa...od-Teacher.htm

    Was this article written by a non-native English speaker?

    And this is what I found about the educational backgrund of the author of the article:

    Derrick Meador attended Oklahoma State University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education - Middle Level Science. Derrick also attended Northeastern State University where he earned a Master's degree in Educational Leadership. He is certified in Oklahoma for elementary education, middle level science, physical education, elementary principal, middle school principal and high school principal.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #4

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    A good teacher is vulnerable.

    Vulnerable – Allowing your students to gain insight into your life without revealing a lot.

    Vulnerability allows students to relate to their teachers as they share in common interests such as sports, television, etc.
    I do not agree with the use of the word "vulnerable" in the above sentences.
    I think "approachable" and "approachability" would have been more suitable.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. kilroy65's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    I got it from here: http://teaching.about.com/od/Informa...od-Teacher.htm

    Was this article written by a non-native English speaker?
    There is a sentence in the introductory part of the article which is ungrammatical:
    "Good teachers are made up of a combination of hundreds of qualities that allow them do their job effectively."

    I agree with tedmc's opinion regarding word choice.

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    #6

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    A poor teacher is more vulnerable than a good one IMO. A bad teacher might allow students to gain insights into their life without revealing a lot, but even if this were true of a good teacher, the students would only learn positive things, which would not make him or her vulnerable. If you cannot be attacked, you aren't vulnerable.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    Quote Originally Posted by kilroy65 View Post
    There is a sentence in the introductory part of the article which is ungrammatical:
    "Good teachers are made up of a combination of hundreds of qualities that allow them do their job effectively."
    This seems a simple typo to me. I make a ton of typing mistakes, but it doesn't mean I don't have a grasp of English grammar. It should have been caught by an editor, but let's not make assumptions.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    I think I have a different understanding of vulnerable than some others here. Maybe "open" and "authentic" are good choices too, but it means the teacher won't seem like a solid wall of perfection, but admits that there are things they struggle with - they show they are "real people."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I think I have a different understanding of vulnerable than some others here. Maybe "open" and "authentic" are good choices too, but it means the teacher won't seem like a solid wall of perfection, but admits that there are things they struggle with - they show they are "real people."
    I think it's again about differences in BrE and AmE (but this meaning of 'vulnerable' hasn't been fixed in dictionaries yet, right?).
    I like this meaning and I try to be 'vulnerable' (= more open) with my students in this meaning of the word, telling them about some details of my life not directly related to the material under study. This helps to buld a good rapport with the students, at least I believe so.
    Last edited by englishhobby; 26-Mar-2016 at 18:44.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Meaning of 'vulnerable'

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    telling them about some details of my life not directly related to the material under study.
    I would not use the word "vulnerable" for this.

    Vulnerable shows some sort of (potential) weakness. Simply sharing that you went skiing over the holiday or that you have a cat named "Mojo" doesn't make you vulnerable. Saying "I was always worried about how people would perceive my English when I first started using it - would my accent be too strong?Would they laugh at me?" -- that shows vulnerability.

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