One can certainly be kind without being vulnerable, but often an act of vulnerability with other person is a great kindness. This doesn’t mean you need to run out and share your deepest fears and sadness with relative strangers in the name of kindness. In fact, please don’t do that, you’ll get some appropriately alarmed reactions. But, if someone you care about shares their fears with you, be honored that they chose you to share with, and respond with empathy and openness.
Similarly, when a child or young adult decides to share something that is important to them with you, listen to them. Really listen. If they ask for advice tell them about your experiences and let them know they’re not alone. Can you imagine classrooms that are run with this in mind? I can because I’ve seen them in action. There are many amazing teachers out there teaching their students to be kind, open, appropriately vulnerable, and honest. As an adult, simply just showing that you’re human and make mistakes too is an act of vulnerability and often an act of kindness as well.
Be kind always, and be vulnerable when appropriate. Openness and empathy lead to happy children and consequently, to happy learners.
The joy of learning. Together.