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According to Chapter 2 of Pose, Wobble, Flow, by taking on the pose of Teacher as

Hacker, teachers can model for their students how acknowledging and embracing

vulnerability, uncertainty, and change makes for a more worthwhile and welcoming

learning environment. Although I was initially skeptical of this idea— the thought of

hacking the traditional banking system of education strongly went against the mix of Asian

and Catholic old-fashioned ideals and educational expectations upon which I was raised—

my continued field experience and increasingly innovative, enlightening colleagues and

courses have taught me that it is unrealistic for teachers to function as unerring authority

figures. It is inevitable that we will make mistakes, that we will have to confess to not

knowing something; rather than feeling ashamed, however, we can use this uncertainty to

promote a class culture which values vulnerable learning.

“Teachers who foster vulnerable learning create… conditions in which students can

claim and exercise their own power as learners” (Garcia & O’Donnell-Allen, 2015, p. 36). A

new transformative potential is achieved when teachers discard their strict, safety-net solo

expert roles and instead present themselves to students as open, risk-taking, collaborative

facilitators slash ongoing learners. Doing so sets the stage for an engaging and relevant

dialogic curriculum in a “safe-to” rather than a “safe-from” space.

Operating such a liberal format is not without difficulty; that is, teachers must

commit to constant modeling and scaffolding, relationship building, and pausing for

reflection to make things work. The hard work pays off, though. It paves the way for a

connected learning model in which students and teachers are colleagues united in their

pursuit of all sorts of knowledge; this model “emphasizes a production-centered view of

learning that repositions students as makers of artifacts they value while at the same time
developing their literacy practices” (Garcia & O’Donnell-Allen, 2015, p. 41). The leaders of

tomorrow should not be passive learners, but active changemakers. Therefore, it is

imperative that we as teachers team up with students and use our shared expertise,

resources, and networks to design projects and solutions that span both academic literacy

learning and civic engagement.

Innovating the curriculum is critical for teachers to teach with a maker mindset. We

cannot work towards our vision of creating an interest-driven, production-centered

collaboration if we do not break the limiting constraints of standard curricula. We have to

“keep our students’ needs, our teaching contexts, and our own personal standards foremost

in mind” (Garcia & O’Donnell-Allen, 2015, p. 48). As long as we hit the standards and

answer essential questions, how we address instruction is relatively free. Twenty-first

century learning demands are so diverse, so teachers should aim to include a wide range of

texts and a combination of traditional and modern assignments/assessments to teach

literacy. Although uncreative teaching is easy to fall back on, teachers who opt to hack the

curriculum for more fun, authentic, and equitable purposes “create the possibility of new

things entering the world” (Garcia & O’Donnell-Allen, 2015, p. 53).