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Our typical focus on this journal and podcast is on students — advocating for their agency and authority over their own education. We’re taking a brief diversion with this installment and instead focusing on the needs of teachers. No, it’s not a selfish approach to demand for compliance out of students. Instead, it’s a look at when teachers need to be open and honest with students if they are to establish an environment in the classroom that encourages the sort of agency we normally discuss.

For some teachers, creating a classroom environment that encourages trust, understanding, experimentation, and risk can be tricky. Each of those characteristics requires a degree of vulnerability, and that can come at a cost — sometimes a tangible one — when people open up and share with their colleagues. This episode of HybridPod explores that decision to be open, for teachers to tell students about themselves, particularly about their sexuality. As we’ll hear, this maddeningly complex decision has to be made again and again with each set of students we encounter, at each institution where we work, in the context of each class discussion. It’s a tough situation to manage, and it deserves careful consideration.

To help us examine these scenarios, I speak with Greg Curran from Pushing the Edge and Paul France from InspirEd about how, when, and why they opt for openness in their classes.

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