I just finished reading Chapter 1 Experiencing Teaching of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher”. I found it very easy to read and couldn’t believe that the chapter was already over. I especially liked how Brookfield explained how he took away the performance-anxiety barriers for his students to encourage participation in discussion. By letting his learners know that he also feels nervous participating in discussions and do not feel you need to speak in order to gain his approval and that there will no presumption of failure if you say nothing at all. It appears it worked wonderfully. I enjoyed his metaphor “teaching as white water rafting” (p, 5). He refers to this because there are periods of calm that are interspersed with sudden turbulence. I think that we all have days we just want to quit, but we don’t. The rewarding experience of teaching outweighs these sorts of days.
The next important point in Chapter 1 was how to get teachers to learn from their experiences. Brookfield suggests that “simply having experiences does not imply that they are reflected on, understood, or analyzed critically” (2015, p.12). Instructors should be sharing their own experiences with each other, helping each other to take a critical perspective, reflecting on this and then putting this to action.