Comments on Brookfield Chapter 1: “Experiencing Teaching”

Brookfield states in is book entitled “The Skillful Teacher” ( 2015) …. “You need to recognize the fact that in the contexts in which you work, you are often the expert.”

The above statement is a good reminder to all teachers  – that although you may not always know everything about your particular lesson and/topic, learners will begin to look at you as an expert. In this case the best approach is to be honest and open about your level of knowledge without showing too much fear or lack of confidence. Chapter 1: Experiencing Learning ( Brookfield, 2015) provides some candid insight about teaching for the first time and how the experience can provide good learning for both new and seasoned teachers.

For instance,  Brookfield shares that he feels that most  teachers (deep down) at one time or another have felt they were not cut out for their role as a teacher.  He then explains how many teachers find themselves in either ‘awkward’ and/or ‘uncomfortable’ situations on what can seem like a regular basis and how although everything and anything can go wrong within a classroom setting – at pretty much any given time (including fist fights between students such as it did on one of Brookfield’s own early teaching experiences), there is always hope for the next class or session to go smoothly.

Brookfield believes new teachers can learn from these events and make better choices the next time as a result of their ‘awkward’ or ‘uncomfortable’ experiences (i.e.  what to do and what not to do when faced with similar difficult situations in future.  As in any given situation there is always a choice – one can either choose to either give in to this fear and revert back to their previous state of worry and fear or they can simply choose to learn from these experiences and move forward – hopefully not making the same mistake twice.

” Of course this experience can be embarrassing or demoralizing, making you resolve then and there you were not cut out for teaching and should quite as soon as possible. But at other times an intuitive “gut” response comes to you and you find yourself doing something you’ve never dreamed of doing before and being astounded that it actually has positive effects!” ( Brookfield, 2015, p. 3)



Brookfield, S.D., (2015). The Skillful Teacher, On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the

            Classroom. (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.



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