The Skillful Teacher: Experiencing Teaching


By Marwa Kotb.

A skillful teacher isn’t just an educator filling a student’s head with information, Brookfield started his textbook “The Skillful Teacher” with the fact that there are no clear guidelines or rubrics to help teachers “deal with the unexpected contingencies” (Brookfield, 2015, p.2). I totally agree with the author, my first beliefs that any problem I face in my classroom would be resolved through the correct pedagogy, and though some of the theoretical solutions I obtained were incredibly powerful but when applied I didn’t achieve the desired results.

An important quote caught my attention is that “the key to being a good college teacher is regularly collecting data from your students” (Brookfield, 2015, p.8), unfortunately many educators provide one or two feedbacks to evaluate their courses usually by the mid and end of the term, a common educator complaint is to hear that students didn’t take the process seriously, I believe that occurred because our students think that no matter what suggestions or complains they add nothing will change, as a result educators don’t rely on information provided to guide their decisions (Wiemer, 2013, May22), but if educators collect data on weekly basis as suggested by the author and convince their students that feedbacks matter by discussing their content and even responding to good suggestions, I believe the process will be successful and will enhance students’ learning.

By the end of the chapter Brookfield proposes that we need to consider our experiences more seriously to help us solve the teaching dilemma (2015), even our experiences as students can be used to deepen understandings of ourselves as educators and guide us “how to make the conditions under which our students will learn”(2015, p.13). I find the proposal insightful and asked myself are we as educators taking advantage of validity of our “instincts, intuitions and insights “(Brookfield, 2015, p.13), perhaps its time for us to step back and see our experiences more objectively and understand how our teaching experience evolving. Most of us as educators have heard the benefits of reflection but still confused as what that means and how they go about doing it. I will end this post with an intriguing thought written by the author “the starting point for dealing with teachers’ problems should be teachers’ own experiences” (2015, p.11).


Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the classroom (3rd ed.) .San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Weimer, M. (2013, May 22). How to Get Better Feedback from Students. FACULTY FOCUS. Retrieved from

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