Image obtained from Google.ca
By Marwa Kotb.
Educators spend long hours reviewing their syllabuses, make sure that they made enough policies to address all classroom issues. Yet there are no syllabuses or policies that can ever make the classroom totally perfect. Brookfield the author of the text book “The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the classroom” described our job as “a gloriously messy pursuit” (p. 1), where educators had to deal with ambiguity and shocking difficulties that attend into their classrooms such as internet connection and technical failures, and students behavioral problems. What makes things sound worse is that “teaching is situational” (Brookfield, 2015, p.3), in many cases what works in one class may not work in another.
As an adult educator, I believe that mess and risk are natural companions to teaching that promotes adaptability and enhance educator’s experience (Hudler, 2013, October 14). That wasn’t my initial belief, but as years passed I understood that educators learn skills from mess more often than pedagogy and textbooks. Those gained skills help us to resolve our own teaching problems in our very own individual ways. Risk is part of our job as educators that we should promote, I recall how many times I took risks during my programming sessions and changed the planned programming code because a student came up with an idea that I thought it might work correctly at the moment. At each of these times I felt vulnerable, but though it encouraged many students to become risk takers and try new programming codes with no fear.
At the end of this post, I advise educators to “remain vulnerable and even celebrate their vulnerabilities as teachers.” (Durnsife, 2014, January 30). We all must be aware that there are no clear rubrics or rules that could guarantee an optimum classroom and we might frequently have that messy and unpredictable classroom that would help us grow our experience if we analyze our practices and continuously communicate with our student. At this point we could develop what Brookfield called our own “truths of teaching” (Brookfield, 2015, p.8).
- Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the classroom (3rd ed.) .San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Durnsife, R. (2014, January 30). Good Teaching as Vulnerable Teaching. FACULTY FOCUS. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/good-teaching-vulnerable-teaching/
- Hudler, M. (2013, October 14). The Messy and Unpredictable Classroom. FACULTY FOCUS. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/the-messy-and-unpredictable-classroom/