I have referenced this chapter many times in my previous self reflection assignments.
Here are a few quotes and summarized thoughts form The Skillful Teacher (Brookfield, 2015) that stood out for me.
"The elements necessary to being both authority and ally are credibility and authenticity." p.42
students value that the instructor is regarded as an expert. p.44
How is expertise displayed? This comes by as "being in the flow" - which I mention in previous posts. A behavior that indicates this is the unexpected student question.
I looked back at the courses I have taught and feel for the most part I have been an "expert" for some of them. The courses that I enjoy teaching are the ones I would consider myself to be an expert it. The ones I do not enjoy I am teacher and student at the same time (not as much fun). I have had fellow colleagues say that a teacher can teach any subject. This may be true but doesn't mean it will be taught or received well by the students. I prefer to teach a subject that I am comfortable with and I have seen that this is not always the case in the educational system and has been going on for years. A math teacher teaching a science class etc. I understand why but am wondering how we can make this better?
I found this paragraph to be very informative.
"Students appreciate it not only when the teacher knows the subject back and front but also when she is able to draw on a substantial history of teaching the course. Referring to strategies that did, or did not, work in previous courses, or providing plenty of appropriate examples, metaphor, or analogies that have proved in the past to help students understand complex ideas, are also important indicators to students." p.46
Being a new program this is something I would call growing pains. What I do find helps though is being current in the work place. This is one thing that I am worried about as I become further and further entrenched in education and away from the hospital. I value going back to the hospital and working and seeing the clinical setting and keeping up to date with my skills. I can't believe how much they have dropped off in 3 years (life long learning). I also find it valuable to go back so I can have more stories (personhood to help with the students learning).
"making explicit to learners one's rationale for teaching decisions." p.47
I have seen this occur first hand in class the frustration students feel when they don't know why they are doing something. Such comments as this is "a waste of my time, unfair, I don't get it" etc.
I have tried to incorporate this and it seems to help with the flow of the class. Explaining what I am doing, having students ask questions and making changes, if necessary based on the feedback of the class makes for a happy class!
" speaking out loud" p. 48
I recently experienced this in class where I broke down how I viewed the projections in class step by step. The response was fantastic! I didn't realize how important this step was to their learning. Multiple students responded on feedback forms that this is one thing that they wanted me to continue to do.
Common Indicators of Authenticity p.49
teachers are considered allies when "they clearly have student's interest at heart and wish to see them succeed." (Cranton, 2006)
being trustworthy, open and honest - Sometimes I feel this should be a given but every year I have to remind students I am not trying to trick them and that I want them to succeed so obviously somewhere in their previous educational experience they have felt they have been tricked and a teacher has not been trustworthy, open or honest.
Trust is developed by congruence, full disclosure, responsiveness and personhood. I couldn't agree more and I find this comes fairly natural to me and is something I am not trying to push right way. It takes time and consistency. I am trying to develop the relationship between student and teacher because this is something I value. I enjoy seeing the students succeed and getting to know them!
There is a specific task with a technologists' job that everyone finds scary the first time and that is in the Operating Room. I try to tell them stories (personhood) that I have had to show them that I made mistakes, got past them and improved. I feel lots of people don't mention their own mistakes because they are embarrassed and don't want to look like failures. I feel by telling my stories it will help the students through this difficult time and hopefully allow them to open up to their fellow classmates so they can lean on each other in the future. It is ok to make mistakes just learn from them. I guess this would be called mentorship as well.
As mentioned above I really enjoyed this chapter as it really helped me think about what I was doing in the classroom and how the students' perceive it.
Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The skillful teacher: on technique, trust, and responsiveness in the classroom. Jossey-Bass.
Cranston, P. (Ed.) (2006) Authenticity in Teaching. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, No.111, Fall 2006. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.