Friday, 29 January 2016

Brookfield Chapter 1

How refreshing to read that there are some instructors who feel like “Impostors” (Brookfield, 2006) in the teaching world  .  I have never heard another instructor talk about these personal feelings before and I find it somewhat reassuring to know that I am not alone in my thoughts of this nature.  While being prepared and knowing “my stuff” I have experienced more feeling of inadequacy than I really care to admit.  I am new to the instructing arena and while I try not to be to brutal in destroying my fragile and inexperienced teaching ego, I am constantly aware of how much I have to learn to be an effective and “skillful” instructor.

I experienced the best and worst moment thus far in my short teaching career two years ago.  Coming off a bout of food poisoning, off to class I go.  I had diligently prepared my lesson plan and gathered my visual aids for a Brazilian waxing class and demonstration.  The theory based section of the class went well and it was time for the demo.  As I began, I quickly realized I had not used the particular kind of wax I had to use and it was performing vastly different from what I was familiar with.  In my 20+ years doing this service (hair removal is my specialty), I was struggling.  Both my poor model and I experienced painful and uncomfortable moments as I exposed her nether regions to more discomfort than necessary and I tried to overcome my humiliation at my technical difficulties and unpreparedness.  How had I missed this vital element in my preparation for this class?  I hadn’t given the wax a thought and so was forced to figure out how best to use this product before my eager audience.  It was my worst teaching experience because I was so embarrassed.  It was also the best because I learned a valuable lesson.  I will address and prepare for all elements of the lesson. 

Now I am grateful for this fully exposing teaching moment even thou I still shudder at the humiliation I felt, I actually think it was good for the students to see me struggle and figure out how to properly use this product, as they themselves will encounter a similar experience at some point in their Esthetics career.   They won’t always be familiar with every product out there and even being an expert, some days we will struggle. 

Brookfield, S. (2006). Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom {Jossey-bass Higher and Adult Education Series ; 2nd Ed.}. John Wiley & Sons, (US). p 12.

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