Brookfield – Chapter 1

I have something to admit: I am not a big fan of textbooks. I have been out of university for quite some time now and I am not used to reading such “heavy” text, but I find that Brookfield has a great sense of humour! I am really enjoying his style and wit. I think he would be a fun teacher to have and I can clearly see how he has evolved as a teacher.

I greatly appreciate Brookfield’s honesty about such things as his racism and his preconceived notions that he had in his earlier years of teaching. It really shows you how your upbringing and surroundings impact who you become. However, what I appreciate even more is his ability to recognize those views and to change them. That takes grit, courage and determination.

I particularly enjoyed the section in Chapter 1 about muddling through. Sometimes I really feel like I am  botching a lesson, only to have someone remark that they had no idea that I was struggling! Talk about some fancy footwork! I have always been a real champion for teachers admitting shortcomings and recognizing that we cannot know everything. No one knows everything and I think it takes true strength to admit and recognize that and to be open to criticism and to learn from it.

I also really identified with some of the truths that he noted at the end of Chapter 1. I also think that this is an important exercise in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and building on them. I think I will try to develop my own teaching mantra and truths… this should be amusing! I’ll post them in a few weeks.



Signing off,




Brookfield, S. (2015). The Skillful Teacher on Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Gear Review – Duffel Bags & Packing Cubes

Duffel Bag Gear Review… handy to have!

Sail Nelson

Next gear review for trip prep: duffel bags & packing cubes!

Just as your foul weather gear selection is important, so is the bag that you use to transport everything. When I was living on a boat in Georgian Bay I used to drag around a hockey bag of all my things. Ridiculous! It was huge, impractical and way too bulky and awkward for me.

There have been many advancements in the functionality and fabrics used for duffel bags and luggage since the days when I dragged around my hockey bag. Again, I need to make my wish list to know what to look for:

  • large enough for foulies & boots
  • large zipper for access to entire bag
  • waterproof (ideal, but not mandatory)
  • laundry section (ideal, but not mandatory)
  • backpack straps
  • tough fabric (for rips, tears and throwing around)
  • bright colour (again, not mandatory, but ideal for standing out and…

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Fitness: Getting Started & Variety

Sail Nelson

If you are like me, when it comes to your fitness routine you do a variety of things to keep yourself in shape and balanced. It might include yoga, strength work, running, sports, meditation and maybe even regular massage or chiropractor visits.

As I have my trip coming up this summer, I’m starting to work more on a regular fitness routine which includes stability, balance and core strength.

I previously shared a post of a home workout that Coach Lydia Di Francesco put together for Sail Nelson called A Sailor’s Workout. This is a great, fast and easy 15 min workout which can be used as a warm up to your day, or even a quick lunch workout.

But wait, there’s more!

I also have a few other tricks up my sleeve including my secret weapon: Robin Niderost.

Robin in my aunt and she is a conditioning coach…

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More than I can chew?

Well I have started 2 more PIDP courses this week. I am wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew since it is also the start of the sailing season and Sail Nelson is getting very busy. But, alas, I am a sucker for punishment I guess.


Image credit: image retrieved from Overthinking

This week I am focusing on reading through our course textbooks and familiarizing myself with the new content and our instructor expectations. Once again, reflective writing assignments are needed and so I’m working on a couple of quotes for my first assignment and leaning towards either:

“Simply having experiences does not imply that they are reflected on, understood or analyzed critically. Individual experiences can be distorted, self-fulfilling, unexamined and constraining.” (p. 12)  or;  “I find myself repeatedly frustrated by not achieving an unblemished record of expressed student satisfaction for every week of the course.” (p. 38). (Brookfield, 2015).
I think I would focus on the first one this time around as I am really noticing that my students need to understand what they are doing and why to really get the most out of their courses. They need to exercise critical thinking, experience self-assessment and receive constructive feedback from me during the course. This can be a tall order to fit into a course when you are dealing with more nature.
Photo retrieved from Wikimedia Commons
Well ready or not it is time to get to work. I’ll keep you updated!