Brookfield – Chapter 16

So this weeks’ chapter is about the students’ resistance to learning. Once again I like Brookfield’s approach to this topic.

The idea of a student resisting to learn something was a really new concept for me. I have had times in my courses where my students seemed to “zone out”, but most of my students actively participate in my courses as they are optional, or hobby courses.

As noted by Brookfield, as a teacher we assume that we have to draw everyone into our lessons, and if someone is not engaged, it is our fault. It was interesting to learn that students have different learning styles that could clash with my teaching style. I had never thought of that. Of that in my attempt to draw everyone in, I may be alienating, or losing other students’ interest in the process.


One idea that struck a chord with me is the fear of the unknown. I recognize this in myself. As an advanced sailing educator I find that people assume that I know everything. Well that is just plain ridiculous! Like everyone else, I know my stuff, but there is always something new to learn. Also, I may know my Sail Canada curriculum well, but that does not mean that I know everything surrounding that particular subject.

So, as a student myself, sometimes I have a fear of failure when learning something new. I have extra pressure on myself to learn the subject quickly and explicitly. This sometimes translates into feeling overwhelmed or disengaged from the course. I also find that my time is precious and if a course I have signed up for is not moving at the pace I like, I disengage. Something for me to be aware of when taking a course from fellow colleagues! Putting myself in the learner’s shoes is really helpful.



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


Brookfield – Chapter 8

Once again Brookfield has made this chapter informative and entertaining with his style of writing.

Teaching in a diverse classroom is definitely not new to me. As a sailing instructor I can expect people from all walks of life in my courses. Sometimes I have teenagers with a parent, sometimes I have a 70-year old looking to rekindle their love of sailing. As such, I really need to tailor my teaching for various levels within the same class. That can be tricky.


Brookfield discusses how to accurately gauge diversity in your classroom using formal assessment tools. I generally do not go to this depth of analysis, but I do request some background information from my students and when I teach a lesson I try to touch on all types of learning styles (visual, audio and tactile).

I also enjoyed the section on team teaching. I do not get to do this often here in Nelson as I am a one-woman shop, however, when I go to the Coast to teach I really enjoy tapping into my colleagues abilities and knowledge to help further my own. My goal is to take new courses each year to further my knowledge of either sailing, safety or teaching. So far I have a few extras in the bank with the PIDP!


As Brookfield notes at the end of Chapter 8, we will always fall short. I will never leave a course thinking I taught everything perfectly and that there was nothing I felt I could have changed. I learn from all of my courses and all of my students. This is what makes teaching so rewarding. I am a lifelong student experimenting and growing as an instructor as I go!



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

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!