After reading the first few chapters of The Skillful Teacher” (Brookfield, The Skillful Teacher, 2015) I was drawn back to one of the first statements in the book “The truth is teaching is a gloriously messy pursuit in which shock, contradiction, and risk are endemic.”
This really captures my first few moments as a post-secondary instructor. Nothing would have prepared me for the turmoil and chaos that is teaching. My first formative days as an instructor were haphazard and riff with unexpected and unforeseen events, which the quote from Brookfield captures well. Now into my fourth year of teaching, I still find this quote quite accurate for my daily experiences my perceptions of the quote have just changed slightly. I am better prepared for the unexpected and the risks, shocks, and contradictions are more under my control than at the whims of fate but you will never be prepared for everything.
The only way to learn from past mistakes is to reflect on and internalize them.