PIDP 3260 Week 2 Blog

This blog is dedicated to PIDP 3260 weekly updates, plus a few rants sprinkled in for fun.

Week 2

For me, this is #6 out of 8 courses in the Provincial Instructors Diploma Program (PIDP) through Vancouver Community College (VCC). This is also my 4th online course in this program. My day job is at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) where I instruct industrial instrumentation to technicians and apprentices.

That last sentence had four words in a row that begin with the letter “i”. Interesting.

Anyhoo, enough about my not-that-interesting life. My last blog post was an update of the US presidential election. My long-held prediction  that old whathisname will win seems a bit hasty at the moment. I am sticking with it because, because he is so, so, so whateveryacallit.

In other ironic current events, did you hear about the attack cat who picked a fight with 7 pit bulls? Guess who won. The dogs were peacefully walking with their owners when this ferocious feline ambushed the unsuspecting victims. CBC link here.

Closer to home, when a hiker came across a bear in the woods, he tried to scare it away. But instead of running away, the bear approached the hiker. Note that a 200 pound black bear is strong, fast, and has teeth and claws. So the hiker did what any hiker would do and ran. For 2 kilometers or so, there they went.  The man in front, screaming and running.  The bear behind, chasing the man (for sport, I assume). Admittedly, I chuckled a  bit from the mental picture of the two of them. The hiker got a few scratches and a great story for his grandkids.  The bear’s version of the story may differ. North Shore News link here.

Brookfield Chapter 1

The actual theme this week is Stephen Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher” Chapter 1: Experiencing Teaching.

“Passion, hope, doubt, fear, exhilaration, weariness, colleagueship, loneliness, glorious defeat, hollow victories and , above all, the certainties of surprise and ambiguity; how on earth can a single word or phrase begin to capture the multilayered complexity of what if feels like to teach?”(Brookfield 2015)

That is a long sentence to begin a book with. That sentence sums up the difficulty in defining what good teaching looks like. Brookfield discusses the many aspects regarding modern day teaching, and the difference between individual perspectives.

An interesting metaphor in the book was when Brookfield compared teaching to white water rafting: periods of calm interspersed with chaotic turbulence.

I probably dislike a preachy treatise as much as the next guy, but this book seems to have something more to add, and I look forward to continuing reading it. More to follow in the coming weeks.


Teaching Perspective Inventory results:

TPI graph

TPI legend

It becomes apparent from the above graph that my perspective on good teaching leans towards the apprenticeship and transmission perspectives. Not so much for social reform. Sorry social reformers.


Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher – On Techniques, Trust and Responsiveness in the Classroom (3rd Ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Featured image photo by John Powszedny, 2013 (Los Angeles CA)



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