Chapter 1: Experiencing Teaching

pexels-photo-313690.jpegThe first day of teaching can be a major hurdle. How do I speak to so many people? How do I best impart my knowledge? How do I deal with potential issues in the classroom? These are some of the question I asked myself when I first started teaching. As Stephen Brookfield (2015, PP 1)  states “The truth of teaching is a gloriously messy pursuit in which shock, contradiction and risk are endemic.” These questions never go away there is no one answer to any of them as each scenario is different and everyone involved is a different person with different experiences, knowledge and temperament. You will find no answers here either only insight from my experience as a teacher in a classroom environment as there are no steadfast answers or solutions. I have seen students get frustrated to the point of punching the classroom whiteboard. I have had a learner with two degrees breakdown into tears due the frustration of the course load in our electrical trades program.  The course I teach is an 8 week physics course mixed in with some legal, this type of course has been identified as quite intensive and full of information which the learner must retain and be able to utilize to solve problems. The loading causes frustration, causing stress on the learners, this stress can cause the learners to act in unexpected ways and manners. There are several methods and techniques we can use to help to minimize the stress of the learner like the ones listed by DeNeen on her article “Why You Need To Manage Student Stress And 20 Ways To Do It“.  We can ensure that the learner can reach us and ask us for help as needed and within reason.  Give them reasons for everything they are learning beyond that of an exam or a certification. Let them know of your own experiences with learning and education, this may relieve some of their stress and give them more focus. We must remember that the learners in our classes are people and have many factors outside of the classroom that may also affect their learning  and stress levels in the classroom. Even though we cannot affect the external factors we can help to make the classroom factors more flexible.



Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classr. John Wiley & Sons.
Deneen, J. (2013, February 11). Why You Need To Manage Student Stress And 20 Ways To Do It. Retrieved from


Hello my name is Alex Hesse, I am an electrical trades instructor as SAIT polytechnic in Calgary Alberta. I have been instructing now for 4 years. Before I became an instructor I was an estimator for Cummins Power Generation estimating large industrial and commercial power plant jobs. My technical training has me certified as a master electrician working primarily in the commercial high raise buildings and in the fire alarm industry. In my time at SAIT I have become one of the colleges leading members of the Learning Management System team within my department and school. I am taking the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program 3260 to help me to progress and become a better instructor.