Working with volunteers from all walks of life is similar to a college classroom. You don't know the backgrounds and experiences that people bring into the room until they share it. You may have a great lesson lined up, with excellent interactive parts where no one participates, or someone asks a question and you have no idea how to answer it and move on. This is the part of teaching which is exciting and scary. It is something that I enjoy, but I should also be more understanding of my colleagues who fear these moments.
Although I'm only 14 pages into this book I really love the honesty of Brookfield.
He uses great metaphors to see teaching in a way where the pedestal a teacher has often been placed on is removed. For example, "Classrooms can be thought as areans of confusion where teachers are the gladiators of ambiguity" (Brookfield, 2015, p.7).
Stay tuned for further reflections on Brookfield's book and more about the professional practice of adult education soon.