Realistic Job Preview

Posted: November 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

Stephen Brookfield begins his text, “The Skillful Teacher” with a statement that resonates with me. He states “teaching is frequently a gloriously messy pursuit in which shock, contradiction and risk are endemic.” Endemic, meaning it is characteristic and natural of the environment. This reminds the reader that it’s universal in the profession to follow a ‘messy’ pursuit. This statement spins the art of teaching into a paradox of a chaotic circumstance mirrored with the ‘glorious’.


I understand the meaning of what the author is trying to convey. He isn’t trying to paint a negative picture, he is simply putting forward what HR professionals call a Realistic Job Preview (RJP). This career choice isn’t for the meek and orderly. It isn’t for those who wish to play it safe, maintain the status quo or stick to a script. It isn’t for those who are easily offended or frustrated by a bit of chaos. Ultimately, he wants to put forward how exciting and challenging this profession can be. In this simple statement, he articulates the value in the profession. He almost challenges the reader to consider that this is the way things can be, no matter the circumstance, environment, subject or instructor.

As instructors, its safe to say that anything done right will not happen without a little chaos. If we weren’t up for the risk, contradiction, shock or mess of it all, we wouldn’t get to experience the gloriousness either.


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