Sunday, July 1, 2012
Blog Post #9
What I've Learned This Year (2008-09) By Joe McClung
In this post Mr. McClung sums up his first year of teaching. Like any new teacher, he didn't know exactly what to expect. Over the year though, I learned a lot about being a teacher.
Mr. McClung says that throughout college and his internship he thought it was all about the teacher. He was so worried about what other teachers and administrators thought of him, that he didn't put his audience first in his lessons. However, I have had a totally different experience in my college career. My professors have drilled to me that the student comes first, and to have student centered lessons. Quoting Mr. McClung, "In order to be effective you have to be able to let your audience drive your instruction."
Mr. McClung also says that we must remember that things aren't always going to go the way you planned. He says that he tried way to hard to control everything and have it done his way. I'm sure this will prove to be the hardest thing for me. My OCD is always in overdrive. I like to have things done the right way the first time. I guess this will take some getting used to. You can't expect every lesson to go smoothly like you planned. You are working with children. They may need to spend extra time on certain concepts that you didn't plan for.
Next, Mr. McClung says to talk things out. Communication is the best way to resolve any work place issue. I hope we all know this by now. I agree with Mr. McClung that communication is one the hardest skills to master, but it is important to do so. Communication helps build relationships with your students and other teachers. Also, he states that we should be aware of the expectations we set. Keep in mind that you are working with children and don't be quick to scold them when they fail to meet an expectation. Just keep encouraging them to do their best and try again.
Always listen to what your students have to say. Mr. McClung says that you may be only one who does. He thinks that teachers do not know enough about their students. You should take interest in their lives, earn their respect, and build relationships. Lastly, Mr. McClung says to never stop learning. If we expect our students to learn, then we owe it to them to learn as well. I agree with everything Mr. McClung talks about in this post. It has inspired me and given me ideas on how to approach my student teaching and one day, my own classroom.
What I've Learned This Year (2009-10) By Joe McClung
In this post, Mr. McClung reflects on his second year of teaching and the many firsts that came along with it.
Mr. McClung says that we must learn to adapt to our students. He had a first hand experience with this concept this year when he changed schools. He had to learn to leave his sixth grade mentality behind and get on board with his new eighth grade class. I agree, no two classes will be alike, especially when it comes to different grades. Older students need to be given more independence and responsibility.
We see a reoccurring topic here, don't consume yourself with expectations for your class. Let it play out. Mr. McClung finds this to be true when he teaches history. He learned to not expect any certain outcome out of his class discussions. Instead, he guided his students into independent thinkers. I definitely agree, you never want to hand your students the answer to anything. History should be a subject that promotes a class discussion with no one right answer.
Mr. McClung says the best piece of advice he can give to a first year teacher is to find your school mom. Like Mr. McClung, I am a huge momma's baby. This advice I take to heart. The next topic Mr. McClung talks about, I think, is the most important. Be passionate about what you are teaching. You may not love every single lesson topic, but you have to sell it to your students.
Don't be a control freak. Mr. McClung says that while it is important to have control in your classroom, don't go overboard by trying to control every little detail and try to do too much. Give your students more responsibility and tasks and rely on them to help you with some things. They actually enjoy it. Mr. McClung says one important thing to remember is scope and sequence. You should spend a fair amount of time on each subject, not just your favorite.
I found Mr. McClung next topic to be very helpful advice. Don't lose sight of what's important. You should set aside any issues you may have with administrators or co-workers and focus on your students. They are what's most important. I guess Mr. McClung and I think alike, the sentence of this post quotes my sentence for our My Sentence project, "I am a work in progress."
Thank You Mr. McClung for your words of wisdom!