What I Learned This Year 2008-2009
This post describes Mr. McClung's first year teaching school in Noel, Missouri. He describes some important things he has learned from his first year as an educator. He summarizes his experiences into a few main points. His first point was, "How to Read the Crowd". This point discusses the need to develop lesson plans that are student based and not to not be so focused on pleasing your superiors. I think this is very important advice because many teachers lose sight of their purpose which is to engage the students and make sure they are learning to their full potential. His second point was, "Be Flexible". He explains in this section that it's okay to make mistakes and not be perfect. Things will go wrong but you just have to learn to go with the flow and fix problems as they arise. The next piece of advice he gives is to, "Communicate". He feels, and I fully agree, that effective communication is one of the most important qualities to possess. As an educator, communication helps you resolve problems with coworkers, deal with parents, and get through to your students. "Be Reasonable" deals with not setting our expectations too high for students. Of course you should expect a great deal from them but you shouldn't get mad at them when they don't meet your expectations. Instead of discouraging them, you should encourage them to just try again. Kids are not perfect, neither are we, and educators need to remember this. His next point is, "Don't Be Afraid of Technology". This is a very important piece of advice for today's educator. He explains that most adults are wary about computers and afraid to learn how to use them. Technology is a part of our world and can be very beneficial in the classroom. If it can help the students learn in a more efficient, productive manner than you should want to learn how to use it. "Listen to Your Students"! Teachers need to learn all they can about their students. As a teacher, you may be the only person they have that will listen to them. They need to feel like they can talk to you and know fully that you are LISTENING to what they say. The last point he makes is, “Never Stop Learning". Teachers expect their students to learn new things daily but some teachers forget that they should be open to learning new things as well. I think this is one of the most important points he makes. How can we better ourselves as teachers if we aren't constantly learning new and improved ways to teach our students?
What I learned This Year 2010-2011
In this post, Mr. McClung discusses his third year teaching. Like his post describing his first year teaching, he breaks down his thoughts into a few main points. His first point is, "Know Who Your Boss Is". This point reflects some statements he made in his first post. Those being, you need to keep your teaching student-based and not focus on pleasing your superiors. As teachers, students are the main focus and many teachers lose sight of this. Teachers must always remember that the students are a reflection on you as the educator. His next point, "Don't Expect Others to be As Excited About Change as You Are", discusses the fact that just because you are excited about new and improving methods of teaching doesn't mean every other teacher will be too. However, you cannot let this fact discourage you from being eager to learn and apply the new methods in your own classroom. Just like in life, you can't let another person's negative attitude affect your positive one. "Don't Be Afraid to Be an Outsider", discusses the need to not feel you have to be a part of the main crowd. In life and as an educator, you need to stay true to who you are and what you believe. You can't let another person's opinions affect you. His next piece of advice is, “Don’t Touch the Keyboard". What he means by this statement is that as teachers you need to encourage your students to learn independently. If you constantly finish a task for them or tell them how to do something then they will never learn on their own. I don't see a problem in helping your students because that's part of your job. However, you cannot do everything for them. His final point is, "Don't Get Comfortable". He discusses in this point the need to not let yourself become too comfortable in your teaching practices. He explains that teaching is an easy career to let this happen in but you have to constantly remind yourself to stay abreast of new teaching methods, join committees, mix up your teaching style, and don't become apathetic in your teaching practices.
I have learned a lot from reading these posts and have picked up some great advice for when I start teaching. I hope to keep up with Mr. McClung's progress and continue to gain new ideas and fresh approaches to teaching. I really enjoyed reading these posts.