Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Blog Assignment 9
The first blog post that I read of Mr. McClung was his What I've Learned This Year 2008-2009. I thought it would be best to start at the beginning of his journey as a teacher because I will soon be a "new" teacher, and his experiences might give me some good advice. That is one thing I can say about Dr. McClung's post; it gives a lot of good advice. I like how he does not try to be fake and say that everything went fantastic his first year of teaching. I like that he addresses the issues he had the first year. The first thing he learned was that you have to let students drive your instruction. I found this statement enlightening because you never really think about that aspect when you make a presentation. I am a student now, so it is hard to imagine relating something to kids who will be my students. We always get caught up with what our superiors think of our work. That is not what teaching is about. We need to get a message across to the students any way we can.
The next thing Mr. McClung learned was to be flexible. This is another great piece of advice because you never really think about planning a lesson that might not go exactly how you plan it. I always want everything to go exactly right, so it was odd to think about the aspect that everything will not go right. I know this is true though. It would have to be. If students are interacting in a lesson, there is no way that the lesson you have planned can be performed exactly the way you planned it. This is the reason that teachers have to be very resourceful and adaptive. We have to think on our feet.
Another good point Mr. McClung brings up is that communication is key. If you want to build bonds with co-workers or students, you have to communicate. I already realized this, even though I might still need some practice in the communication department. Going along with the communication aspect of teaching, Mr. McClung says that it is very important to listen to your students. The only way you can get their respect is to get to know them. I completely agree with this. I definitely would not want to listen to someone who did not even care enough to get to know me. We as teachers are sort of role models for students. The better connected we can get to them, the better we can help them.
Be reasonable. I love this statement because I feel like a lot of teachers need to get a better grasp on this concept. You cannot expect perfection out of students. No one is perfect. Also, you cannot expect them to do exorbitant amounts of work because that is unreasonable. I hope I am never that teacher who gives so much work that the students hate the class. That is all tons of work does to a student. It makes them dread the class, or that is what happens with me. I have learned more in classes that I can easily keep up with my work because I am not so stressed out all the time. When you have too much work, you just try to get it done, and that does not help with learning. Students should be taught in a way that makes them happy to learn.
Don't be afraid of technology. This statement really applies to this class. I know a lot of people who are currently teachers that dread even thinking about incorporating technology into the classroom. All I have to say about that is it doesn't matter whether you like it or not. The students need to learn certain technical skills to be successful. We are teachers. It is our job to teach them these skills even if we don't agree. This goes along with what Mr. McClung said about always being a learner. In order to give kids an appropriate education, we as teachers have to expand our horizons and learn new things. The world changes every day and so should we.
Mr. McClung 2009-2010
So, basically, Mr. McClung has to start all over in his second year of teaching. He thought he had everything figured out when he taught elementary kids, but he soon realized that he did not know everything. Mr. McClung started teaching 8th grade. Not only was the fact that these were older kids difficult, but he also had to teach a subject he had never taught before: history. Once again, I like the fact that Mr. McClung was honest that he probably did not do the best job teaching history to start with. He probably did not get the hang of it until towards the end of the year. Even though I like his honesty, I did not like this blog post as much as the first one. He had a lot of major grammatical errors. The first post had a few errors, but this one made it hard to read because there were so many. I just don't think that is very professional. Another thing I did not like was the fact that he blamed his bad year on administration. I realize that a lot of times administration can cause tension with teachers, but it seemed like Mr. McClung was a fish out of water in this Jr. High History situation. He was probably not doing his best job teaching, as he alluded to in his post. I just would have rather him said that he had some kinks without blaming the authority figure. Overall, Mr. McClung had a lot of the same ideas he had in the first blog post. This time his ideas were just renewed because he was thrown into a different situation. This just goes to show that a teacher must be very flexible.