What I've Learned This Year (2008-09)
Mr. Joe McClung discusses his first year of teaching as an elementary teacher in Noel, Missouri. He gives great advice for future educators throughout his post. He mentions how teachers should bring a lesson to their students. Some teachers are too focused with delivering a lesson, which results to teachers not checking with students to see if they comprehended the lesson given. Mr. McClung had to realize that students should be his main focus.
Secondly, McClung states that teachers must be flexible and reasonable with their students. There will be times that a lesson may not go as planned, which is okay. A quote I enjoyed by Mr. McClung, “When things go wrong, simply work with it and try to better the situation…and be sure to do it with a smile on your face!” He also mentions how teachers should not be afraid of technology. Some people are afraid of technology because they feel as if technology is too difficult to grasp. Technology in my opinion is very helpful and a resourceful tool. I think everyone can benefit from technology in some sort of way, as long as they give it a try.
Next, he states that teachers need to communicate and listen to their students. Communication is the best way to solve any situation. However, he mentions that communication is one of the hardest skills to develop. We need to learn how to communicate well with others now, in order to communicate strongly with future students and teachers.
Lastly, he mentions how educators should never stop learning. Teachers should have an open mind to new ideas and willing to try new things. Overall, teachers must be flexible, reasonable, and be able to communicate and listen to their students. Teachers should also learn about new technology and not distress from it, as well as, furthering their knowledge.
Mr. McClung discusses his fourth year of teaching, where he teaches social studies and Arkansas history to jr. high students. He mentions two things he has learned while teaching his students this past year:
1. Being comfortable with his peers as an educator
2. To challenge yourself.
First, he states how he wasn’t comfortable with the way his peers viewed him as an educator. He felt like he wasn’t approved by his peers. However, he let go of what his peers thought and focused on his students. Since his students are the ones who really matter to him the most.
Secondly, he states how he challenged himself this year. He discussed how he got too adequate at using old lessons plans from the previous school year. Luckily, he was offered to teach a different grade level and a new subject starting next year. He accepted this new challenge and is currently teaching pre-AP civics and American government.
Overall, the message Mr. McClung is sending is that teachers should not get too relaxed with their lesson plans. Teachers should create something new from time to time and have fun with their students.