Mr Mclung's: What I've Learned This year
I thought Mr McClungs entry to his blog was a very honest reflection of his first year. I like that he was able to admit that he was not perfect and by doing so he will help a lot of future teachers to be better teachers. He also will help to alleviate many of our fears and keep us thinking right. I think I will write in bold letters across my lesson planner "be flexible". I need to remember everyday that it is alright if things don't go as planned. I don't think perfectionism and teaching belong in the same building.
I respect Mr McClung for being truly interested in his students and listening. Being a good listener is crucial if you want to help someone. We all must remember that all children, regardless of age, are just little people and their feelings and opinions do matter. Sometimes they may not have another adult in their lives who will listen. As teachers we don't realize sometimes just how important we can be to our students if we just take the time to listen.
Mr McClungs Blog
Mr McClung Reflects on Year Two
Mr McClung has obviously grown as a teacher this past year. In this post he sounds much more confident and speaks more about teaching styles and methods than he did after the first year. He has had more experience with kids and has learned that you can not teach eight graders the same as you do sixth graders. He experienced the difference in their needs and adapted his teaching style to be effective with his new group of students. He embraced change which he admits is good and makes us better teachers. He talked about delegating jobs to the students which would help teach them to be more responsible and also make his job easier. I like this idea.
He elaborated on what he said in his first year reflection about being flexible when he talked about not being fixed on where a class discussion would lead. He realized that you have to teach kids to think for themselves and leave your own opinions at the door. You must be there to mediate a discussion but you should not influence the opinions of your students but instead let think and learn for themselves through group discussions involving many class opinions.
He also learned a lot about how to present yourself in class. He learned that you must show that you have a passion for what you are teaching for it to be believable no matter what it takes to prove it. He learned that he is not there to look cool and if it takes making himself look silly to capture the interest of his students then that is what he will do. Another important lesson he learned about presenting yourself in the classroom is "no matter how bad things may be, as a teacher you can not let surrounding factors effect how you conduct yourself". It is true, you can not let how other people are effecting you emotionally interfere with your teaching. As a teacher you can not let your emotions control you. What is going on with you is not what is important. The students are what is important.
Mr McClung is beginning to sound like a seasoned professional. He is confident but not so cocky as to think he knows everything. I think that when someone thinks they know everything they are just exhibiting ignorance. Mr McClung realizes that there is always something you can learn from others who have more experience than yourself and that you should listen to them and use what you learn to make yourself better as a teacher. This year as been all about listening, learning, making connections, adapting and changing and it has brought about great professional growth for Mr McClung.