This week we were sent to Mr. Joe McClung's blog posts reflecting on what he has learned during each of his four years of teaching.
1st Year(08-09) 2nd Year(09-10) 3rd Year(10-11) 4th Year(11-12)I decided to review Mr. McClung's first year reflection as well as his fourth year reflection.
In his very first reflection, Mr. McClung's main topics include keeping the focus on making sure he's helping his students and changing a few human tendancies. He points out that he learned to switch his focus from worrying about what his superiors were going to think, to making sure he didn’t lose touch with the important people, his students. It’s the kids that matter. We are only human and therefore cannot be perfect. Mr. McClung learned that if a lesson or activity didn’t go how he originally planned it, don’t fret and try to carry on and make the situation better. Since we are human and make mistakes, there will most likely be “we have a failure to communicate” moments with fellow teachers and administrators. Mr. McClung points out that communication is a key tool for building good relationships with other teachers. He also states that you have to remember reality when it comes to setting goals and expectations for students. It’s great to have faith and want your students to succeed, but by having expectations that are impossible to achieve you may, unintentionally, send the wrong message. Mr. McClung also includes a reflection on not letting technology frighten you. As with all skills, it takes practice. He also writes that we need to listen to our students. You can’t really expect to teach/have an impact on someone’s life without knowing at least a little about them. Lastly he reminds readers that if we expect our students to learn and want to learn more, we as teachers must also continue to learn.
Though his fourth reflection contains fewer topics, the message is very similar. Again he reflects on keeping the focus on students. He believes that as long as he makes sure that students are having fun and learning, the need to please his fellow teachers shouldn’t get in the way. I think his last point in the fourth reflection is probably one of the most important messages to all teachers; don’t get too stuck in the same routine. This was his third year teaching the same subject and he found that relying too heavily on past lessons made his current ones ineffective.
I feel that every topic Mr. McClung brought up in his reflections is one to remember. I especially like his reminders to keep the focus on your students. I mean what is the point of a teacher who cares more about what his/her peers think about their work over if she’s actually conveying lessons and knowledge to students? We are here to help educate future generations. If that means leaving my technology comfort zone in order to benefit my students I’m all for it. Mr. McClung’s reflection on never ceasing to learn is one I always agreed with. There are new discoveries every minute of the day, and thanks to technology it’s much easier to find these. We live in a time when learning new knowledge can be achieved in a matter of seconds thanks to the internet. So why stop learning? Our knowledge and understanding is changing constantly with time. Therefore, we as teachers will also have to expand our own knowledge and understanding if we wish to be successful.