What I Learned This Year
I decided to pick the first and last post by Mr. McClung so I could compare his outlook on teaching between the years.
In the 2008-2009 version of "What I Learned This Year" Mr. McClung first discusses how a teacher needs to keep the students in mind over his or her superior. The comprehension of the students is what the teacher is aiming for while winning the acceptance of his or her superior while doing so. Do what you came to do and everything should fall in place. The second thing he discusses is that plans don't always work out. Yes you may have worked hours or even days on lesson plans but things change. The delivery of the lesson and the students process will always determine how the plan goes. I believe he is trying to say to allow the change to come in. In doing so, you can teach yourself to prepare for new situations. The third concept he talks about is communication. "Communication is the pathway to building that much desired rapport with fellow teachers." He says that it may seem simple but it actually hard to develop relationships with teachers and students around but as a teacher you need this to succeed. Fourth he says we need to stay reasonable. It is o.k. to challenge our students but don't become disappointed in them if they don't meet your expectations. If the student is working to their full potential be happy. Encouragement works much better than disapproval or signs of disappointment. The fifth concept he discusses is don't be afraid of technology! This is so true in so many ways. Technology will not hinder us it will only help us as teachers. The internet opens up so many doors to new possibilities. Sixth his point made is always listen to your students. I believe showing interest in the smallest things children say can help them open up with the more important issues they are dealing with. He tells of how a student said,"I know my teacher cares about me as a person when he. - Listens to what I say." This by itself moves mountains. It is important to show your students you interested in everything they have to say. The seventh issue he brings up is to never stop learning. As teachers we owe it to ourselves. Why should we not continue learning if we are teaching students to learn. We need to set good examples.
In the 2011-2012 version of "What I Learned This Year" Mr. McClung says "You Gotta Dance With Who You Came To Dance With." This is an important concept when becoming a teacher and an adult. Sometimes adults get lost in their self image and of what others think of them. Mr. McClung had problems with being a pleasing others he lost touch with why he was a teacher. Sometimes you have to back away from the situation and center yourself. After doing so Mr. McClung realized that he started off with a simple question of "Is the Kids having Fun?" He says, "As long as I stick to this rule and remember who I really work for then I should never divert down the wrong path." I completely agree with him. I believe it is crucial to stay true to yourself and remind yourself your purpose as a teacher. "Challenge Yourself" is also a topic of his 2011-2012 post. He tells of how he had sunk into a comfortable spot within his career so he reused many lessons causing students to become bored. He became lazy and his creativeness was slowly disappearing. He was offered an opportunity o change his routine up. With accepting the new grade level and the new subject he came out of his trance and wanted to put the effort into his teaching again. He is basically trying to get across to teachers that you should not be afraid of change. Especially if it will better you and your students in the long run. Challenging yourself only means to push for your best. What's wrong with your best? NOTHING!