Mr. Joe McClung's Blog
Joe McClung is a teacher who, after each school year that he teaches, writes a blog post about what he feels he learned that year. In this post, I will talk about what Mr. McClung spoke about in two of his posts and also give a little feedback on how I feel about what was said!
Version 4 Post (2011-2012)
Here, Mr. McClung sums up his fourth year of teaching. He spends a small amount of time talking about how this year, instead of worrying about what his students thought of him, he worried more about what his PEERS thought. He worried about how they perceived him as an educator, and if they thought his teaching methods were well put together. Finally, McClung realized that he needed to "stay true to what has gotten [him] this far." It came to him that he needed to only think about the kids and if they were enjoying the subject he taught them. He isn't working for his peers, but for his students. Another major point that McClung makes is that we, as educators, can never become very comfortable with our subject/class. We need to stay on our feet and try to always be creative. If we get lazy with our lesson plans, the students we teach will get lazy with their work and will stop having fun.
McClung is a history teacher, like I am studying to become. I love that he tries to keep his students engaged in the subject he teaches so they do not become bored. I definitely agree that once a teacher becomes "lazy and too comfortable" things get boring. I hope to entertain my class while they learn, so that they will stay interested. As a future secondary educator, I know this will be hard. Teens tend to be hard to work with, but I hope I can do something that makes things interesting so I can grab and keep their attention!
What I've Learned This Year (2008-09)
I chose this post because it was written after Joe McClung's first year as a teacher; I thought it would be very interesting to read about what the year was like from a "first-timer," so to speak. Here, McClung spoke on a number of different things. First, he reminded us to make sure that our lessons are student centered. They are the ones we are teaching, so make sure they get it! Our job as teachers is to ensure our students are comprehending what they learn. If they aren't, we are doing something wrong. Second, lesson plans don't go as planned. We may work our hardest to get what we think are great lesson plans together for class; but McClung says don't be surprised or hurt if nothing goes according to THAT plan! No lesson is ever perfect, so don't stress out over it! Another huge point McClung made was that you need to communicate in the workplace in order to keep drama at a minimum. We need to build strong relationships with our students and fellow teachers; if we cannot communicate, that can't happen.
I think my favorite point made by Mr. McClung in this post was that we cannot set our expectations too high for our students. If we do this, and they don't meet those expectations, we will be upset. As educators, we need to avoid doing this period. We need to be there for our students if they mess up; they need someone to tell them that they can do it and that we are there to help. One of the reasons I wanted to become a teacher was so that I can make a difference in the lives of the children I teach. I want to listen to them and learn about them and who they are. Maybe, like Mr. McClung said, I am the only one who will listen to them. I hope as an educator I can not only keep learning about what I teach, but also keep learning about each and every one of my students. If I can't do that, then what am I here for?